Archive for debt settlement

Saskatchewan-based CCDR stops accepting debt settlement clients from Ontario

 

In my most recent post on this blog, dated August 2nd, I wrote about a Saskatchewan-based debt settlement firm, Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. (CCDR).  This firm is licensed as a collection agency in both Saskatchewan and in Ontario. In my previous blog I indicated that on August 2nd I filed a formal complaint with the Ontario Government against CCDR.

That complaint was based upon questions I had as to whether or not CCDR satisfied certain legal obligations under Ontario law for a firm providing debt settlement services to Ontario residents.  More specifically, I had questions as to whether or not CCDR was negotiating settlements illegally on behalf of Ontario residents because it did not employ any full-time licensed collectors working from its registered office in Kitchener, Ontario.  I also raised concerns whether or not CCDR’s Ontario office, located in a Regus corporate business centre, satisfied the permanent Ontario office requirement in the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act.

 

 

Reaction from CCDR to my recent blog posts

My August 2nd post on this blog and my LinkedIn post, dated August 2, 2015, on the same topic generated a strong reaction from Greg Roberts, one of the owners of CCDR.  On my Linkedin post on the same topic one can find the following comment from Greg Roberts:

CommentGregRobertsresponseLAug222015LinkedInpost

 

 

Invitation to Greg Roberts to appear together on talk radio program

I would welcome the opportunity to have Greg Roberts air any concerns regarding my recent posts in a public forum. To that end I would be happy to be a guest–together with Greg Roberts–on a radio talk show.  This would provide Greg Roberts with ample opportunity to respond to issues which I have raised on social media about CCDR over the past week.

 

According to this screenshot from ask.me Greg Roberts, of Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc., is a Saskatchewan resident.

Greg Roberts has described Mark Silverthorn on social media as an “unprofessional coward”

 

 

Accordingly, earlier today I sent an e-mail to Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. (CCDR) inviting Greg Roberts to join me in participating on a radio talk show.

August92015emailMStoGregRobertsradioappearance

 

 

CCDR is advising the public it “no longer” offers debt settlement services to Ontario residents

One of the questions I would like to ask Greg Roberts is why–less than a week after I made my formal complaint to the Ontario Government against his firm–CCDR is advising the public that it “no longer” offers debt settlement services to Ontario residents.

This week I was given an e-mail dated August 7, 2015, in which a representative from CCDR advises an Ontario resident “we no longer accept clients in the Ontario region”.  Here is a copy of this e-mail.

August72015gmailCCDRnoservicestoONresidents

 

What are CCDR’s long-term plans for offering debt settlement services to Ontario residents?

Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. (CCDR) possesses an Ontario collection agency license and, therefore, it is legally permitted to provide debt settlement services to Ontario residents.  For some reason, this week CCDR is declining to offer debt settlement services to Ontario residents.  Some might wonder what are CCDR’s long term plans in connection with offering debt settlement services to Ontario residents?  Is the firm going to change its existing business model which might involve a signficant expenditure on its part?  Alternatively, is the firm considering withdrawing from the Ontario debt settlement marketplace for a period of time–or perhaps permanently?  Might there be a third option CCDR is considering?

 

Copies of debt settlement agreements with Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc.

If you are an Ontario resident and you have entered into a debt settlement agreement with Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. (CCDR) then I would like to speak with you.  You are welcome to call me toll free at (866) 996-9941 or (519) 827-5513.  Alternatively, you can contact me via e-mail at mark@comprehensivedebtsolutions.ca

 

If you are an Ontario resident and you have entered into a debt settlement agreement with CCDR then I would invite you to contact me.

If you are an Ontario resident and you have entered into a debt settlement agreement with CCDR then I would invite you to contact me.

 

 

Illegal Debt Settlement Services Provided to Ontario Residents

Mark Silverthorn, Founder, Comprehensive Debt Solutions Inc.

Mark Silverthorn, Founder, Comprehensive Debt Solutions Inc.

 

Over the past few weeks I have been doing a substantial amount of research into the new regulatory regime for the debt settlement industry in Ontario.  As you might be aware, effective July 1, 2015, Ontario will have a new regulatory regime for those firms providing “debt settlement services”.  This includes not only what might be described as traditional debt settlement firms but also credit counselling agencies.

 

Draconian restrictions on fees for post-July 1, 2015 debt settlement agreements

The new law will have a devastating impact upon existing debt settlement firms operating in Ontario negotiating lump sum settlements on behalf of clients.  The new law contains draconian restrictions on fees–a maximum fee of ten percent of the amount of a debt at the time the debt settlement contract was signed.  Furthermore, on any debt settlement contract signed on or after July 1, 2015, a debt settlement firm will not be entitled to charge any fees until such time that a settlement is actually paid out!  These new restrictions regarding fees which affect all debt settlement contracts signed on or after July 1, 2015, except where the debt settlement provider is exempt from the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act, will make it very difficult for a debt settlement firm to be financial viable in the future.

 

Anger directed towards some mortgage brokers operating illegally in Ontario

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to get some feedback from a signficant number of owners of debt settlement firms in Ontario who are licensed as collection agencies and who have been “playing by the rules” in terms of complying with Ontario’s existing regulatory regime for firms providing traditional debt settlement services.  What struck me these past few weeks is the anger felt by some of these debt settlement firm owners directed at certain mortgage brokers who they claim are operating illegally in Ontario–providing “debt settlement services” to their clients without being licensed as a collection agency in contravention of Ontario law.

 

Frustration with Ontario civil servants responsible for enforcing provincial law

What I have also learned over the past few weeks is the level of frustration among the owners of some Ontario-based debt settlement firms regarding the enforcement, or lack thereof, in connection with Ontario’s existing law regulating Ontario firms providing “debt settlement services”.  It would appear that a number of members of senior management at Ontario-based debt settlement firms have provided the Ontario Government with information about firms they believe are offering “debt settlement services” to Ontario residents illegally and the lack of response from the Ontario Government.

 

Provide me with information regarding illegal debt settlement operatiors in Ontario

Over the next few weeks and months I plan on gathering as much information as I can in connection with firms providing debt settlement services in Ontario.  Some of these firms–including some law firms and licensed bankruptcy trustees–might be exempt from the Act and, consequently they do not requrie an Ontario collection agency license.  In contrast, other firms will not be exempt from the Act.

I anticipate that some of the firms that might be offering “debt settlement services” illegally might not be considered to be traditional debt settlement firms.  It might be possible that a mortgage broker is providing “debt settlement services” illegally.  It is also possible that a firm which is holding itself out as “financial advisers” or “debt consultants” is providing debt settlement services” illegally if their activities fall within the definition of “debt settlement services”, the firm is not exempt from the Act, and the the firm does not possess a valid Ontario collection agency license.

 

 

Please feel free to contact me and provide me with information on an anonymous basis, unless you desire that your identity be made public.

Please feel free to contact me and provide me with information on an anonymous basis, unless you desire that your identity be made public.

 

I would invite anyone reading this blog to forward information or documentation to me which would suggest that a particular firm has engaged in debt settlement services in Ontario in circumstances where it is doing so illegally.  Feel free to send your material via e-mail to mark@comprehensivedebtsolutions.ca.  If you would care to discuss this issue on the phone with me then I would invite you to call me Toll Free at 1 (866) 996-9941 or at (519) 827-5513.