Caveat Debitor: Don’t Respond to This Debt Collection Notice

Back on June 1, 2006, the McGuinty government passed Regulation (General, R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74) under Ontario’s Collection Agencies Act (“CAA”) to respond to consumer complaints about collection agencies and to harmonize Ontario law with a nationwide list of prohibited practices to improve consumer protection. So how is this new era of consumer protection against unethical, unscrupulous debt collectors faring? Well, according to the Ministry of Consumer Services website, for the last four years running, complaints against Collection Agencies/Debt Collectors remain #1 among the Top 10 Consumer Complaints.Consumer protection in the form of government regulation of collection agencies fulfills three objectives:
1) Naming: consumers are able to identify and understand their legal rights as debtors;
2) Blaming: consumer complaints are enforced against collection agencies/debt collectors in breach of the CAA regulations; and
3) Shaming: collection agencies that employ unfair, unlawful and unethical tactics are exposed as scofflaws and are subject to fines and possibly license suspension or revocation.

Getting harassed, threatened or berated by someone on the phone who probably also doesn’t pay their bills on time is nothing newAfter all, anyone who owns a computer and has internet access can find information about their legal rights from the helpful Ministry of Government Services website: Your Rights When Dealing With Collection Agencies (see backgrounder here)

Based upon the Ministry’s statistics above, some collection agencies/debt collectors are not getting the message about the new “Rules of the Road”. So, as a public service, I will endeavour to assist those in the debt collection industry who still think that the law does not apply to them, by using a case study of one particular collection agency that really, really, really needs to revise its debt collection notice letter.

Here is the text of the demand letter (the name and account information of the consumer/debtor have been removed):

Contact Resource Services Inc., 
P.O. Box 47009 2225 Erin Mills Parkway
Mississauga, Ont. L5K 2P0 
PHONE: 1-800-673-2203 FAX: 905-403-1410


A National Collection Agency

ACCOUNT IDENTIFICATION
“RE: ________ CREDIT CARD
AMOUNT OUTSTANDING: $xxxx.xx
COLLECTION REFERENCE: __________
ALTERNATIVE REFERENCES:______________

Dear ____________:

THIS LETTER IS TO INFORM YOU THAT CONTACT RESOURCE SERVICES INC. RECENTLY PURCHASED YOUR ________ CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT. WE WOULD LIKE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO SATISFY YOUR ACCOUNT. YOU CAN DO SO BY CHOOSING ON THE FOLLOWING OPTIONS:

PAY $xxx.xx IN FULL SATISFACTION OF YOUR ACCOUNT; OR

MAKE CONSECUTIVE MONTHLY PAYMENTS OF $xx.xx, AND WE WILL DELETE THE ENTIRE INTEREST BALANCE OF $xxxx.xx; OR

CALL OUR OFFICE AT 1-800-673-2203 TO DISCUSS OTHER POSSIBLE ARRANGEMENTS.

IF YOU CHOOSE ONE OF THESE OPTIONS, YOU MUST DO SO ON OR BEFORE 2010/07/12. PLEASE CALL US WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE REGARDING YOUR ACCOUNT.

SINCERELY,

CONTACT RESOURCE SERVICES
1-800-673-2203″

But wait, there’s more.  In slightly smaller but no less imposing capitalized font, the demand letter reads:

UNLESS YOU NOTIFY THIS OFFICE WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER RECEIVING THIS NOTICE THAT YOU DISPUTE THE VALIDITY OF THE DEBT OR ANY PORTION THEREOF, THIS OFFICE WILL ASSUME THIS DEBT IS VALID. IF YOU NOTIFY THIS OFFICE IN WRITING WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM RECEIVING THIS NOTICE, THIS OFFICE WILL OBTAIN VERIFICATION OF THE DEBT OR OBTAIN A COPY OF A JUDGEMENT [sic] AND MAIL YOU COPY OF SUCH JUDGEMENT [sic] OR VERIFICATION. THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO COLLECT A DEBT AND ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE. THIS OFFICE WILL PROVIDE THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE ORIGINAL CREDITOR, IF REQUESTED BY YOU WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM RECEIVING THIS NOTICE.” [emphasis added]

The debt collection letter then concludes with an easy-to-use detachment for Bank use or to return this portion with a cheque or money order payment. Responsible blogging requires due diligence and fact-checking. Background checks and a Google search yields some key information:

1. CRC is an Alberta corporation (but likely has an extra-provincial registration in Ontario), and is self-described as a “National Collection Agency”;

2. CRC is owned by one, Michael A. Cornale, Sr., of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada;

3. Mr. Cornale, Sr. is, coincidentally, a Past President, (1981-1982) of the International Association of Commercial Collectors, Inc.;

4. CRC is a popular topic of discussion on the Canadian Money Advisor forum: http://www.canadian-money-advisor.ca/company/2976.html;

5. Mr. Cornale, Sr. also operates another debt collection agency, Corporate Recovery Services Ltd. in Alberta;

6. In 1999, Mr. Cornale Sr., on behalf of his Alberta company, pleaded guilty to breaching the Alberta Fair Trading Act and provided an Undertaking to the Alberta Director of Fair Trading, which contained an agreed statement of facts that he used unlicensed collectors who also misrepresented their identities (including, in one instance, misleading a consumer that she was calling on behalf of Rogers Cantel legal department), both in writing and over the phone.

