Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

2.6. Costings of collection actions are determined according to operational costs or expenses.

ryanrori January 20, 2021

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What do collection actions mean?

A debtor who is unable to make his or her payments in full and on time are asked to contact the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) promptly to make payment arrangements. If arrangements are not made, MEP can take collection action that includes:

  • Attachment of funds owed to the debtor by an employer, bank or the federal government.
  • Registrations against property and reporting to the Credit Bureau.
  • Restricting access to driver’s licences renewals, vehicle registrations and driver’s abstracts.
  • Restriction of recreational hunting and fishing licences.
  • Suspending driver’s licences and cancelling passports.
  • Requiring a debtor to appear at MEP’s offices or at a court default hearing.
  • Seizing assets hidden in the name of a business, family member or friend. 

Levels of authority pertaining to debt collecting actions 

What practices are off limits for debt collectors?

Harassment. Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact. For example, they may not:

  • use threats of violence or harm;
  • publish a list of names of people who refuse to pay their debts (but they can give this information to the credit reporting companies);
  • use obscene or profane language; or
  • repeatedly use the phone to annoy someone.

False statements. Debt collectors may not lie when they are trying to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • falsely claim that they are attorneys or government representatives;
  • falsely claim that you have committed a crime;
  • falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit reporting company;
  • misrepresent the amount you owe;
  • indicate that papers they send you are legal forms if they aren’t; or
  • indicate that papers they send to you aren’t legal forms if they are.

Debt collectors also are prohibited from saying that:

  • you will be arrested if you don’t pay your debt;
  • they’ll seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages unless they are permitted by law to take the action and intend to do so; or
  • legal action will be taken against you, if doing so would be illegal or if they don’t intend to take the action.

Debt collectors may not:

  • give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company;
  • send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency if it isn’t; or
  • use a false company name.

Unfair practices. Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices when they try to collect a debt. For example, they may not:

  • try to collect any interest, fee, or other charge on top of the amount you owe unless the contract that created your debt – or your state law – allows the charge;
  • deposit a post-dated check early;
  • take or threaten to take your property unless it can be done legally; or
  • contact you by postcard.