4. Find out who a collection agency can contact

What rules do collection agencies have to follow and what are my rights when dealing with them?
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4. Find out who a collection agency can contact

A collection agency can contact your family, friends, or other people who know you to get your:

  • home address
  • telephone number

But the law says that this is the only information they can contact these people about.  If a collection agency contacts these people for any other reasons, the collection agency is breaking the law.

The law also says that a collection agency can’t tell people things that are false or misleading about you.

Contacting your employer

Usually, a collection agency can't contact your employer. But the law says they can do this if:

  • your employer guaranteed to pay the debt, and the collection agency is calling for payment of the debt
  • you gave the collection agency permission to contact your employer 
  • the collection agency calls only once for the purpose of confirming your employment, business title, and/or business address

The collection agency can also contact your employer if:

  • you signed a wage assignment
  • they have a court order that says they can contact your employer

Other people a collection agency can contact

A collection agency can contact:

  • your guarantor or co-debtor
  • someone you told the collection agency it was okay to contact

If your family member, employer, or friend is a guarantor or co-debtor, the collection agency is allowed to call them to collect on the debt.

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Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Reviewed: August 17, 2018

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