The Collection Agents Act controls the practices of collection agents and collectors and requires them to be licensed and bonded. An agency that practises prohibited methods of debt collection can have its licence suspended or canceled, and may have its bond forfeited to pay the people who suffered a loss.
The Act also controls the methods used by collection agents and collectors to collect debts. They cannot:
- collect or try to collect more than is owed;
- demand payment without giving the name of the creditor, the balance owed and the identity and authority of the person making the demand;
- harass the debtor, his or her family and household;
- call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. or on Sundays or holidays;
- telephone with reversed charges;
- give any person false or misleading information that may be detrimental to a debtor or a debtor's family;
- contact a debtor's spouse, relatives, neighbours or friends unless the person contacted has guaranteed to pay the debt and is being contacted in respect of that guarantee;
- contact a debtor's employer, except to verify the debtor's employment or in respect of payments under a wage assignment or a court order; or
send the debtor documents that appear to be court documents.