How Long Can You Be Chased/Pursued by Debt Collectors?
You have debt. A lot of debt. And right now you cannot afford to pay your debt off. As a result, you are being chased by debt collectors and collection agents. This can be incredibly stressful. Not only are these calls annoying (and in some cases, harassing), but you may be at the point where you don’t want to even answer your phone or respond to a knock on your door because you’re worried there could be a collection agent there.
For this reason, it makes sense to wonder how long can a collection agency attempt to collect a debt? What you really want to know is: “When can I stop worrying about being chased down by debt collectors and finally relax?”
The answer to the question “how long can a collection agency collect on a debt in Canada?” is that it varies depending on the province in which you live. The Government of Canada states that legal action cannot be taken to collect on a debt after 6 years of the debt last being acknowledged, but provincial rules are often different in respect to the Statute of Limitations.
How Long Can a Collection Agency Collect on a Debt in Ontario?
The Statute of Limitations on debt collection in Ontario is legally two years. This is shorter than how long can you be chased for a debt in Canada, according to the federal government. What this means is that, if you live in Ontario and you have a debt that you have not made any payments on, a debt collectors has up to two years to try to take legal action against you to collect on this debt.
However, if you make any payments, or acknowledge the debt in any way (such as promising to make a payment), this time period restarts. And if you move or change your telephone number and don’t notify the original creditor of those changes, you can also extend the period a collector can chase you down.
It’s important to note that, while the time period for how long can a collection agency collect on a debt in Ontario is two years, this doesn’t mean that you no longer owe the debt. It just means that creditors or collection agents cannot take legal action against you in an Ontario court in order to collect on that debt. The debt will remain on your credit report for at least six years, and you technically continue owing the money even after that point. However, without the threat of legal action, many collection
agents and creditors will stop calling, or will lose their ability to effectively frighten you into making a payment against the debt owed.
How Long Can a Collection Agency Collect on a Debt in British Columbia?
As mentioned, the time period for how long can a collection agency collect on a debt in Canada is six years. However, in British Columbia that time period is only two years, just like in Ontario. This means that creditors and collection agents can continue to contact you – and can potentially take legal action against you – for two years after you have made your last payment.
After this two-year period, you will still owe the debt but collection agents won’t be able to take official legal action in court to collect on it from you.
How Long Can a Collection Agency Collect on a Debt in Alberta?
In Alberta, there is also a two-year limit for creditors or collection agencies who wish to take legal action against you to collect on debts that are owed. After this time, you still owe the debt, but many collection agencies will stop trying to collect since they won’t be able to take legal action against you.
It’s important to note that this limitation can be extended for up to ten years if there is a court judgment against you before the original time limit expires.
As you can see, if you want an answer to the question: How long can you be chased for a debt in Canada? That depends on the province you are in. Understanding the rules related to where you reside is important when speaking with a debt collector. It isn’t unusual for a debt collector to attempt to take advantage of a debtor who is unsure of local laws and legislation.
How Long Can You Legally Be Chased for Debt in Canada?
Being chased by debt collectors is stressful and annoying. You don’t want to live in fear of having someone phoning you constantly, or worse yet knocking on your door and demanding money. In many cases, these collection agents can be very aggressive, sometimes even approaching the point of harassment. So, it’s only natural to want to know how long can a creditor pursue a debt in Canada.
The reality is that there is nothing stopping a debt collector from contacting you many, many years after a debt is due. However, in Canada, creditors or collection agents cannot take legal action against you if it has been six years or longer since you last made a payment or acknowledged the debt. In some provinces (such as Ontario, British Columbia or Alberta), this period is even shorter as we’ve indicated. Many debt collectors will stop calling once they can no longer use legal action as leverage to get you to pay them, since their main threat won’t be possible any longer.
The answer to the question how long can a collection agency collect on a debt in Canada is that they can technically collect at any time, but that their ability to take legal action stops after six years.
How Long Can a Debt Collector Pursue an Old Debt in Ontario?
If you want to know how long can a collection agency collect on a debt in Ontario, it’s important to be aware that this province has different regulations than what is stated in federal law. In Ontario, a debt
collector or collection agency cannot take you to court or take any legal action against you to collect on the debts owed if it has been two years since you made a payment or otherwise acknowledged the debt.
This means that, while the answer to “how long can you be chased for a debt in Canada?” is six years, if you live in Ontario, there is a two-year Statue of Limitations.
How Long Can a Debt Collector Pursue an Old Debt in Canada?
While debt collectors can technically pursue an old debt in Canada for as long as they’d like, there are laws in place that restrict when they can take someone to court or file legal action against a debtor. In Canada, this period is six years. This time frame varies from province to province.
