Tag Archive for Greg Roberts

CCDR cancels debt settlement contracts with Ontario clients

 

Last week a Saskatchewan-based debt settlement firm, Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. (CCDR), cancelled its contracts with its Ontario clients.  This means that there are a number of former clients of CCDR in Ontario without a debt settlement service provider.  Tomorrow I have a phone call scheduled with one such “orphan” debt settlement client.

CCDR2

It would appear that Saskatchewan-based debt settlement provider Canadian Customer Debt Relief (CCDR), has sent a letter to its Ontario clients in late January cancelling their debt settlement service contracts leaving clients without a debt settlement service provider.

 

 

CCDR cancelling debt settlement agreements with Ontario clients

Today I received a phone call from an Ontario resident–who wished to remain anonymous–who described himself as a debt settlement client of CCDR living in Roseneath, Ontario.  According to this individual, he received a letter dated January 28, 2016, from CCDR informing him that CCDR was cancelling its debt settlement contract with him.

CCDR1

This letter dated January 28, 2016, from Saskatchewan-based Canadian Customer Debt Relief (CCDR) informs one of its clients, a resident of Roseneath, Ontario, that the firm is no longer providing debt settlement services to the residents of Ontario.  Some information has been “whited out” on this document to protect the identity of the recipient of this letter.  This page is one of three pages of correspondence from CCDR sent to a client living in Roseneath, Ontario.  The other two pages can be found at the bottom of this post.

 

Why did CCDR cancel its debt settlement contracts with Ontario clients?

According to the January 28, 2016, letter from CCDR addressed to one of its Ontario clients changes to Ontario’s debt settlement laws that came into effect in September of 2015 were instrumental in CCDR’s decision to cease providing debt settlement services to Ontario residents.

What I find odd about this statement is that there were no changes to the law in Ontario regulating debt settlement firms in September of 2015.  If CCDR ceased offering debt settlement services to Ontario residents in January of 2016 then what was the reason for this decision?  It is important to appreciate the fact that not only did CCDR stop taking on new clients in January of this year but also in 2016 it was issuing refunds to Ontario clients.

What I also find odd about this statement is that–according to my confidential source–it was “business as usual” with CCDR’s Ontario clients as late as October of 2015.  This leads me to conclude that something incredibly important happend sometime between October of 2015 and January of 2016 to motivate CCDR to cease providing debt settlement services to Ontario residents.

 

CCDR’s failure to satisfy Ontario-based staffing requirements

I suspect that the real reason for CCDR’s cessation of operations in Ontario is its refusal to comply with the requirement in the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act that its debt negotiator(s)–negotiating settlements on behalf of Ontario clients–work on the premises of its Ontario office.  I wrote about this issue in a post on this blog on August 2, 2015.  Furthermore, in August of 2015 I made a formal complaint to the Ontario Government stating that it would appear that CCDR was contravening Ontario’s Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act because it did not employ any collectors licensed under the Act that worked on the premises of its Ontario office situated at 55 King Street West in Kitchener, Ontario.

I suspect that within a few months of my June 2015 complaint that the Ontario Government was putting some pressure on CCDR to either hire a full-time collector licensed under the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act to work on-site at its Kitchener, Office or wind up its Ontario debt settlement operations.

 

Strong response from CCDR owner Greg Roberts

My August 2nd blog post attracted a strong reaction from Greg Roberts, one of the owners of CCDR.  Mr. Roberts added the following comment at the end of one of my two LinkedIn posts published in June of 2015.

GregRobertscommentonmyfirstlinkedinpost

Greg Roberts, one of the owners of Saskatchewan-based CCDR, posted this Comment at the end of one of my two LInkedIn posts about CCDR in June of 2015.