The Alberta Director of Fair Trading also issued a Cease and Desist Order against CRC on August 8, 2005 for misleading letters to debtors.

Here’s the bottom-line. This collection letter from Contact Resource Services Inc. is deceptive, misleading and likely constitutes unfair trading practice. If anyone receives such a notice they should immediately report it to the Ministry of Consumer Services.Here’s why. When an institutional creditor, such as a credit card company, writes off a credit card account debt (also known as a “charge-off”), it does so on the basis that it has determined the debt is uncollectible (i.e. a bad debt) and treats it as such for accounting and tax purposes.

If the credit card company then assigns this receivable/debt to a third party, such as a collection agency, the limitation period applicable to the original debt is not suspended or renewed. So, if the limitation period applicable to the original default has expired, then a subsequent demand by the same creditor or assignee of the debt is not lawful or legally enforceable.

Recall the wording of CRC’s collection letter above:

“UNLESS YOU NOTIFY THIS OFFICE WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER RECEIVING THIS NOTICE THAT YOU DISPUTE THE VALIDITY OF THE DEBT OR ANY PORTION THEREOF, THIS OFFICE WILL ASSUME THIS DEBT IS VALID.”

This is simply a ruse to induce the consumer in responding to the debt collection letter, irrespective of the “validity of the debt”. In this example, the alleged debt dated back to the mid-1990’s and the original credit card supplier made its final demand in 2001 and then assigned it to CRC. (Ignore the fact that the credit card debt was originally around $300.00 and incurred by someone other than the alleged debtor).

This is the old “silence is an admission” trap. What happens then if the consumer does call CRC?

IF YOU NOTIFY THIS OFFICE IN WRITING WITHIN 30 DAYS FROM RECEIVING THIS NOTICE, THIS OFFICE WILL OBTAIN VERIFICATION OF THE DEBT OR OBTAIN A COPY OF A JUDGEMENT [sic] AND MAIL YOU COPY OF SUCH JUDGEMENT [sic] OR VERIFICATION.

The CAA and Regulation are explicit: collection agency notice letters are not to be used as fishing expeditions. Does calling the telephone number provided constitute consent to release of credit information? Not in the slightest, but, once they reel you in, good luck getting the hook out.

The subtle point is that CRC is trying to spring a trap on the unwary. Most non-lawyers are unfamiliar with limitation periods and how they work. Under the new Limitations Act, 2002, the former limitation of 6 years was repealed, subject to transitional provisions. The new Act specifies that no proceeding shall be commenced in respect of a claim, after the second anniversary of the day on which the claim was discovered. The fundamental issue is the meaning of the term ““acknowledgment” under s. 13.1 of the new Act, which reads:

S. 13(1) If a person acknowledges liability in respect of a claim for payment of a liquidated sum, … the act or omission on which the claim is based shall be deemed to have taken place on the day on which the acknowledgment was made.

….

(9) This section does not apply unless the acknowledgment is made to the person with the claim, the person’s agent … before the expiry of the limitation period applicable to the claim.[emphasis added]

In Hare v. Hare, 2006 CanLII 41650 (ON C.A.) , an appeal involving a claim made on a demand promissory note, the Court of Appeal for Ontario confirmed the well established rule that a demand notes matures as soon as it is delivered. The majority held (2:1) that that rule was not disturbed by the new Act. Thus, the limitation begins to run as soon as the money is advanced. However, the running of the limitation can be started afresh by an acknowledgment, such as a payment being made on account. (the Limitations Act was amended in response to the Hare decision)

Caveat debitor.

69 Responses to “Caveat Debitor: Don’t Respond to This Debt Collection Notice”

  1. Tammy Cravit Says:

    This collection letter is very interesting because, apart from the issues you noted, the fine-print language reads like it was crafted to comply with the U.S. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. I wonder if Mr. Cornale Sr. is doing business here as well as in Canada.

  2. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Good point. It’s possible. Thanks, Antonin

  3. chantal Says:

    What if they call me after sending me the letter?

  4. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    No difference.

  5. Johann Schroeder Says:

    I’m in with this bastard company as well trying to get money out of me but I haven’t given them a cent yet because I caught them in a few lies already. I told them I would call them back once I figured out what to do.

    The company that they bought the debt from they don’t deal with the account anymore and has been written off already. as far as I’m concerned they bought a debt that I don’t have to deal with anymore.

    It’s like buying a repossessed car then expecting the original owner to pay the new owner the money they spent out of their own pocket at their own will then try to bully you into paying.

  6. unhappy Says:

    I keep getting calls from them saying they have a special offer for me and to call but what i don’t get is this account they bought is almost 8 years old now and not even on my credit report any more so can they still get a judgment on this ? and the interest that is on their now is so high double what the card was which i find brutal.