If you’re asking how long can debt collectors try to collect in Canada, know that most will stop after six years. This is because they lose the ability to threaten you with legal action.
If you’re concerned about how long can a creditor pursue a debt in Canada, it’s also important to know that different provinces have their own limits in place. These limits are often different from the six-year timeframe listed by the federal government. Understanding the regulations in your province is important when talking to debt collectors.
How Long Before My Debt is Written Off?
It is a common misconception that debts are eliminated, erased, or written off after a certain period of time. In Canada, you technically still owe your debts even after creditors stop calling and the debts are removed from your credit report. A creditor can write off your debt for tax purposes at the end of their fiscal year but can still pursue you for the debt as long as they like, whether legal action can be taken or not.
Canadian legislation states that creditors and collection agents cannot take legal action against you if it has been six years or more from the date that you last acknowledged the debt. In many Canadian provinces, this time period is even shorter. For example, in Ontario, British Columbia or Alberta, there is a two-year limitation period.
This means that, while you still owe the money, creditors or debt collections cannot take you to court, they cannot seize your bank account, and they cannot take any other legal action against you. But they can still call you, send you texts and emails, and make your life difficult until you agree to pay them.
In short, while the answer to “how long can a creditor pursue a debt in Canada?” is that they can go after you for as long as they’d like, the reality is that most will stop once legal action is no longer an option. Removing the ability to take someone to court over a debt takes away a lot of the leverage that debt collectors often have.
What Happens After 7 Years of Not Paying Debt?
While you technically owe a debt until it is paid or settled, debts can be removed from your credit report even if they are unpaid. The major credit bureaus in Canada only keep information on debts that are six or seven years old, so if you have not made a payment on a debt for seven years, it will likely be removed from your credit report.
However, much like the limitation on how long can a collection agency attempt to collect a debt, you still owe the debt. There is a chance that the creditor or collection agent could still contact you about it, even if it no longer appears on your report and they cannot take legal action to collection. If you tried to get a loan from the same lender later on (or, for that matter, from any new lender who may check your credit score before making a decision on your ability to repay such a loan), they may still have a record of your debts and this can reduce your chances of getting a loan.
What is The Statute of Limitations on Debt in Canada?
When most people speak of the Statute of Limitations on debt, they are referring to how long can you be chased by creditors and collectors for a debt in Canada. The answer is that each province has its own limit in place for how long creditors or debt collectors can take you to court over a debt.
Canadian law states that, after six years of making a payment or acknowledging a debt, debt collectors cannot take legal action. In some Canadian provinces, this Statute of Limitations period is shorter.
What is The Statute of Limitations of Debt on Credit Cards?
Credit card debt is a form of unsecured debt. Personal loans, bank account overdrafts, payday loans and other forms of credit can also be considered unsecured debt. Canadian law states that, if you owe credit card or other unsecured debt, creditors or collection agents are allowed to take legal action against you to collect on these debts. How long can debt collectors try to collect in Canada? Canadian federal law states that you can no longer be taken to court over a debt if it has been six years or longer since you made a payment or otherwise acknowledged the debt. Some provinces in Canada have shorter timeframes. For example, the answer to how long can a collection agency collect on a debt in Ontario, Alberta or British Columbia is two years from the last payment or acknowledgement of the debt.
An Explanation of the Statutes of Limitations Acts
A Statute of Limitations sets the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. In respect to your debt, the statute of limitations outlines the period in which a creditor or collection agent can take legal action against you to collect on that debt owing to them.
In Canada, this time period is six months from the last payment or acknowledgement of a debt. Different provinces across the country have their own limits, so in some places, this time period is shorter.
In Ontario, for example, the Limitations Act of 2002 sets a two-year period for many legal claims, including debt collections.
How We Can Help
If you’ve asked yourself: “how long can debt collectors try to collect in Canada or how long can a collection agency attempt to collect a debt?” you are likely dealing with more debt that you can handle. So, if you’re getting stressful calls from creditors or collection agents and you’re not sure what to do, we can help.
You don’t have to wait for the Statue of Limitations to expire or spend years feeling nervous or anxious about answering the phone or opening the door due to collection agents pursuing you. Our team is here to help you understand the debt relief options that are available to you. We’ve met with thousands of people over more than 41 years and the one comment we keep hearing from them once protection is in place is: “I wish I’d done this years ago”.
Trust the Licensed Insolvency Trustees at Farber to review your situation, give you information on your options, and assist you in any way we can.
We help resolve debt problems and help people live debt free. Contact us today for a free consultation.