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A collection agency called about a debt I don’t owe. What can I do?

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A collection agency called about a debt I don’t owe. What can I do?
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Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Community Advocacy & Legal Centre (CALC)

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A collection agency called about a debt I don’t owe. What can I do?
This question has an answer and 5 steps
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Reviewed: 
August 17, 2018
Answer

If a collection agency calls you about a debt that you don’t think you owe, don’t give them money or personal information.

Your creditor or the collection agency may have made a mistake. A creditor is a person or business you owe money to.

Contact the collection agency and explain that:

  • you don’t owe the money, or
  • the information they have is wrong.

Then, the collection agency can contact your creditor to find out why they claim that you do owe the money.

If the collection agency is trying to collect a debt that you already paid, you may also want to contact the creditor. See Step 1.

Making sure it’s a real collection agency

Make sure that the caller is from a real collection agency before you give them any personal information.

A real collection agency will already have details about you and the person or company who hired them to collect the debt. See Step 2.

Disputing the debt

If these things don’t work, you can send a formal letter by registered mail to the collection agency saying that you “dispute the debt” and that you want a court to decide the problem.

If you do this, the collection agency can only contact you if they plan to take you to court. See Step 4.

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