November 4, 2013

By Margaret H. Johnson

CBC reported yesterday that one of Canada’s largest collection agencies, iQor Canada has been fined for making automated phone calls to consumers who were considered vulnerable or did not owe any debt, at all hours, and did not identify on whose behalf they were calling.

They said that this isn’t the first time they were investigated following hundreds of complaints from across the country.

This is very interesting for a number of reasons. Robo calls, or predictive dialers as they are more commonly known, have been increasingly used by national collection agencies over the last several years. And, undoubtedly, consumers who would be considered vulnerable due to their debt situation would be specifically targeted by these agencies. No doubt complaints would have been made but collection agencies are licenced by the provinces, not the federal government.

I would hope, now that CRTC and James Moore are involved, that abusive debt collection practices may get more attention. He said, “I know there are stories out there, horror stories,” and that, “It might be useful to have a parliamentary committee look into the matter.”

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