Collection Agencies

Information on collection agencies

A collection agency is a company that intervenes to recover money owed by people in debt. Your creditors — the people to whom you owe money — pay these agencies to recover the amounts you owe them. If you owe money to a company or a supplier and have not recently sent in your payment, that company or supplier can turn your file over to a collection agency. Here are some useful tips:

  • You must be notified in writing that your file has been given to a collection agency. Don't panic. The agency is trying to recover the money you owe its client.
  • If possible, pay the amount you owe.
  • If you are unable to pay it all at once, contact the agency and explain.
  • If you reach an agreement with the agency, get it in writing.
  • Never send cash. Make sure that you obtain a receipt for your payment from the agency.

Do you feel you have been treated unfairly by a collection agency? Although the regulations differ slightly across Canada, a collection agency is usually only allowed to do certain things. Find out more so that you will be able to protect yourself from aggressive debt collectors The complete list of what debt collectors can and cannot do, as well as contact information, are available in the Canadian Consumer Handbook.

For example, a representative of a collection agency must not make telephone calls of such a nature or frequency as to constitute harassment of you or your family. There are certain times when a representative must not call you at all (which vary from one province or territory to another).

Specific rules by province / territory

You can view the specific rules that apply to collection agencies where you live. Click on your province or territory to access the information from the appropriate government agency regarding collection agencies' practices:

If the following document is not accessible to you, please contact us to obtain other appropriate formats.


British Columbia


New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia



Prince Edward Island




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Warning Signs of Debt | Ways to Reduce Your Debt | "Last Resort" Options | Collection Agencies | Credit Reports, Credit Scores and Credit Repair | Resources on Personal Finances and Debt | Glossary of Terms

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