Have you been contacted by CCA or another Collection Agency?
What should you do?
If you've been notified in writing or by telephone that an account you owe a creditor has been turned over to CCA or another collection agency, don't panic. CCA is not in business to make life unbearable for you-our objective is to collect and recover the money you owe our client.
There are many reasons people don't pay their debts-financial setback, poor repayment habits, overspending or sometimes they're just not happy with a product they bought.
Whatever the reason, it's important to communicate with the collection agency. When they understand the problem, chances are they will work out a reasonable, manageable way for the consumers to repay their debts.
On the other hand, consumers who don't co-operate with the Collection Agency may find that court action is being taken against them and the debt is being reported on their credit bureau file.
What should I do?
- If possible, pay the money you owe. You won't have to deal with CCA or the Collection Agency once the account has been cleared.
- If it's impossible for you to pay the full amount at once, contact CCA, explaining why. Offer some alternative method of repayment, either in a lump-sum or a series of monthly payments. Follow up in writing and, if possible, enclose a good-faith payment.
- Never send cash. Always make payments in such a way that you have a receipt -either a cancelled cheque from your own bank or a receipt from the agency.
- Once the account has been officially turned over to CCA or another agency, you'll be dealing only with that agency when making arrangements for payment. Don't contact the original creditor-this just creates confusion-unless there's an error in the account. If that's the case, advise both the creditor and the collection agency.
It is important to remember:
- Your attitude towards paying the debt has a lot to do with how co-operative the agency will be. For example, when making payments to the agency, be sure not to bounce cheques and miss payments. However, if your financial circumstances change, contact the collection agency and explain your current status and follow up in writing.
- Debts should not be treated lightly. They can result in court action, which could lead to money being taken from your paycheque (garnishee) or seizure of your assets.
If I feel I'm being treated unfairly by a collector of a collection agency, what can I do?
The first step an individual should take if they feel they are being treated unfairly by a collector is to immediately speak to the collector's supervisor. Explain the situation to the supervisor by stating you would like to resolve your situation however, you are unable to come to any agreement or solution with the collector assigned to your file. In most circumstances this action will result in a satisfactory conclusion, if it does not ask to speak to a manager of the company.