  7. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    I don’t give legal advice here. All I can suggest is that you contact the Better Business Bureau first and file a complaint. You may also consider filing a complaint with the Canadian federal Competition Bureau or the appropriate provincial agency (in Ontario, the Ministry of Consumer Services: http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/default.aspx) or the equivalent governmental agency in your jurisdiction. An 8 year old bad debt is likely time-barred (meaning the limitation period to sue has expired), but you must consult with a lawyer in your jurisdiction to determine the applicable limitation period.

  8. D. James Says:

    I sent them a registered letter after receiving 40 plus harassing telephone calls and told them to provide me with full details of the alleged debt. They did not respond.

  9. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Thanks. I wish more people would follow your example.

  10. Joanne Says:

    Responded;
    Didn’t know this was not allowed, made a payment with this agency. How do I get out of this or can I? Any suggestions would be great.

  11. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    You may wish to file a complaint with the provincial or state agency in your jurisdiction that regulates debt collection agencies, or local Better Business Bureau. Depending on the amount of the original debt, you may also consider hiring a lawyer in your jurisdiction.

  12. peter scott Says:

    They have contacted me 3 times regarding a person I know nothing about. Trying to be nice I called them back twice and told them they had the wrong number and asked that they stop calling me.

    They called again today, and this time they had obtained my name. I called the Alberta Consumer Contact Centre and they advised me to give them written notification that they had the wrong person and if they contacted me again I should submit a formal complaint.

    Letter written, emailed to their general email address, off to the post office with a registered mail letter and to fax it to the 2 fax numbers I have for them…….let’s see what happens.

  13. paul Says:

    I finally got my fico back to 783 after 9 years – what if I already responded denying the debt and citing the limitations act of Ontario

  14. paul Says:

    amazing you are not at fault and still it costs you money because of some bottom feeder

  15. paul Says:

    so the reporting bureaus know this and still report false or misleading information – collusion???? where is corproate governance for publically traded companies???

  16. paul Says:

    sorry – publicly

  17. johnny johnson Says:

    this company should not be in business, there scam company and most are un registerd collection officers [redacted] . i should no i use to work for them until i got wise to there unscrupulus businees works.

    [Edited and redacted to remove defamatory content. Original spelling retained]

  18. johnny johnson Says:

    there is one lady that works at contact resource services named [redacted], she has been fired from several collection agencys and has be forbidden to be a collection officer in the province of alberta and has beeen fined also. yet she continues to work for contact .some may ask how i know this. well i use to work in the same office. contact resource services is a corrupt company and should be investigated for fraud and un fair business practices.i am not a disgrunted pass employee i just didnt like working for a company that had no morales.

    [Edited and redacted to remove defamatory content. Original spelling retained]

  19. Emmanuel Says:

    I’ve been called multiple times after I told them never to call back again. They now result in calling me, but not speaking on the phone. Just calling and leaving the line open. I’ve called them back today (fed up) since I can see their phone numbers on my caller ID and I was being told that no one has called me since august which is BS. I’ve finally decided to place a complaint on them for harassment at the Police, waiting for their call back within 7 days as the 911 operator told me. Yeah I know it’s funny to have called 911, but that’s what the SQ told me to do.

    Just to add, they are calling for an account that I had in 2003 (we are in 2012) that I had paid and which doesn’t even show on my credit report. Unfortunately I do not have the letter that was sent to me by canadian tire saying that I had paid it.

    J’ai ete appeler a mainte reprise par cette companie meme apres leur avoir dits de ne plus appeler. Maintenant, ils appellent mais ne parlent pas au telephone. Y font just appeler et laisse la ligne sur mute. Comme j’ai l’afficheur du numero, je vois que c’est bien eux. J’ai appeler tout de suite apres leur appel sans avoir un interlocuteur ou but du fils encore une fois, et la femme a qui j’ai parler, qui avait un ton condescendant comme ca ne se peut pas, ma dis que personne ne m’avait aplé depuis Aout, ce qui est de la b***s***. Donc j’ai decider de porter plainte aupres de la police, et j’attend le rapelle comme que la femme du 911 mas dis. Ca fait bizare de devoir appeler le 911 pour ca, mais c’est ce que la SQ m’as dis de faire.

    Just pour ajouter, ils appellent pour un compte que j’ai eu en 2003 (on est en 2012), que j’avais payer et qui n’apparait meme plus sur mon rapport de credit non plus. Malheureusement je nai plus la lettre de canadian tire qui confrimait avoir payer le montant total.

  20. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Thank you for your comment.
    Best of luck on your police complaint.

    Merci pour votre commentaire. Bonne chance dans votre plainte à la police.

  21. Emmanuel Says:

    Thanks will post back when I have more info from the police.

  22. Rebecca Says:

    This company contacts me every year around this time. I had an old debt with Rogers from 2005 and last payment in 2006. Only this year the collection agency called my old work number and left message on my co-worker’s voicemail ( I moved offices so new number a of 3 yrs ago). How they got the number I have no idea.

    The kicker is the lie. The woman said she was calling from Rogers about “my complaint escalating.” What complaint? She also said “that if I did not respond, they would make a decision on my behalf.” Uh, what complaint?? I haven’t had any contact with Rogers since 2006. Not to mention this is from Ontario and I’ve now resided in Alberta 6 yrs this month.

