As if struggling with unmanageable debt was not difficult enough, receiving collection calls from your creditors can make things even worse. Collection calls can make you want to avoid answering your phone, and even the door for fear of them turning up to ask for money. What can be even worse is calls made to your workplace, and even threats of a wage garnishment. After all, you do not want to damage your reputation and have your wages deducted among everything else. Life is too short to be too scared to answer your phone in case it is a debt collector. The good news is that there are ways to stop collection calls for good. So, how do I get creditors to stop calling me? In this article, we share how you can find debt relief while permanently stopping collection calls.
What is a collection call?
When we refer to collection calls, we mean calls you may receive from your creditors. This is often when you are overdue on debts including credit card debt, or payday loans. Creditors may use a collection agency, debt collector, or even call you themselves. This could be to your cell phone, landline, or even at your workplace. In the worst case scenarios, this can mean they could get through to a member of your family, or a coworker which can cause embarrassment. While your creditors are legally entitled to call your family and friends to get hold of your current address or phone number, they are not permitted to inform them of your debt or let them know the name of their collection agency. As well as potentially meaning others can find out about your debt, collection calls pose other problems. It is stressful being contacted relentlessly when you are already struggling to repay your debts. Learn more about what to say to collection agencies when they call. By stopping collection calls, you can finally gain peace of mind and focus on dealing with your debt.
How do I get creditors to stop calling me?
The good news is that it is possible to stop collection calls for good. The sooner you act, the sooner they can stop. There are a number of actions you can take to finally put collection calls to bed, and to move on with your life. We list them below.
Write to your collection agent
Sometimes, simply requesting collection calls to end can work. It typically involves making a formal complaint against the collection agency making the call, accusing them of breaking the law if you feel that they have stepped beyond their legal boundaries. This could be the case, especially if you are receiving automated calls from debt collectors, which must comply with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which aims to protect Canadians using phones. Beforehand, ensure you are fully aware of their rights, including whether or not collection agencies can contact you at work. You can also request that they communicate you only in writing, or even to dispute the debt. This is known as a Cease and Desist letter. If you are working with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee or a legal advisor, you can also ask that they only communicate via them instead of yourself. In some provinces, consumers are legally able to write to collection agencies using a particular language, with which collection agencies can no longer make collection calls. This is possible in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland, the Yukon, and Nunavut.
Pay the money you owe
If at all possible, pay what you can to the collection agency. If you cannot pay the entire sum upfront, see if it is possible to provide a series of monthly payments instead as part of a repayment plan. It is important to make this offer formally in writing for your own record. This may be acceptable for some collection agencies or creditors, and could bide you some time to find more in the way of payment. Never pay in cash, and always keep a record of any payments you have made via a receipt or cancelled cheques to the collection agency or creditor just in case you need to provide evidence of a payment.
Speak to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee
The quickest way to stop collection calls and move on with your life is to contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. If you are facing collection calls, you are likely already facing debt problems and need a fresh financial future. Licensed Insolvency Trustees are the only professionals in Canada legally able to file all forms of debt relief. There are two forms of debt relief that will automatically generate a stay of proceedings. A stay of proceedings is the legal prevention of creditors or collection agencies contacting you. This is a message typically issued to your creditors by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to let them know that you are filing for debt relief, and handling the debt you are unable to afford. In a rare instance in which a creditor does continue to reach out to you or you receive a collection call, it is illegal activity. The two forms of debt relief to generate a stay of proceedings are a consumer proposal and bankruptcy. At Spergel, we understand just how scary collection calls can be. Our Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to walk you through every step of the journey to gaining debt relief and stop collection calls for good, once and for all.
Filing a consumer proposal
A consumer proposal is a legal form of debt settlement. You will work with a reputable Licensed Insolvency Trustee to agree a manageable and affordable amount to repay on your debts. Most creditors are likely to accept as it will offer favourable terms to them over a bankruptcy, and it can reduce your unsecured debt by up to 80%. At Spergel, unlike other bankruptcy firms, you will be assigned your very own trustee to walk you through each step of filing a consumer proposal. Advantages of a consumer proposal include the ability to keep your assets, as well as a stay of proceedings to offer protection from creditors. At Spergel, any consumer proposals we file have a 99% acceptance rate.
Filing bankruptcy is another great way to stop collection calls. Bankruptcy is often a last resort, but a good option for any individuals without much equity in their property, or any assets. Bankruptcy is the process of assigning any non-exempt assets to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in exchange for clearance of unsecured debt. It is ideal in offering a fresh financial start. Contrary to popular belief, you can still keep some basic items including a car and a computer for work. The value of these exempt items does vary from province to province. As it is a legal form of debt relief, bankruptcy also generates a stay of proceedings to offer immediate protection from collection calls and creditors once filed.
Know your rights with collection agencies
Finally, make sure you understand what exactly collection agencies can and cannot do. This will help you to understand your position, and can enable you to act if collection agencies are behaving unlawfully. Here is what they are permitted to do:
- Contact you regarding the amount of debt owed
- Use reasonable means to encourage you to pay your debt
- They do not need to inform you of your rights – you need to learn this yourself
Here is what collection agencies are legally not allowed to do:
- Make charges or threats irrelevant to the debt
- Make abusive calls
- Speak to your employer without consent
- Harass you with calls
- Call at times that are illegal, which varies from province to province
- Give you documents that are faked to look like government documentation
Still wondering ‘how do I get creditors to stop calling me?’ Book a free consultation with an experienced Licensed Insolvency Trustee at Spergel. We have over thirty years of helping Canadians to gain debt relief and protecting them from collection calls and creditors. The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can take action to have them stopped immediately. You owe it to yourself.