What is a Bill Collector?

The bill collector normally works for credit card companies, lending firm, utility companies with the task of collecting unpaid debts.

The Wise Geek defines the bill collector as a person who collects payments for a bill. Collectors contact people to inform them of a debt. After presenting the necessary information, the collector will attempt to obtain the payment which is due. A collection agency is a business whose primary purpose is to collect on overdue bills.

This article discusses bill collection, unreasonable collection practices and regulation of debt collection in Canada.

What is Bill Collection?

Debt collection in Canada is regulated by laws in different provinces and territories. There are similar laws which provide a balance to give creditors an opportunity to collect unpaid bills. At the same time, it sees to it that the debtors' rights are respected and treated with dignity. Collection efforts can be unrelenting but collectors cannot make calls during unreasonable hours or endanger the debtor's job by interrupting him or her at work.

What are Unreasonable Collection Practices?

The following are some of the unreasonable collection practices outlined in the BC Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act list some unreasonable collection practices:
Debt collectors are not allowed to:
Make a charge or threat that has nothing to do with the collection of the debt;
Make abusive calls in which they lose their temper and use profanity or other verbal abuse;
Talk to your employer without your permission, unless it is done to confirm your employment;
Talk to you, your family or your employer in a way that will humiliate or distress anyone.
Make frequent calls that constitute harassment. Unless you provide the reason, a collector must never call you more than once a day. Reasonable collection practices should not require that the collector call you more than once a week or every second week in order to determine if your financial situation has changed. Give you an official court document that is not legal.
Consumers, who have complaints about collection agencies may contact the Provincial or Territorial Office of Consumer Affairs.

What is the Regulation of Debt Collectors in Canada?

The following are authorized to collect debts in Canada: creditors, collection agencies, debt buyers and licensed lawyers. In Canada, there are laws and regulations that are enacted regarding collection. The assistance of lawyers can also be obtained to protect consumers from extremely aggressive debt collectors. Consumers can file credible complaints with the provincial licensing administrator about a collection agency's misconduct. In Canada, collection agencies are subject to more scrutiny from regulators than creditors, lawyers and debt buyers.
Collection agencies specialize in the collection of overdue accounts of others. Each province and territory in Canada accredits collection agencies to collect debts from consumers. Each province and territory prohibits certain conduct on the part of collection agencies and imposes certain obligations on collection agencies. Provincial laws regulating collection agencies are not the same across Canada. Therefore, a collection agency's actions that may be perfectly legal in Ontario may be illegal in British Columbia.

Striking a Balance between Debtors, Creditors and Collection Agencies

The government makes it a point to set forth rules in bill or debt collections for the protection of creditors and debtors. Likewise, collection agencies are cautioned to treat debtors well and respect their rights. This is described as creating a balance between the parties concerned.


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