  23. Christine Says:

    I am in Saskatchewan, and just got off the phone with these guys. They have been relentless, regarding a debt that occurred PRIOR to 2001. She suggested I get a credit card to pay off the debt…I pointed out that paying credit with credit was AGAINST THE LAW. Then she told me I should get a cash advance to pay it. When I pointed out that I apparently can’t get a credit card, with this sitting on my credit, she told me that yes “it looks maxed out”, which perked me up a bit. When I asked how she knew, and pointed out that she was NOT allowed to be looking at my credit report without my consent, she said that once something was in collections they could. I know this is not true!! Wow…I have some research to do. I have not paid them a dine thankfully, now if i could just get them to quit calling!

  24. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Thanks for your comment. Please note that my post deals with Ontario law, so Saskatchewan law may differ regarding the applicable limitation period. That said, a 2001 debt without acknowledgment of the debt on your part is likely time-barred. I recommend that you consult with a lawyer who is a member of the Saskatchewan bar and has experience in debtor-creditor law. Good luck.

  25. Joe Says:

    I recently just received a letter from this company for a debt that is not mine and in the process of sending them a registered letter. I’m not exactly sure what to write in it. Is there a sample letter that you could link me to? Also, should I sign it? Thanks, very informative article!

  26. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    P.S. This post by Richard Carlson, a Saskatchewan lawyer whose practice includes debtor-creditor law may be of assistance: http://www.rickcarlson.com/court.php?article=limitation

  27. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Thanks for your comment and question. I don’t have a sample letter, nor is there any precedent that exists. Generally, a denial of the debt and a demand to cease and desist in further contact will suffice. If a debt collection agency ignores or refuses to comply, then an individual may file a complaint with the applicable governmental agency. Signing a letter is proper form.

    I hasten to add that you should consult with a qualified lawyer, as this is a personal blog and I neither dispense free legal advice, nor should you construe my general reply comment as such.

  28. Anna Harding Says:

    We bought a house which had been a rental. The previous occupants owed money and Contact Resource Services tried to dun us. Their thesis was that in buying the house we assumed responsibility for all debts of all previous occupants. This has been going on for four years, periodically they call and harass us.

  29. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    That’s ridiculous. You really should file a complaint with an Ombudsman or provincial government agency, or get an injunction to stop the harassment.

  30. designer0311 Says:

    PLEASE HELP ME WITH THE FOLLOWING:

    I had a line of credit with a company that went to collections, and It is scheduled to come off my credit report in June 2013 (as the date of last activity for the original creditor is June 2007).

    I received the exact same copy of the letter from CRS as posted above. When I ordered my credit report I noticed that CRS had re-aged my date of last activity (or date of last payment) to May 2008, which was 11 months later. I know that I have not made any payments to anyone on this account so the date of last activity should be the original date of June 2007. I know this is illegal in the US, but I was wondering if they are able to re-age a debt to make it seem newer in Canada. If they are not allowed to do this, what steps of action can I take to make sure it is removed by June of this year?

  31. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Thanks for your comment. As my blog disclaimer states, this is my personal, not professional blog. I cannot dispense any legal advice to you unless I am formally retained. I never offer free advice. Legal advice is something that you pay for. I also don’t know where you are located, so it is difficult for me to point you to any online resources that may assist you. If you are in Ontario, as I referenced in my post, consult the Ministry of Government Services website: Your Rights When Dealing With Collection Agencies (see backgrounder here)

  32. Gera Says:

    My daughter was starting her first year university and a credit card company had a table set up and was offering credit to kids that did not even have a job! Of course my daughter signed up and instead of starving used the card and got in over her head. In November 2010 Contact resource services purchased her acct, her last payment was march 2010. She had no money to pay this in full and they would not accept payments so she stopped answering their calls, she had asked them send info to her address but they never did, apparently they will only do this if you send a letter requesting so. Now they have served a Notice of Claim that my mother signed for not knowing what is was. My daughter did not know what to do and the 14 days are past that were given to reply by. They want the original balance of 4,400 plus interest and fees for a total of 6,797 or they will garnish her wages. Could you give any advice on this?

  33. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Thanks for your comment.

    Unfortunately, I don’t give advice on my personal blog. You have to pay for legal advice.

    I also do not know where you live, meaning in which jurisdiction you reside.

    You refer to a “Notice of Claim”, but this does not sound like a Statement of Claim and 14 days is not a common time-frame to respond to a pleading.

    I suggest that your daughter consult with a lawyer (or licensed paralegal) to canvass her legal options. Collection agencies prefer to not litigate and want to settle. If her credit card debt is older than 2 years and she did not personally acknowledge the debt, then no one else has her authority to waive her limitation period defence.

    If she has been served with a Claim (presumably in small claims court), then she has the right to defend herself by delivering a statement of defence.

  34. Sonny Says:

    Out of the blue I received one of their form letters. Not only was this debt written off, but it hadn’t been on my Credit report for an extremely long time! I’m just wondering how they obtain this information?
    Alberta resident

  35. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    The credit card companies sell their unpaid accounts/write-offs in bulk.

