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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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Legal question about the following situation: A person

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Legal question about the following situation:

A person has received a call from a collection agency claiming that an unpaid bill owed to H&R block has gone to collection as it has been unpaid 6.5 years ago. The problem is that the person never knew that money was owed (no written notification). This person is asking H&R block to provide documentation as to notification and details of the debt, but they have not yet complied and are not calling off the collection agency.

History: The person does recall using their services almost 7 years ago, but they made a mistake on the tax return. In short, H&R Block said that a tax refund was coming and they paid that refund to the person up front before the CRA assessed the return. The CRA assessed and corrected the return produced by H&R Block and no refund was owed. So, H&R block wanted the money back that they had paid the person, based on their erroneous work. The person told H&R Block sorry ... you made a mistake, you go fix the problem with the CRA.

That was the last this person ever heard of H&R Block, until now, 6.5 years later when a collection agency called. No written or even verbal notification given by H&R Block that collection was coming.

The debt was 400$. They now want 900$.

The question is this: Doesn't H&R block have the burden of providing a paper trail of notification attempts to support this? This person always pays his/her bills and has a perfect credit.

This person is trying to get this information from H&R block, but to date, it appears that they are not going to make a serious effort.

What law articles can be used to force H&R Block to:
1) Follow proper procedure
2) Call off the collection agency
3) Have them dismiss this process immediately if they have no documentation to support their claim.
4) Ensure there is no impact to credit.

Thank you for your question.

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What province is this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Province of Ontario.
Thank you.
The limitation period for suing on a claim in Ontario is 2 years.

You cannot be sued any more.

There are two ways the limitation period can start over though.

The first is if you acknowledge the debt in writing.

The second is if you make a partial payment towards the debt.

So don't do either of those.

You can tell them that you deny it's your debt, you won't be paying them anything and you are putting them on notice that they are not to contact you again.

Tell them if they do you will consider this to be harrassment and will file a complaint with their regulatory body, the Consumer Protection Branch.

Tell them if the harm your credit record at any point in time, this being 6.5 years after the time they could have pursued any amount owing that they believe you owe, you will sue them for damages.

Let me know if you need any further clarification.
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