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What are Your Credit Rights and Responsibilities

By Andersons Subscribe to RSS | December 16th 2011 | Views:
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Having money and debt problems is very stressful and can cause huge problems in a person’s life. What most people don’t realize is they are only one phone call away from making life easier and debt-free. While creditors and collectors may be making you terrified to face debt head-on, the solution may be easier than you think.

No matter how much money you owe, you still have rights when it comes to your credit, such as:

• The right to be treated in a fair and reasonable manner. Collectors and creditors should treat you with respect and communication should be based on mutual understanding, which has been guaranteed by provincial legislation.

• Creditors and collectors have a legal responsibility to protect a client’s privacy and can’t disclose confidential information without your prior approval.

• You also have a right to request as statement of the outstanding balance as proof to confirm a debt is legally owed.

• Finally, you have the right to receive a copy of your credit report and the name of anyone who received a copy of your credit report in the last year (for most purposes) or in the last two years (for employment purposes).

When you get behind with your payments, debt collectors start calling and you don’t know how to deal with them. Realize they have the right to try and collect any money owed. If they don’t talk to you, they will keep calling to determine your situation. Here are your responsibilities:

• Just like creditors and collectors have to treat you fairly, you should do the same for them. Treat them with respect and in a forthright manner, which means you should never make commitments you know you cannot keep.

• It is very important to take the time and call collectors to explain your situation to them. They will be more willing to work with you if you are upfront.

• Keep yourself informed about fair collection practices and take the necessary steps to live within a realistic budget.

It is very important to get familiar with creditor and collection agency rules. Knowing their rights and responsibilities can help you find a better ways to deal with them. Below is a list of some rules that are valid in Ontario, but the legislation is similar in other provinces and territories.

• Collectors may not call on a statutory holiday, on Sunday before 1 p.m. or after 5 p.m. and any other day before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m.

• They may not harass you or your family, but calling once or twice per day is acceptable. You can make a formal complaint against the collection agency if you believe they are harassing you. If they call you and your family ten times per day, it is harassment. In that case, keep a record of the time, date and frequency of the calls.

• Collectors can contact relatives, friends, employers or even neighbors for information about your address or telephone number, with limited exceptions. This might happen for example when someone has co-signed for a service or goods that you have purchased.

• Collections agencies may not contact you more than three times in any seven-day period on behalf of the same creditor.

Ignoring collector calls won’t help you solve your problems. It is smarter to talk to them and see what can be worked out in creating a plan to settle your debt. Only make commitments you can keep. Have your budget and payment goal information on hand to show you are serious about paying off your debt.

If you can’t deal with your money problems alone, you can seek out professional help. Canadian credit counselling companies can provide experienced professionals to help you resolve your debt problems. Their counsellors will analyze your unique situation and discuss options to start taking steps to deal with your debt.

Andersons - About Author:
Through education, credit counselling and debt management, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada (http://www.consolidatedcredit.ca) helps consumers pay back debt more rapidly. Acquire more details concerning how to get out of debt now!

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