  36. Sonny Says:

    You have some great resources for Ontario here…so I went on a search for similar Alberta resources. To my surprise I came across the bullies from CRS! They received a fine in AB for operating with unlicensed agents as well as violating the Fair Practices Act etc.. the website is as follows.: . http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/pdf/undertakings/Contact_Resource_Services_Sept-29-10.pdf

    You can also go to the following for a LIST of agencies that were reported and fined etc.

    http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/1288.cfm#Collection

  37. Adrian Says:

    I have just had a similar experience with a company called Integrity First Telesolutions. They called me last week (Wednesday, iirc), about an alleged debt from 1996! Yes, 1996.

    As others have mentioned, a debt that old longer shows up on my credit report (in 2010, my bank gave my wife and I a $240,000 mortgage, plus I was given one personal and one business credit card for $5000 ea as well as $5000 overdraft on my business account with NO JOB — my wife had NO credit).

    However, something I’d like to point out is, according to the Ontario Gov’t (I phoned them this morning), the CAA does NOT apply to agencies/companies etc who buy written-off debt (e.g. limitation period has expired). It only applies to collection/recovery agencies hired by your original creditor. Your only recourse is a cease and desist letter and/or the BBB. Case in point: I sent a registered letter demanding proof of debt, original contract, notice of settlement, proof of authorization to collect the debt etc etc etc… this particular agency has not attempted to contact me since receiving my letter.

    Do your due diligence. But also understand, “debt does not die — it just becomes a zombie….”

  38. diana Says:

    Im so happy i found this blog I thought i was going crazy this company is relentless my account went to them in 2000 and they were paid in full by a registered cheuqe which they requested then a year later they started calling i then faxed a copy of the cashed cheuqe to them and they went away again then in 2005 they started again we sent another fax of the cheuqe and they went away now last year they started calling again i have told them for over a year that i refuse to deal with them they have been paid and this is over they cant do anything to me now they tod me then that no they can take legal proceedings its to late for that! and no they cant report to the credit bureus its also to late for that ? now here is my problem now today i got a call from alberta from the same lady that has been calling for ontario previously and then i told her in not so nice words to bugger off 4 hours later she calls from ontario again and by now i have calmed down i ask her a calmly as i can what she thinks is going to come of this? she cant touch my credit she cant sue me so why keep calling is this a gme she likes to play or is she lonley she then informs me that i have cleaned up my credit quite nice which admittly made me sit up to attention so i asked her how she knows anything about my current credit its none of her bussiness she then informs me she is looking at it right now and if i dont pay she will continue to look iinto it causing me to lose points every time she does i dont know where to go now because now im afraid i have a stalked!!!! these people are completley crazy but i dont think i should have to pay them again!!!!!

  39. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Report them to the provincial Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Affairs in your jurisdiction. If necessary, change your phone number and make it private. Also, order a copy of your credit report from Equifax and TransUnion to see if they have accessed your records. If so, file a complaint with the credit bureaus and with the provincial Ombudsman.

  40. Peter Says:

    I am one of the CRS victims as a result of a default on my TD VISA account after I lost all my assets and life savings in a fraudulent divorce, and was left literally with my old car, laptop, the shirt on my back, and homeless. TD Bank, after receiving all the info (being laid off, no assets, on welfare) understood and wrote off the debt – 11 (eleven) years ago! And now comes the notorious CRS.

    My question: A debt is an asset, positive or negative, for both the debtor and the debtee (is that a correct term?). If the Debtee can sell a ‘debt receivable’ to a third party like CRS, why couldn’t the Debtor sell his ‘debt payable’ to a fourth party as well? What would happen if I sold my ‘debt payable’ to TD to Joe Blow who in exchange for some consideration would accept in writing the responsibililty for payment of my debt, and then he declared a bankrupcy. Would I be out of the picture by then?

    If one side of a debt (demand) can be sold, why the other side (obligation to pay) could not be sold as well? This is a very interesting point, with potentially major implication for the entire debt collection industry.

    Just curious.

  41. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Thanks for your comment. The term you are looking for is “creditor” instead of “debtee”.

    In general terms, accounts receivable (debts owed by a third party) can be assigned or sold to fourth parties. Accounts payable (debts owing to a third party) can be assigned (e.g. security or collateral for refinancing with consent of the creditor), but cannot be sold or discharged without consent of the creditor. In other words, if A owes money to B and B assigns the debt to C, A cannot then sell or transfer the debt to D without C’s consent. To do so may be considered an assignment or preference to avoid, hinder or delay payment to a creditor under the Assignments and Preferences Act, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and Creditors’ Relief Act.

    Of course, if you are looking for legal advice, then you need to consult with a lawyer in your jurisdiction with experience in Debtor-Creditor law.

