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Dealing With Collection Agencies and Wage Garnishment – Know Your Rights!

Learn how to deal with collection agencies and wage garnishments. Don’t give up, there are solutions to help get you out of debt today! Read more.

Many of us may be guilty of screening our caller IDs for those pesky numbers that are usually associated with telemarketers or bill collectors. Maybe you just don’t have time to talk to them, or maybe you just dread having to come up with an excuse to get off the phone.

If a collection agency has been calling you, it is likely because you don’t have money in the bank to pay your debt and they are seeking to settle the payment owed. It may seem like a good idea at the time to avoid the calls until you can save enough to cover the balance, but in reality, this is only a temporary Band-Aid on a much larger problem.

What is Wage Garnishment?

While you are avoiding communicating with debt collectors, they will be adding fees, interest, and eventually taking legal action to garner your wages.

Ignoring collection calls puts you on the fast-track to the legal collection process of wage garnishment. Wage Garnishment is when a judge allows a debt collector to absorb up to 20 percent of each paycheck to cover the cost of the debt. So, how should you handle communication with a debt collector?


How to Handle Phone Calls with a Debt Collector

  • Communicate. That’s the key word. Be honest about the reason that you fell behind in payments and offer to set up some type of arrangement. Most debt collectors will be amenable to almost any regular payment towards the balance. 
  • If you receive a notice in the mail, make sure that it’s a legitimate debt. The notice is required to state the name of the business, the amount owed, and the name of the agency responsible for collecting the debt. There are plenty of scams out there. Protect yourself by knowing your rights.
  • Always ask for their Ontario registration number to make sure that the agency is legitimate.
  • Make sure that you ask them if and when they sent out their notice by mail.
  • You have the right to ask how many times per week they will be calling you, and to inquire about the times.

5 Facts You Should Know About Wage Garnishment in Ontario

If you are unaware of the debt or feel harassed, it’s important to know your consumer rights. All debt collectors are required to be registered with the Government of Ontario, and to abide by these rules:

  1. They must wait 6 days to call you after sending out a paper notice. 
  2. No debt collector can call you more than 3 times in a 7-day period.
  3. They can only call on Sundays between 1pm-5pm.
  4. They can’t call you between the hours of 9pm and 7am—ever.
  5. They can’t demand fees or use threats to force you to pay.
If you feel that you are making a reasonable effort and still being targeted by debt collectors, send them a registered letter asking them to stop. Or, contact a professional to learn about your other options.


Credit Counselling Can Help You Successfully Manage Your Debt

If you feel that you are being harassed, our teams at the D. & A. Macleod offices across Ottawa and Eastern Ontario are here to help. We can offer you advice or offer credit counselling that can get you back on the track to financial health. You don’t have to put up with the constant fear of picking up the phone. Make a commitment to yourself. Declare that everything is under control and that tomorrow really is a new beginning™.

Contact us for a free initial consultation about credit card debt and start improving your financial situation today with professional credit counselling.

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