Things you should know about dealing with collection agencies

  1. The person on the other end of the phone is human, just like you. If they have called you in error, screaming at them or doing anything other than politely explaining that they have the wrong number will *NOT* get your number removed from the file. If you are nice and polite and request that they don’t call you again, they will probably remove your number and make a note not to call you again.
  2. Saying “Wrong Number!” and hanging up just ensures that you will stay on the list – if you won’t take the time to confirm that you are the wrong person, we have to assume that you’re who we’re looking for.
  3. Keep your story straight. If one person tells us you’re at work, and another tells us you’ve left the country, we’re going to keep calling you.
  4. Don’t pretend to be dead unless you can produce a death certificate.
  5. If you don’t make a payment on a debt or go bankrupt for 6 years and 1 day from the day the account is last paid on, they can no longer take you to court. The debt falls off your credit bureau, and they can’t collect from you until you die, and even then only if your executor agrees to or your will states that the executor should pay all of your outstanding bills.
  6. That “good faith payment” we get you to make? Yeah, that’s so we can restart that 6 year timer and take you to court if we want (we usually won’t though, unless it’s a big debt or our lawyers are bored.)
  7. If you owe us money, we will call you as often as the law allows, 3x per day in some provinces, 3x per week in others, until you pay or you notify us IN WRITING that we are no longer allowed to contact you. If you do this, you pretty much ensure that we’re taking you to court.
  8. If you live in Ontario, you’re pretty much screwed. There’s no legal limitation to how long we can call you about a debt. So when you’re 90, we’ll still be calling you about that parking ticket that you got when you were 18.
  9. We are authorised to collect interest on the amount owing. We charge 28.8% in most cases. That $35 parking ticket? After 78 years, through the magic of compound interest compounded monthly, it is now worth roughly $27 Billion dollars. Yes, Billion.
  10. Pay your bills, it makes your life easier. Wouldn’t you rather not be scared and shifty every time the phone rang? Also, being polite gets you way farther in life than being angry.

That is all for now.