  42. Sandra Says:

    I had a call from Contact Resource Services too. THey got a hold of my private phone number – it is private because of a stalker. how did they get it. I have no business with Rogers – when I contact Rogers, they say they cannot help or do anything about this. They have a lot of private information on me, which means they are breaking the privacy laws of Ontario as well as the collection laws. THey say that Rogers transferred my account in April 2013 – which is a complete lie. I do not have anything to do with Rogers. These guys need to be put on criminal charges, but non of us have the ability to hire a lawyer nor the time to deal with it. Can we not all get together and do a class action suit against them. The best way to deal with them is to have them go bankrupt shut them down. It is totally operated on stolen information and using harassing information. I say we all say yes to this and get a lawyer to serve them and shut them out of business. If we win the class action, then we press criminal charges. Lets bring this scum down and put them in jail where they belong for life.
    Class action, some law firms will do it based on percentage of money back. Lets see what we can do.

  43. Don Says:

    I have been harassed by Iqor, a ruthless collection agency, for a small amount of money that I refuse to give to Rogers due to them not giving me the service. Rogers is probably going to sell this “debt” to Contact Resources. It is 3 years old. I got an application on my phone that fixes them. It dumps their calls.

  44. Don Says:

    Contact Resources has been sending me these form letters a few times a year about a debt that is 10 years old. I am happy they don’t have a current phone number, but even if they did, I would be able to block their calls. If somebody does not respond to their letters, why don’t they assume that the recipient is aware of their rights and consumer law? I suppose it is business for Canada Post.

  45. april Says:

    So i had a rogers phone in 2006. I havent heard from rogers or the contact resources ever. I moved to alberta last year. and all of a sudden 2 months ago i have been recieving phone calls *(they refer to me in my maiden name) as i have been married for almost 5 years now… telling me i have a debt that needs to be settled asap. i keep telling them why havent i heard from you sooner and what not. they want me to pay the minimum so they can take off the interest owing.. but i just cant make this stupid payment they want. its impossible. and they just call every month or so.. no letters in the mail or email or anything. I wonder how they all of a sudden found my phone number… under my maiden name especially.. what do i do?

  46. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction.

  47. Rick Says:

    Interesting site/blog. I had a Canadian Tire card that i defaulted on back in 1991. This company still harasses me. I now own a house and 2 cars, have credit cards etc. I also got a LOC last year for over $300,000. Obviously my credit. I in great shape.

    Here’s the deal. I got a letter last week and a phone call this evening in Nova Scotia and I basically told the lady she had the wrong person and hung up. This was at 9 p.m. 3 minutes later the lady phoned my work phone and left a voice mail which was sent to me via email. Isn’t this harassment to be phoning my work phone especially at 9 p.m.?

    In Nova Scotia, who should I phone to report this activity to? Like I said the default was from back in 1991 and i never once have acknowledged the bad debt. Any and all comments are welcomed and appreciated

  48. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    “Nova Scotia
    Nova Scotia residents who wish to make a complaint should do so online at http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/consumer/resolve.asp. This webpage is titled “Consumer Information – Resolving Consumer
    Issues”. You need to scroll down to the bottom of this page and click where it says “To submit a consumer complaint please click here”. If you scroll down on the next page there is a form titled CONSUMER COMPLAINT FORM which you can fill out online and then submit online.

    Nova Scotia residents can also telephone Service Nova Scotia for assistance with a complaint at (902) 424-5200 or toll free at (800) 670-4357.”

    Source: http://www.collection-calls.ca/complaint-collection-agency.html

  49. Rick Says:

    Thank you for responding.

    The first link above doesn’t work, but for your readers who are being harassed in Nova Scotia maybe they can use https://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/access/individuals/consumer-awareness/making-complaints/have-a-complaint.asp.

  50. Bob Fish Says:

    I have started to get calls from CR as well and I have told them they have the wrong fellow. Today she wanted my address as well as my birthdate which I refused – she said if I wasnt guilty then there should be no problem giving my dates. I said give me the dates you have and she said it was confidential. Should I have told my dates to get them to stop calling?

  51. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Are you kidding? Never give out your personal information to anyone, including your address, birth date, mother’s maiden name, blood type…you get the idea. If they call you again, ask them for their address and birth date and then tell them to get lost.

  52. Bob Fish Says:

    Thanks for replying. After she said I was guilty it made me think and I almost gave it but then reason took over and I ended the call. Thanks again for your blog it has made me think twice before giving any info.

  53. Rick Says:

    My official complaint has been filed with the Nova Scotia government. I will update the site as I and/or the NS government moves through the process.

  54. Alex Says:

    I received a call again today from crs looking for another person who considers me as her stepfather, even though we are not legally related at all! The lady who called mislead me from the start by saying “the stepdaughter” had filled out an application with them and left this contact number. Not realizing they were a debt collector at first, I gave them a number to contact her. I went on-line and looked up CRS and discovered your blog. These people as well as other collection agencies have called here repeatedly for at least 2 years asking to speak to “the stepdaughter” and just as repeatedly benn informed that she does not and has not ever lived at this address. They have been advised that this phone number also does not belong to me as I merely rent a room from the home owner. I have on every occasion that they call asked them to stop harrassing myself and the home owners and to remove this number from all documentation relating to “the stepdaughter”. They simply ignore the request and continue the harrassment. The person they are trying to contact (“the stepdaughter”) has also been informed to stop using this number as a contact for years now, but also ignores me. She refers to me as her stepfather based on the fact that her mother and I were boyfriend/girlfriend for 6 years. That relationship ended 14 years ago…..I also had my own place at the time. The debts she owes are many and all all 5 to 10 years old. “the stepdaughter” is a drug addict and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia…..in no condition to work or even understand the circumstances. These people are relentless. I contemplating pressing charges with the police followed by a law suit, as are the property and phone owners.

