Can Creditors Call You at Work in Canada?

Dear Jeff,

My debt is piling up and I am doing my best to keep on top of it, but I can’t seem to manage and am falling behind on my payments. I’ve started to receive calls from my creditors looking for payment. Whenever the phone rings now at home, I tense up because I fear it is another call from my creditors. I got to thinking though, are they allowed to call me at work if I’m not able to pay? Not only would that be embarrassing, I’m worried that I could get in trouble at work because of it. What if I lost my job as a result? Then I would really be in debt trouble.

Signed,
Allison B.
Moncton, NB

 

Hi Allison,

It sounds like you are under a lot of stress because of your debt. As a side note, you would probably benefit from exploring debt relief options, like a debt management program, that would help you pay down your debt, help you restore your credit and, most importantly, stop those calls from creditors altogether.

Can Creditors Call You at Work Canada

Can Creditors Call You at Work Canada?

Your creditors may contact you at work if you have granted them permission to do so. If you haven’t given them that permission, they are not allowed to call you there. They are allowed to talk to your employer, but only to confirm details about your employment status and what your pay periods are. They may also ask for your address or phone number.

In fact, there are a number of rules and regulations (these are generally set out by individual provinces) that creditors need to abide by when they are trying to collect debts. It might ease your stress a little to be aware of your rights.

When a debt collector contacts you, they need to identify themselves as such and state their reason for calling. They also aren’t allowed to contact you at inconvenient times. For example, most provinces don’t allow creditors to call between the hours of 9 pm and 7 am, but there are exceptions in some provinces. Similarly, most provinces don’t allow them to contact you on Sundays or Statutory Holidays.

In general, they aren’t allowed to contact your family and friends to try to collect the debt, unless the person in question has acted as a guarantor on the debt (which means that they are also responsible for paying the debt).

Creditors are allowed to contact you via phone, email, regular mail, and fax. There are rules in some provinces governing how many times a day or how frequently a creditor is allowed to contact you. These rules are in place to help prevent what would be perceived as harassment while trying to collect their debt.

It is a good idea to communicate whenever possible with your creditors in writing so you have a record of the correspondence and a timeline.

I hope that this helps to ease your mind and that you are successful in working through these debt troubles.

Jeffrey Schwartz
Executive Director

Jeffrey Schwartz is the Executive Director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada and President of the Credit Association of Greater Toronto (CAGT).

If you have a question about a debt management program or just about finance in general, Jeff is here to help. Send us an email with your question to AskJeff@ConsolidatedCredit.ca. You’ll get the expert advice you need and your question may be featured here on our website.