Contact me if you have any information regarding CCDR’s activities in Ontario

I would invite anyone with information regarding CCDR’s actities in Ontario to contact me.  You are welcome to call me at 1 (866) 966-9941 or (519) 827-5513.  Alternatively, you are welcome to e-mail me at (519) 827-5513.  In particular, I would ask any Ontario resident who was a former client of Canadian Customer Debt Relief (CCDR) to contact me

 

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You are invited to contact me if you have any information regarding the activities of Canadian Customer Debt Relief in Ontario. 

 

 

Documents dated January 28, 2016, sent by CCDR to an Ontario client

 

According to an anonymous source, Canadian Customer Debt Relief (CCDR), sent its Ontario clients three pages of correspondence in late January in connection with the firm’s decision to cancel their existing debt settlement services contract.  A redacted copy of one such letter can be found below.  Any information which can identify the Ontario client of CCDR has been whited out to protect the individual’s identity.

 

CCDR1CCDR2

 

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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.

 

 

Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc.: Satisfying debt settlement industry’s best practices?

 

A couple of weeks ago someone asked me to look at the website for a debt settlement firm called Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc., also known by its initials, CCDR.  The firm’s website is https://ccdr.ca.  According to the homepage for this company’s website, CCDR is licensed as a debt settlement firm in both Saskatchewan and in Ontario.  At the bottom of the webpage titled “DEBT SETTLEMENT RED FLAG” the following sentence is prominently displayed:

We are proud to say that Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. adheres to the best practices in the industry.

 

MarkedUpBottomRedFlagDebtSettlementOHL

This screenshot is taken from the bottom of the webpage titled “Debt Settlement Red Flag” on CCDR’s website (Orange highlight has been added).

 

Four questions for CCDR’s ownership

After reviewing the firm’s website, researching various government sources and social media, and visiting the firm’s Ontario office, I have four questions for the firm’s Canadian owners.

Is CCDR’s ownership hypocrites?

Is CCDR adequately safeguarding its clients’ personal information?

Is CCDR misleading the public about the consequences of entering into a debt settlement agreement?

Is CCDR negotiating settlements on behalf of Ontario clients illegally?

 

 

1.      Are CCDR’s owners hypocrites?

Despite the fact that CCDR is licensed to provide debt settlement services in both Saskatchewan and in Ontario the company is essentially a Saskatchewan-based firm.  On the CONTACT page for the firm’s website its Saskatchewan office is described as the “Saskatchewan Head Office” and “All customer support and new inquiries are handled here.”  Furthermore, a corporate search of the firm lists a Saskatchewan address as the firm’s head office and all of the firm’s directors are Saskatchewan residents.

The homepage for CCDR promotes the firm as the preferred choice as a debt settlement service provider for Saskatchewan residents.  The website’s homepage goes so far as to discourage consumers from using “out-of-province” debt settlement firms.  After reading this blog post, some people might think CCDR’s website is hypocritical warning consumers to avoid hiring out-of-province debt settlement firms.  This Saskatchewan-based firm is offering debt settlement services to Ontario residents in circumstances where it has virtually no presence in Ontario.  CCDR’s concerns for consumers using an out-of-province debt settlement firm would appear to be limited to Saskatchewan residents–and not the residents of Ontario.

 

This screenshot is the top portion of the homepage on CCDR's website.

This screenshot is the top portion of the homepage on CCDR’s website.

Highlighting has been added to this screenshot of the top portion of CCDR’s homepage.

 

 

2.         Is CCDR adequately safeguarding clients’ personal information?

On the homepage for CCDR’s website one can find the statement “No appointment is necessary you may call or drop in”.  CCDR’s registered Ontario office is located at 55 King Street W., 7th Floor, Kitchener, Ontario, N2G 4W1.  Since I just happen to live in Kitchener, Ontario, I thought I would take CCDR up on its invitation to drop by its office.

Recently I visited 55 King Street, 7th Floor in Kitchener, Ontario, which I discovered is a Regus corporate business centre.

CCDR's registered Ontario office is located at a Regus corporate business centre in Kitchener, Ontario.

