Constant calls from creditors are a sign that your debts are piling up and need to be dealt with. Creditors are required by law to stop collection actions once you file a consumer proposal or bankruptcy. If you have money worries and can’t make payments, it’s in your best interest to meet with your Licensed Insolvency Trustee (previously known as a Trustee in Bankruptcy), at Harris & Partners. This will help you to understand your options and present your creditors with a solution for the payment of your debt. Harris & Partners provides expert advice and free debt counselling to help you begin getting control of your finances.
Collection Calls: Know Your Rights
A collection agency is allowed to call you about your debts and they will not tell you what your rights are. Generally, they have to call during reasonable hours (7 AM to 9 PM). It is up to you to know your rights.
Here’s what creditors are not allowed to do:
- Collect a debt without first notifying you in writing and taking reasonable actions to do so
- Take legal action without first trying to collect from you
- Call outside of reasonable hours and bullying, threatening or harassing you or your family members
- Provide false or misleading information
- Not identify themselves or give details on the debt
Contact friends, relatives, etc. that have nothing to do with the debt, although they are allowed to ask for your contact information
Know your options before you talk to your creditors
Don’t call your creditors unprepared. Your Harris & Partners Licensed Insolvency Trustee will provide you with expert advice and can help you assess your finances and figure out what to ask your creditors for when you call them. With this information in mind, you may be able to arrange:
- Reduced loan balance
- Reduced interest rate (which will also reduce the total amount you have to pay)
- Increased amount of time to pay (reducing your minimum monthly payment)
- Deferral for some payments
- Settlement by a lump sum
If such a proposal is agreed upon, be sure to obtain a written notification of your agreement that specifies the terms (i.e. that you have no outstanding debt due and that your debt is now cleared with this creditor).
Talk to someone in a position of authority
Talk to someone in a position of authority (i.e. a bank manager). Make sure you take down the name and contact information for the person you talk to in case you need to refer to the phone call or call the person again. Fully explain your financial situation to the creditor and be forthcoming with evidence if necessary.
Follow these steps on your creditor calls
- Make sure you have a budget and refer to if necessary
- Make a clear proposal – follow up in writing if necessary
- Be polite – the individual on the other end of the phone is just doing their job, and they may help if you are honest and upfront about your current financial situation
- Make sure you have a written agreement before making any payments
If you have run into financial problems, let Harris & Partners help you get your debt under control and move forward with your life with financial stability. Work with our licensed trustees in Canada today. Free initial consultations are available.
Harris & Partners can help with expert debt relief
If you need help from those who specialize in solving debt problems, contact us at Harris & Partners Inc. Licensed Insolvency Trustee. In Canada, our federally Licensed Insolvency Trustees can help you achieve long-lasting financial solutions.