If you are a Canadian consumer owing monies to a bank then, under federal law, you can employ a number of tactics for stopping collection calls to your workplace. One such tactic is sending a one-page “cease and desist” letter to the organization calling you–your bank or its authorized collection agent. I explain this tactic in my blog post dated May 15, 2015, titled “Canadians can stop collection calls on monies owing to a bank for $10.00”. In this blog post I describe how someone owing monies to a bank can stop collection calls using a “cease and desist” letter–a tactic that costs about $10.00.
The other tactic–to stop workplace collection calls on monies owing to a bank–is the topic for the remainder of this blog. This tactic for stopping workplace collection calls regarding monies owing to a bank will not cost you a penny!
Bill collector speaks to you at your “home telephone number”
Canadian consumers can take advantage of a federal law that makes it illegal for an entity collecting a bank debt to call you at your workplace after one of its employees has made a collection call to you at your “home telephone number”. The law in question is subsection 7(6) of the Federal Credit Business Practices Regulations, SOR/2009-257, which reads as follows:
7 (6) An institution may not contact a debtor at the debtor’s place of employment unless
(a) the institution does not have the home address or home telephone number of the debtor;
(b) attempts by the institution to contact the debtor at their home telephone number has failed; or
(c) the institution obtains written authorization from the debtor to do so
Under this federal law you can stop workplace calls provided the following two conditions are satisfied. The entity attempting to collect a bank debt from you (1) has knowledge as to your “home telephone number”, and (2) it calls you at your “home telephone number” and it speaks with you at this phone number on one occasion.
Scenario A Bill collector has called you on your “home phone number”
Once an employee of your bank, or its authorized collection agent–collection agency, or a paralegal or law firm acting on its behalf–has called you on your “home phone number” regarding your unpaid account to make a payment demand then it is illegal under subsection 7(6) of the Federal Credit Business Practices Regulations for you to receive collection calls at your workplace in connection with this account.
Scenario B: Bill Collector has yet to call you on your “home phone number”
If you have not received a phone call from a bill collector at your “home phone number” regarding monies owing to a bank then you can solicit a collection call from a bill collector who is currently assigned your unpaid account. As soon as you are successful at soliciting a collection call at your “home telephone number” from a bill collector working for the entity attempting to collect your unpaid bank debt then it will be illegal for that organization to make any collection calls to your workplace.
For the remainder of this blog post I am going to walk you through a five-step guide for soliciting a collection call to your “home phone number” on monies owing to a bank–after which collection calls at your workplace would be illegal under the federal Credit Business Practices Regulations.
Go to your bank’s website and call the toll free number for Customer Service.
Request the name and phone number for the entity that is responsible for collecting your unpaid account owing to a bank. It will be one of the following:
- in-house collection department at your bank
- collection agency collecting your account on a contingency basis
- law firm or a paralegal
- your debt has been purchased by a non-bank (in which case this tactic is not available)
Phone the entity responsible for collecting your unpaid bank debt during business hours and simply obtain the name of the collector responsible for your unpaid account and their telephone number including their extension, if they have one. You should also request the orgnanization’s reference number corresponding to your account. You might also want to obtain the e-mail address for their supervisor. Please note that most front-line collectors are not given authority to communicate with debtors via e-mail–only supervisors.
Outside of regular business hours, phone the collector assigned to your account and leave them a voicemail message. In your voicemail message you can leave the following information requesting a return phone call to a phone number which you expressly describe as your home phone number:
- your name
- a phone number you describe as your home phone number
- the name of your creditor
- the last few digits of your account number
- the organization’s reference number or file number for your account, if you know what it is
If you obtain an e-mail address for the supervisor of the collector responsible for the collector at the entity collecting your bank debt then you can send an e-mail to the supervisor with this information requesting a phone call at your “home telephone number”.
If a collector, or some other representative from the entity attemtping to collect your account, calls you you then it wil likely be necessary for you to identify yourself by name. You might be asked to provide your date of birth or the last three digits of your Social Insurance Number so the collector can confirm they are speaking with the correct person.
At this point you can do the following:
- Ask the collector if the call is being recorded
- Inform them they are calling you on your “home telephone number”
- At any point you wish you can then terminate the phone call (ideally you should give the collector enough opportunity to make a demand for payment)
Assuming that an employee from the organization attempting to collect your unpaid bank debt has called you at your “home telephone number” regarding your unpaid account and spoken with you then you any future calls to you at your workplace regarding this unpaid bank debt would be illegal.
For more information about stopping workplace collection calls I would invite you to do one or more of the following:
- Call me toll free at 1 (866) 996-9941 or at (519) 827-5513
- Visit my firm’s website, www.comprehensivedebtsolutions.ca for more details