CCDR’s registered Ontario office is located at a Regus corporate business centre in Kitchener, Ontario.

 

One of the very friendly Customer Service representatives at Regus was only too happy to give me a tour of the entire 7th floor.  When I provided the Regus Customer Service representative with the name of my firm, Comprehensive Debt Solutions Inc., she volunteered that Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc., was one of their clients that shared an office with one of more other firms.  During our tour of the 7th floor my Customer Service representative from Regus showed me the actual office which CCDR shared with other firms, an office with six workstations and very little else.

My Regus tour guide also volunteered that the representatives from CCDR are “rarely here”.  When I asked about a desktop computer sitting at an empty workstation the Regus Customer Service representative identified it as the CCDR computer.  Later that day this Regus Customer Service representative confirmed that six individuals–not all of whom were CCDR employees–had keys to the shared office where CCDR’s computer was located.

Given this information, CCDR might want to ask themselves if their clients’ financial information is being adequately safeguarded.  With respect to maintaining the confidentiality of client information is CCDR adhering to the “best practices in the industry”?

 

 

3.       Is CCDR misleading the public about the consequences of entering into a     debt settlement agreement?

Over the past few days I have thoroughly reviewed the content on CCDR’s website.  There are two issues where I found the content on https://ccdr.ca to be misleading:

  • statements suggesting that people entering into a debt settlement agreement with CCDR would not receive collection calls
  • failure to mention that a client entering into a debt settlement agreement with CCDR might get sued

The following screenshot is Question 16 on CCDR’s FAQ webpage where the issue of stopping collection calls is referred to.

 

Highlights have been added to this screenshot taken from FAQ page on CCDR's website.

Highlights have been added to this screenshot taken from FAQ page on CCDR’s website.

 

I am perplexed by the representation contained in Question 16 on CCDR’s FAQ page that CCDR can stop collection calls to a consumer who becomes a client within about a week.  In fact, there is no law–no provincial law in either Saskatchewan or Ontario, nor federal law–which confers on a debt settlement firm the right to stop collection calls to its debt settlement clients.  CCDR might very well send a letter to a client’s creditors demanding that all phone calls be made to CCDR and not its client.  The creditor, and its authorized collection agent, however, have every right to make collection calls to any consumer owing it money, including anyone who has entered into a debt settlement agreement with CCDR.

The content on CCDR’s website contains a number of statements about the positive results that are available if an individual enters into a debt settlement agreement with CCDR.  What I was not able to find anywhere on CCDR’s website was a statement indicating that a creditor might sue a consumer who had entered into a debt settlement agreement with CCDR.

 

 

4.      Is CCDR negotiating settlements illegally on behalf of Ontario residents?

The Ontario Government has a regulatory regime for firms providing debt settlement services which is contained in the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act and Regulation 74.  There are three different types of licenses under this Act.

  • collection agency license
  • branch office licene (required where a firm operates from multiple locations)
  • collector license (required for employees performing certain functions)

Under the Act a firm providing debt settlement services to Ontario residents–except those exempt from the Act–must possess an Ontario collection agency license.  If a firm providing debt settlement services to Ontario residents operates from more than one location then each location requires a branch office license.

Furthermore, some, but not all, employees of a firm offering debt settlement services to Ontario residents must possess a valid Ontario “collector” license.  Individuals who negotiate settlements on behalf of Ontario residents are required to be licensed as a collector under the Act.  Furthermore, a collector is only permitted to perform these debt settlement functions while physically present on the premises listed on their collector registration.  Subsection 13(8) of Regulation 74 of the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act reads as follows:

(8)   A collector shall be registered where he or she is to be employed by a registered collection agency.

Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. possesses an Ontario collection agency license with a registered office located at 55 King Street W., 7th Floor, Kitchener, Ontario, N2G 4W1.

