If you’re looking to break free of personal debt once and for all, we can help. We provide debt and bankruptcy solutions that are life-changing and permanent, so you can erase debt from your life.
Our Life-Changing Debt Solutions are designed to permanently get you out of debt once and for all – so you can stop worrying and start living again.
Debt can be overwhelming. For that reason, our Licensed Insolvency Trustees are always here for you. let’s discuss the options available to you. Your debt-free future starts now.
If you’re struggling to pay your debts, you may miss payments on your loans and credit cards. When this happens, a debt collector will likely contact you to recover the money you owe. The mounting stress and uncertainty can fuel your temptation to ignore bills, avoid the mail and phone calls.
If this sounds familiar, you could be putting yourself at risk of fake creditors taking advantage of you. However, there are several steps you can take to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Your creditor (i.e. the company you owe money to) may be trying to recover their money by having their internal collection department, a third-party collection agency or their lawyer contact you. A creditor will usually notify you in writing before handing your account over to a collection agency – including the name of the collection agency, the person or organization you owe money to and how much you owe.
The first step in protecting yourself from fake creditors is to open your bills and bank statements every month to confirm how much you owe and to whom. If you receive a collection call or collection notice, you owe it to yourself to verify the legitimacy of the collector and the debt before you agree to pay.
Before divulging any personal information, request the following
informationto determine the creditor’s legitimacy:
Inform the collector you will call back once you have verified this information.
If you can’t get it in writing the creditor may be fake. Always ask for documentation of the debt and request the collector contact you in writing only.
If you’ve already received a letter in the mail with proof of the debt being sent to collections, ask the collector to verify the information before you making payment arrangements. And if the collector argues they’ve already sent a letter and you don’t have it, tell them to send it again.
Once you have information in hand, perform additional research to confirm the collector is legitimately licensed in your Province or Territory.
A real debt collector will give you time to pay and offer legitimate payment options. They will not demand an immediate wire transfer. If you haven’t previously arranged to pay your creditor this way, you are likely talking to a fake creditor.
Prepaid card scams are also becoming increasingly popular. If you’ve recently applied for a loan, you may be contacted by – or see ads from – a company that
looks like a creditor offering a loan. These ‘lenders’ will prompt you to put a deposit on a pre-paid card. Usually, they’ll ask for the card number and promise to deposit your loan proceeds on the card. Instead, they will withdraw the deposit money and you never hear form them again.
Never give your bank account or credit card information to a loan company digitally or over the phone. Requests for a down payment or deposit to cover immediate fees are clear red flags of a scam.
If a debt collector is threatening to sue or have you arrested, they may be a fake creditor. While creditors have significant leeway to recover debts, there are clear boundaries defining what they can and cannot do. Knowing your rights is vital for protecting yourself.
Beware of CRA phone and email scams, which have become increasingly common over the past several years. Fraudsters claiming to represent the federal government will typically inform of an outstanding tax debt, make firm and immediate demands to pay and warn of punitive measures – often jail time – if the victim declines.
According to the CRA website, the CRA will
To learn more about CRA scams and how to protect yourself,
visit the Government of Canada’s website.
In the event you can confirm a creditor is real, but they are violating your rights, misrepresenting themselves or otherwise acting unethically, consider filing a complaint with the appropriate regulatory body.
Each Province and Territory has its’s own
Consumer Affairs Office which regulates debt collectors. Federally regulated financial institutions (e.g. banks) are subject to federal laws and
the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada oversees these companies.
If you suspect a scammer has or is attempting to take advantage of you, ask the caller for their contact information (name, phone number, employer), then HANG UP.
Chances are the caller provided a legitimate creditor name with fake contact information. Research the company online to confirm their contact information is associated with the company. Call the company and ask questions. If you’re hunch is right, the company won’t have a record of the call or the caller.
Listen to your intuition. If it seems suspicious, it most likely is. If you feel you’ve been a victim of internet fraud or identity theft, report the activity to the
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Having one or more of your debts go into collections is a stressful and unpleasant experience. But you don’t have to go through this process alone – there are legal avenues to make
debt collectors and your debt go away for good.
Free Confidential Consultation, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee will review your entire financial situation, seek to understand your challenges and goals and reveal opportunities to achieve the financial fresh start you need and deserve. You could qualify for a Life-Changing Debt Solution, such as
Bankruptcy or a
Consumer Proposal. Both halt all current and future collections action and offer a clear path to permanent debt freedom.
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee may also be able to offer other opportunities, referrals and recommendations to help reduce your debt and get your finances back on track. They will help you evaluate all your options and make the best choice for your unique situation. Give us a call and take that first step toward debt and creditor freedom today.
Based out of Calgary,
Vicky Samuels is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and Vice-President at MNP LTD. To learn more about how MNP Debt can help, contact our local office at 403.536.5606 or toll-free at 310.DEBT (310.3328).
Our team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees will help you
explore the debt relief options available to you and
together we will find the solution that best fits your
situation. Set up your FREE, no obligation consultation
MNP is committed to protecting your
privacy. We promise to keep all of the information you share
with us confidential.
*310-DEBT doesn’t operate in MB, NW ON and QC.
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