In this article, you’ll learn about debt collection laws in New Brunswick and what debt collection agencies can and cannot do.
Debt collection laws in New Brunswick
In New Brunswick, a collection agency and the individuals who work for them as collectors cannot:
- Threaten or start legal or court action to collect a debt without notifying you first and receiving the creditor’s approval.
- Collect more money than you owe the business or person who hired them.
- Call you in a way that costs you money (For example, calling your cell phone if it costs you extra).
- Call your place of employment.
- Discuss your debt with anyone else without your permission.
- Threaten, intimidate you or use abusive language.
- Communicate with you without identifying themselves, the collection agency’s name, the company they are collecting for, and the amount owed.
- Call so often or in such a way that you or your family feels harassed.
- Call before 7:00 am or after 9:00 pm Monday through Saturday.
- Call before 1:00 pm or after 5:00 pm on Sunday.
- Call on statutory holidays.
- Communicate with you at your place of employment.
- Contact your employer, friends, family or neighbours unless they have guaranteed or co-signed the loan they are trying to collect (except if they are looking for your address).
You can find more information in the Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act.
Does a debt collector in New Brunswick have to be licensed?
A debt collection agency and the individuals who work for them as debt collectors must be licensed with the FCNB.
When can a collection agency in New Brunswick contact me?
A collection agency in New Brunswick can call you between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm on weekdays and Saturdays.
On Sundays, they can only call between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
They cannot contact you on statutory holidays.
Can a collection agency in New Brunswick contact my friends or family?
A collection agency can contact your friends, family or neighbours to request your residential address.
When doing so, they cannot discuss your debt without your permission.
If the person they are contacting has guaranteed or co-signed for the debt, they can contact them.
Can a collection agency in New Brunswick contact me while at work?
Collection agencies in New Brunswick cannot contact you at your place of employment.
Can a collection agency in New Brunswick contact my employer?
A collection agency can contact your employer if they are looking for your address but cannot do so for other purposes unless you have given them written permission.
Can a collection agency in New Brunswick sue me?
In New Brunswick, a debt collection agency can only take legal action for six years, starting from when you acknowledged the debt or last made a payment.
This is called the statute of limitations, and once this expires, the collection agency cannot take any further legal action.
However, during this period, legal action can be taken, which, if ignored, could lead to wage garnishment, seizure of property (assets) or a lien on your property.
Throughout the collection process, your credit score can be severely affected.
How to settle debts with collection agencies in New Brunswick
There are several ways to resolve debts in collections:
- Pay the entire amount.
- Arrange an affordable payment plan.
- Negotiate a settlement by offering a lump sum for less than the full amount owed.
- Dispute the debt.
- Get help from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
See also: Resolve debts in collections
How to complain about a collection agency in New Brunswick
If you feel that a collection agency has acted unlawfully, consider complaining to New Brunswick’s consumer protection office.
If you want to complain about a federally regulated financial institution, contact the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
Debt collection laws in New Brunswick govern what collection agencies can and cannot do.
Always look to pay what you owe and resolve the situation before it escalates.
Discuss your situation with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to resolve debts in collections.
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