News Releases

Media Bulletin - Manitoba

January 31, 2019

MANITOBANS REMINDED OF THEIR RIGHTS WHEN DEALING WITH CREDITORS



Manitoba Justice’s Consumer Protection Office (CPO) reminds Manitobans of their rights related to debt collection and encourages individuals to make arrangements for repayment of money owed.

If you fall behind on a payment, your creditor may hire a collection agent to contact you to collect the money they are owed.  In Manitoba, collection agents and their collectors must be licensed by the CPO.  Under the rules set out in The Consumer Protection Act collectors cannot:
•    phone or visit before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Monday though Saturday, or any time on Sundays and statutory holidays;
•    threaten you with any action for which they do not have authority;
•    deliberately mislead you with documents that look like court or legal documents when they are not;
•    seize or attempt to seize property you own, unless it is specifically pledged as collateral for your loan; or
•    harass you, your family, neighbours or friends.

If a collector contacts you, write down their name and the name of the collection agent they represent.  You can contact the CPO to confirm they are a registered collector or licensed collection agent.  A collector cannot make a demand for payment unless you have been told the name of the creditor or the balance of the debt owing.

If the debt sounds unfamiliar or you think there has been an error, inform the collector and contact your creditor immediately.  You can also request a free copy of your credit report each year from Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada to ensure that your financial information is accurately reported.  If the debt belongs to you, an outstanding payment may affect your credit score.

It is good practice to keep track of payments made to a collection agent.  When you make a payment, you have the right to request a dated receipt, which should list the amount paid and the name of the creditor or company owed.

Unpaid debts do not disappear.  It is better to make arrangements for repayment than ignore collection calls. 

The CPO investigates complaints about collection practices.  Individuals and businesses that fail to comply with the rules related to collection practices may be subject to penalties that range from $1,000 to $20,000.  For more information about debt collection, visit www.gov.mb.ca/justice/cp/cpo/info/collection_practices.html.


Manitobans are encouraged to learn more about consumer protection issues and their rights under the law.  Download the free Consumer Protection mobile app or contact the CPO at 204-945-3800,
1-800-782-0067 (toll-free), or by email at consumers@gov.mb.ca.  More information is available at www.manitoba.ca/cpo.

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