Earlier this month we published an article titled Draft Statements of Claim are a Common Collection Agency Trick, where he discussed the collection agency practice of sending a “Draft” Statement of Claim to debtors. A draft statement of claim looks like an authentic court document commencing a lawsuit against a consumer. Many Canadians who receive a draft statement of claim will think that they have been sued, when in fact, they have not. A draft statement of claim is simply a clever intimidation tactic used by collection agencies to bully Canadians, particularly individuals unfamiliar with seeing court documents.
Laws regulating debt collection practices vary from province to province, and enforcement of these laws is not consistent across the country. In both Ontario and in British Columbia, provincial law prohibits anyone from using a draft statement of claim in the collection of a debt.
Unfortunately, in 2010 many collection agencies hire collection lawyers to send out draft statement of clams to the residents of these provinces despite the fact it is illegal to do so. If you have received a draft statement of claim from a lawyer’s office I would encourage you to contact a trustee to determine your options.
Since CBC News first ran this draft statement of claim story less than a month ago, this unfolding drama is gaining increasing media attention, so I decided to pursue this issue further.
Mark Silverthorn is the author of a new, controversial tell-all book about the collection industry in Canada called The Wolf at the Door: What to Do when Collection Agencies Come Calling.
He has described the draft statement of claim as “a collection letter on steroids”, and in his book he gives an insider’s view of many collection agency tactics.
If you are receiving calls or letters from collection agents then you probably have a debt problem. There are many strategies for dealing with collection agencies, including filing a consumer proposal or filing personal bankruptcy. Which strategy is correct for you? Contact a professional today to arrange a no charge initial consultation to review your options.
You do not need to spend weeks or months dealing with the stress of collection agency phone calls. There are options, so research your options today.