  55. Stephen Says:

    Great post, You are a huge value to the community, and should be rewarded as such. Here is my concern:

    I have already been paying off a debt owed that CRS now owns and wish/did not find this site fast enough. They bought the debt from Citifinancial, which was well over the 7 year limit in Ontario. This is my last month of payment to CRS, as I have payed on time. What should I demand from them when I finish making all of the payments? This has been my only outstanding debt ever, and I want it to be reflected on my credit that it has been payed in full.

    Any and all help would be appreciated.

  56. Aliana Says:

    I had a similar experience. She called my work and said she was calling from Rogers. I asked for her name and the name of her supervisor at Rogers then, but she refused to give me that information so I hung up.

  57. Jessi Says:

    I recently moved back to Ontario and started to receive harassing phone calls (non stop) from this company. They allege they bought a Rogers debt of mine two years ago.
    In 2005 and 2006 I had several problems with Rogers and ended up paying out a remaining contract with them because I found their service terrible. So I have a few problems: one, I never had debts with Rogers, two I am in the process of applying to become a police officer (working hard the last few years), because a good credit rating is required I am extremely frustrated that this company alleges they bought my account two years ago but only recently tried to contact me!! The first time they called they wanted to know my birth date, credit card number etc etc. I told them I had no idea who they were and what Rogers debt they were talking about. I told them if I indeed owed money to send me a letter in the mail detailing who they are, what account they are referring to, the amount I owed, in addition to a copy of the transcripts of our phone conversations.

    This has been going on for months now, each time they call they demand money and threaten legal action. Its bad enough that I am scared they have ruined my chance of becoming a police officer, but how do I stop these harassing phone calls??
    Each time they call I tell them to send me a letter, which I have not received and its been a few months. I am not giving out ANY personal information over the phone, if I cannot verify who they say they are.

    On a few occasions I have had family over, once my mother picked up the phone and CRS was speaking to her about my alleged account information (amount, account number, etc.).
    Last week I had an old high school friend call me and say that a company called his cell last week threatening legal action and left a message he thought was for me. I assume they got his contact information on Facebook, because the name they referred to me by is a name I only go by on Facebook.

    Some questions I have are:
    -How do I get them to mail me the details of this alleged account, even though I have requested it 10+ times
    -Is it illegal for them to discuss private account information with family and friends
    -What steps should I take, I have never dealt with a collection agency and want to make sure I do so in the correct way…..

    Sincerely,
    Extremely overwhelmed!

  58. awilliams Says:

    This is a long one….but thank you to anyone who gets to the end….

    I had a student loan with CIBC which started in 1997. Finished school in 2002, and my mother offered to pay for my loan upfront as a graduation gift. She paid off Canada Student Loan for me. Anyway, long story short here, she was unaware that back then student loans in Ontariio came in 2 chunks, the Canada Student Loan portion and then the Ontario Student Loan portion. So when she started getting calls for me regarding the Ontario Student Loan portion, she kept telling them that my student loan was paid off and to stop calling. I’d moved out of the house by this time and eventually, about a year and a half later, had also left the country to work abroad. The calls to my mother eventually stopped.

    I know, you could argue that maybe we/she was being a little naive about what was going one, but it’s in the past now….at least 12 years in the past as far as my calculations can estimate.

    So, I spent 8 years in England and came back last year with husband and son, and soon after we’d open a new jointbank account in Canada and started depositing money into it, we one day found that the account had been emptied down to the last penny. A few thousand dollars. In a panic we started the investigation to find out what on earth had happened to our money. Checked my credit report to see what it said and there were no delinquent accounts on it. In fact I had no credit history on report at all because I’d been gone for so long. Eventually, it was brought to light that the money I owed to CIBC for the Ontario Student Loan was taken from our account by a collection agency. We’d opened our new joint account with CIBC as well and the funny thing is that when we were opening it, the guy who did all of our personal checks even said to us that all dealings with CIBC and myself in the past were all good, he even mentioned the Canada Student Loan that had been paid in full…and proceeded to open our new account. It turns out that due to the fact that it was a student loan, the statute of limitions does not apply, and they basically rinsed out account as soon as it had money in it. We ended up getting it back by proving that the money was not mine and was entirely my husbands. I have since been paying off the student loan through the collection agency on a monthly basis and as it stand the collection account is in good standing. It was a real kick in the arse to come back to Canada and come back to this, as I was unaware of the debt, stupidly, I know.

