Consultation on Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act regulation reform
Bill or Act:
Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act
Summary of Proposal:
The Collection and Debt Settlement Services Act (the Act) has been amended by Bill 59, the Putting Consumers First Act (Consumer Protection Statute Law Amendment), 2017 to:
Require purchasers of outstanding debts to either use a registered collection agency or become a registered collection agency if collecting those debts;
End registration of individual collectors employed by collection agencies;
Authorize limits on the exemption of lawyers from the Act; and
Authorize use of administrative penalties to promote compliance with the Act.
To accompany bringing these amendments into force, a new regulation as well as amendments to the General Regulation made under the Act, are proposed to:
Make technical changes throughout the General Regulation to reflect the changes made to the Act regarding debt purchasing and collector registration;
Define when lawyers, paralegals and law firms must register under the Act in order to carry out collection activity; and
List which provisions of the Act and the regulations can be enforced by administrative penalty and set penalty amounts.
The proposals also suggest other improvements to the General Regulation:
Proposing several activities that the Act should not govern such as third party billing services and actions by property managers and mortgage brokers acting in their respective capacities;
Providing an exemption for paralegals similar to the exemption provided to lawyers and subjecting both exemptions to proposed limits;
Permitting collection agencies to use e-mail or other electronic communications with a debtor's consent;
Allowing agencies limited contact with possible debtors to verify that they are using the correct contact information before sending notices;
Improving notices that agencies must give debtors to provide more useful information;
Adding a new prohibited practice and modifying the rule on communication with consumers in ways that impose costs on them; and
Requiring agencies to record collection calls.
The consultation paper linked below explains the proposed regulation amendments and invites comments.
You may provide comments directly via the email link below or to the address set out in the consultation proposal.
July 14, 2017
Comments Due Date:
September 8, 2017
Consultation on Collection and Debt Settlement Services regulation
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Policy, Planning and Oversight Division
56 Wellesley Street West, 6th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1C1