The Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services has recently issued a consultation paper entitled “Consultation on Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act Regulation Reform” (the “Consultation Paper”), addressing various issues relating to the regulations on the collection of debt in Ontario.
The paper contains a number of proposals relating to contacting and communicating with debtors:
- Call Recording– the Consultation Paper explores whether there should be mandatory recording of collection calls. Debtors would need to be advised that the call is recorded and that recording would be stored for a period of time, up to three years. If Debtors are feeling threatened or harassed by a collection agency they would have the ability to request a copy.
- First Notice Rule– Collection agencies would have to send a written notice to the Debtor prior to contacting them.
- Reporting to Credit Reporting Agencies– Creditors would be prohibited from reporting the debt as a “bad debt” to the credit reporting agencies until the first written notice is sent to the Debtor.