Creditors Calling Three Quick Fixes And Two Permanent Solutions

2018-03-26   minute read

Eric Findlay

Debt Solutions

Nobody enjoys being delinquent on their bills. But unfortunately, it's not always possible to make ends meet. Anyone who has ever been in a position where they're forced to choose between basic necessities — like food and shelter — and keeping up with their debts understands just how stressful this is. And it only gets worse when creditors begin calling and sending past due notices.

Person in a suit typing on a laptop

Whether you're worried about impending collections activity or already going through it, understanding how the process works, what your rights are and to make it stop will be critical to maintaining your financial, emotional and mental wellbeing.

The Collections Process

A typical scenario will usually go something like this:

You miss one monthly payment. A week or two will pass before your creditor calls or sends a letter as a friendly reminder that you need to get up-to-date. They'll likely seem compassionate, offer you several options and politely inquire about when and how you plan to rectify the situation.

The next month rolls around and your situation has not improved. You still can't make last month's payment, let alone the most recent one. Much sooner — often less than a week after your second payment has been missed — you'll receive another, decidedly less friendly, call from the creditor; imploring you to make a payment arrangement and become current on your debt.

By the third month, all but the most basic professional courtesies will be discarded. It will now feel like the creditor is breathing down your neck. They'll call multiple times per week and likely threaten legal action or other collections tactics if you don't comply with their requests.

If, at the end of the third month, you haven't caught up to your creditor's satisfaction, your file will likely be passed on to a third-party collections agent. These professionals are only paid once they have collected from you, so they are known to be extremely persistent. This is most debtors' worst-case scenario. Debt collectors are notorious for calling you at home and at work, sending threatening letters in the mail and doing everything they can to shame, annoy and force you into a position where you'll do anything to make them go away.

Understanding Your Rights

You'd make your debt disappear overnight if you could. But if that were possible we wouldn't be having this conversation. Considering the stress you're already going through, you'd likely settle for making the barrage of calls and collections notices go away.

The good news is you can — if you know your rights. While the specific legislation differs from province to province, each jurisdiction has clear rules and regulations debt collectors must follow. The following apply in Nova Scotia:

  1. Debt collectors must be licensed by the Province that they are collecting in. If they don't have a license to collect in your province, they are legally not allowed to call you. Begin the conversation by asking if they are licensed in your province.
  2. If you already have a lawyer and / or (only if) you can afford to contract one, you can request that all future requests be made through them. 
  3. While you have a responsibility to pay your debts and your creditors have a right to collect money owed to them, there are specific rules about the frequency and methods collections agents use to contact you. If you feel like you are being harassed, you may file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Life Changing Debt Solution

The above options can be effective for silencing one or two creditors. However, if you have numerous overdue debts, your debt collectors are following all the appropriate rules, and / or you can't afford a lawyer, you may continue to receive calls and notices. Not to mention, the lingering problem of your debt will remain.

In these situations, there are two final options which are not only effective at silencing them for good, but also for getting you on the path to a financial fresh start. Both a Consumer Proposal and personal bankruptcy are legal processes administered by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee that will get you out of debt permanently. An added benefit is they immediately suspend all collections activity against you while you work through the proceedings.

Provided you continue meeting your outlined requirements, you will (hopefully) never hear from another debt collector again. Even better, all contact between you and your creditors will be handled by your Licensed Insolvency Trustee. So, you can worry less about managing their requests and more about building sound money management skills and re-organizing your life to enjoy a debt-free future.

If you know first hand just how overwhelming debt collections can be, it may be time to meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for a Free Confidential Consultation. Together, you can discuss whether a Life-Changing Debt Solution may be right for you. Going through your financial history to determine your options, they will help you decide which path is best given your unique circumstances.