What Debt Collectors Can and Cannot Do

Posted by Edna & Roger Boisjoli on February 21, 2013 at 1:25 AM

In the United States collection agents are limited in the methods they can use to collect personal debts by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Personal debts include credit card debt, auto loans, mortgage payments, medical bills and other family and household expenses not used for a business. Canadian debt collection regulations differ by province; however, there are some practices that are generally off limits to all debt collectors. If you are dealing with a debt collector or have any questions call your law firm today.


Collection agents MUST:


  • Contact you in writing, or attempt to do so, before taking any further action to collect a debt, including legal actions to secure payment of the debt;
  • Identify themselves when contacting you about a collection matter;
  • Provide information on the original creditor and amount owed. The original creditor is the company or institution to which the debt was owed before it was transferred to the collection agency.

Collection agents are NOT permitted to:


  • Harass you or your family with threats of harm or violence, use of obscene language or by making calls at unreasonable times of day;
  • Deceive you by providing inaccurate or misleading information;
  • Send you false legal documents or threaten to take legal action they are not authorized or willing to take;
  • Charge interest or other fees that are not authorized by law;
  • Demand payment on an account that you have disputed without providing proof that the debt is legitimate;

Contact your employer, relatives, friends and neighbors for anything other than your direct contact information. In some instances debt collectors may be permitted to contact employers to verify employment, job title and mailing address.

When you need assistance dealing with a debt collector, call your law firm and speak with an attorney.

Categories: Personal

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