    Here is my problem though now. When we checked my credit report last year, there was nothing on it. Now, in Sept 2013, the CIBC student loan has magically reappeared, with a date of last activity as May of 2009. It should actually be sometime in 2002, and would have long dropped off my report, and considering that in June/July of 2012 it was not on my report, I’m assuming it would have been deleted if it had ever been there. I’ve had no financial activity at all in Canada since 2004. I have a print out of a credit report from April of this year (2013) with nothing but a FIDO account on it, in good standing. Now the report as of AUG 2013 has the CIBC student account on it. How can this be? Especially when all this confusion with our account being emptied happend in June of 2012. Why over a year later is this showing up on my report?

    Has this debt been re-aged illegally? And/or by whom?

    Advice would be appreciated as my credit score with Equifax is ridiculously low now because of this. It was very good at the beginning of the year. All other accounts are in perfect standing. Really upset about this, we are trying to buy a house.

  59. Rick Says:

    After filing my official complaint and also reporting them to The proper agency in Nova Scotia, I was notified by the government agency that my name was taken off of their list.

    Do not put up with Contact Resource or their harassment like shenanigans.

  60. Racquel Garnette Says:

    That is nice you don’t have to respond to the debt collection notice. I been getting phone calls from Integrity First collections canada. One time i listen to the voicemail they left on my answering machine and a guy says that ” My name is Dan and we don’t want to bother you that much but we want to offer you deal.
    When i researched the company i found out that they are related to Bell canada. I am don’t have a phone contract with them anymore. It seems like they want my money. It is not my fault when when my bill was overcharge every single month.

    When they found out that i didn’t get to pay the big amount on my cellphone bill then they cancel my bill by the February month a few months after that i didn’t hear from them. That was like 2011-2012. Now all of sudden they want to call me now. I think that is too little and too late. I just want them to leave me alone.

  61. BBdosch Says:

    Contact Resource Services uses deceptive methods of obtaining personal info form phone contacts. (personal experience)

    They impersonate Canada Post claiming you have undelivered mail they’d like to reroute to your current address.

    Isn’t it illegal to impersonate governmental establishments and services?

    Don’t be fooled by sweet talking act.

    Some of the numbers they use to impersonate Canada Post.

    1-902-708-8311
    1-902-442-8588
    1-902-708-8307

  62. Ms. Skidmore Says:

    Hi, thank you for the great info, but could u clear up one part of that letter? Where it says that they “recently purchased” the account. I’m seeing articles on the internet that if an account is purchased it is exempt from the statue of limitations because the collection agency is now first party? Can u clear this up?

  63. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    If the limitation period was tolled (expired, prescribed) when the third party collection agency purchased the accounts receivable or debt, then the action on the debt cannot be resurrected. It is irrelevant that the cause of action was assigned by the original creditor, if the action was statute-barred at the time the assignment was made.

  64. VC Says:

    If I understand correctly, a collection agency that purchases a debt. becomes the Debt Buyer and owns all the original documents (credit application, etc.)? The original creditor is no longer involved with any dispute resolution.

    Is there a term for a collection agency that hasn’t purchased the debt and is working on behalf of the original creditor, who still has the original documents associated to the account? Would they be the “Third Party” collector?

  65. Racquel Garnette Says:

    I found out that they are working for Bell Canada. When i reported about them to the better bureau they trying to say that they are not calling about my cellphone debt. That is a lie. The person wanted to claim that he was calling me about my old mastercard debt. I haven’t recieve any letters saying that i owe any money about my mastercard debt. The integrity first telesolutions inc works with another company called themselves EOS NCN. They made EOS NCN call me most of the time because all they want is my money. They wanted to speak to me about this i don’t want to speak to them about anything. I know what they are up to. The person is lying about what he is calling about because they are trying to cover there ass. I am not speaking to them and i am not paying for something i don’t owe. They could write this off. i reported them to the consumer services but i haven’t heard anything back from them. i just hope they leave me alone very soon. Integrity First Telesolutions Inc company is not listed. They just want to do what they want to do. All they want to do is make everybody life misberable with there phone calls everyday. When they bring this to the third party they don’t even say anything on the phone either. When you pick the phone for integrity first telesolutions they don’t say a word. Yup Integrity First Telesolutions inc works with EOS NCN. EOS NCN phone calls is so annoying.

  66. VC Says:

    Poor analogy. The collector buy’s ownership of the debt (the right to collect). The debtor (you) remains the same and still owes the debt.

  67. buckatachicken Says:

    Multiple sources in the comment thread state that they have sent a “registered letter” to the collections company after which the telephone calls had stopped. What is meant by a registered letter, and how does one go about porcuring one?

    i.e adrian’s commnet:
    “I sent a registered letter demanding proof of debt, original contract, notice of settlement, proof of authorization to collect the debt etc etc etc… this particular agency has not attempted to contact me since receiving my letter.”

  68. Emmanuel Chayer Says:

    A registered letter is a letter that you pay the post office to deliver with a signature proof. It can also mean a letter that is written by a lawyer firm for a fee (usually under 100$) and then sent by that firm to the company.

  69. Paul Scott Anderson Says:

    I’m just wondering when the date of discoverability starts? When you are first contacted by a collection agency? Or when? Thanks!

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