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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I recieved a notice of debt owed from a debt collection

Customer Question

I recieved a notice of debt owed from a debt collection agency about an account I paid off before the original company went out of business. I beleive this is a fradulent debt, but I'm not sure how to go about proving the debt is false when the original business no longer exists or what my legal rights are in this situation. Any advice would be appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

How much do they say that you owe?

When did this debt arise?

When is the last time you made a partial payment towards the debt or acknowledged the debt in writing, if ever?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I signed a three year contract for service with a home security complany in May 2010. I cancelled my service in May 2012 and payed the balance for the remainder of the term (~$580) that same month . I remember recieved a notice of balance due months later from the company and when I called and spoke with them directly, they indicated it was a clerical error on their end and my account with be adjusted accordingly. Then they went out of buisness. A few times since then, I recieved a notice of debt owing from a collection company. I would explain the situation it would seem to be resolved as I wouldn't hear from them again, until the collection company would sell the "debt" to another company and I'd get another notice. This is the third or fourth company now, but they are more insistent and will not accept the explanation of the original company's clerical error. The are saying I owe ~1300 (now after interest) on the debt. I recall the original was something like $700. I have nover acknowledged the debt in writing. Please let me know if you need more information.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

The limitation period for suing in Alberta is two years from the time when the claim first arose. This means that the collection agency can no longer sue on this debt, and frankly there is no possibility that they do not know that.

I suggest that you tell the collection agency that you do not owe them any more debt, and that you are happy to have a court decide even though they know that they cannot sue you because of the limitation period.

Then tell them that you do not wish to hear from them any longer and if they continue to contact you you are going to report them as continuing to harass you to their regulatory body.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I just want to be sure before I need to call them back later today - if they can't sue on the debt, they can't report it to a credit bureau too, correct? If the collection agency is in Ontario, is their regulatory body Consumer Protection Ontario, or Canada Office of Consumer Affairs?
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.

It is the Consumer Protection Branch that regulates them.

They can report you but you can put in a formal appeal.

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