 

This screenshot taken from an Ontario Government website confirms that Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. possesses a valid Ontario collection agency license and provides its registered office address in Kitchener, Ontario.

This screenshot taken from an Ontario Government website confirms that Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. possesses a valid Ontario collection agency license and provides its registered office address in Kitchener, Ontario.

 

 

 

I have written confirmation that Canadian Customer Relief Inc. does not have any branch office licenses that would permit its collectors to work at any address other than its registered office in Kitchener.

Furthermore, I have written confirmation that Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. has two collectors licensed under the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act.: Gregory Roberts and Rachelle Roberts.  You will find a screenshot confirming their license status below:

This screenshot from an Ontario Government database confirms that Gregory Roberts is licensed as a collector under the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act and is licensed to work at 55 King Street West, 7th Floor, Kitchener, Ontario.

This screenshot from an Ontario Government database confirms that Gregory Roberts is licensed as a collector under the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act and is licensed to work at 55 King Street West, 7th Floor, Kitchener, Ontario.

 

 

 

This scrdeenshot from Ontario Government website confirms that Rachelle Roberts is licensed as a collector under the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act and she is entitled to work as a collector at 55 King Street w., 7th Floor, Kitchener, Ontario.

This scrdeenshot from Ontario Government website confirms that Rachelle Roberts is licensed as a collector under the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act and she is entitled to work as a collector at 55 King Street w., 7th Floor, Kitchener, Ontario.

 

 

 

CCDR’s two licensed collectors are both Saskatchewan residents

A corporate search of Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. reveals that CCDR’s two Ontario collectors, Gregory Roberts and Rachelle Roberts, are directors and shareholders of the company.  A copy of the first page of a corporate search of Canadian Customer Debt Relief is reproduced below:

screenshottopportionp1CCDRcorpsearch (2)

screenshotbottomportionp1corpsearchCCDR (2)

 

A search of social media confirms that both Gregory, or Greg, Roberts, and Rachelle Roberts,  CCDR’s two licensed collectors under the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act, are Saskatchewan residents.

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

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

 

RachelleRobertsLinkedInProfileexcerpt

 

RachelleRobertsHealthandWellnessaddress

 

 

I don’t know whether or not CCDR has any Ontario clients for whom it provides debt settlement services.  I do know, however, that CCDR has gone to the time, trouble, and expense, to obtain an Ontario collection agency license, obtain a shared office in Kitchener, Ontario, place a computer in that shared office, and obtain two Ontario collector licenses.  I also know that CCDR is offering debt settlement services to Ontario residents on the firm’s website.

There would appear to be some issue as to whether or not CCDR is complying with Ontario law when it comes to negotiating settlements on behalf of any of its clients who are Ontario residents. CCDR does not employ anyone as a licensed collector who works full-time at the firm’s registered office located in Kitchener, Ontario.  In fact, the firm’s two licensed collectors live more than 1,900 kilometers from the firm’s registered office in Kitchener, Ontario.  Therefore, one wonders how CCDR can legally negotiate settlements on behalf of its Ontario clients when it does not employ a full-time licensed collector who works at the firm’s registered Kitchener office.

 

Official complaint has been filed with the Ontario Government

Given my concerns about whether or not CCDR might be contravening the Ontario Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act in connection with negotiating settlements on behalf of Ontario residents who are clients of the firm, I have taken the liberty of filing a formal complaint against the firm with the Ontario Ministry of Government and Social Services.

 

Any Ontario residents who are clients of CCDR invited to contact me

If you live in Ontario and you are an existing or former debt settlement client of Canadian Customer Debt Relief Inc. I would invite you to call me at (866) 996-9941 or (519) 827-5513.  Alternaively, you are welcome to send me an e-mail at mark@comprehensivedebtsolutions.ca.

If you are an Ontario resident and you are a client of CCDR then you might want to contact Mark Silverthorn.

If you are an Ontario resident and you are a client of CCDR then you might want to contact Mark Silverthorn.