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Collection Agencies Act
Loi sur les agences de recouvrement

R.R.O. 1990, REGULATION 74

Amended to O. Reg. 467/01

GENERAL

Historical version for the period February 11, 2002 to June 12, 2005.

This Regulation is made in English only.

Application

1. (1) An application for registration as a collection agency or a renewal thereof shall be in a form provided by the Minister. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 1 (1).

(2) An application for registration as a collector or renewal thereof shall be in a form provided by the Minister. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 1 (2).

(3) A notice by a collection agency under clause 20 (1) (a), (b) or (c) of the Act or by a collector under subsection 20 (2) of the Act shall be in a form provided by the Minister. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 1 (3).

(4) A request for voluntary cancellation of registration under subsection 8 (7) of the Act shall be in a form provided by the Minister. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 1 (4).

(5) When notified by the Registrar, the applicant shall file,

(a) the examination fee prescribed in section 11;

(b) the appropriate fee prescribed in section 11; and

(c) the bond required by section 2. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 1 (5).

Bonds

2. (1) Every applicant for registration as a collection agency shall be bonded. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 2 (1).

(2) On an initial application, where the applicant has not acquired an operating collection agency, the amount of the bond shall be $5,000. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 2 (2).

(3) On subsequent applications for maintenance of registration or where the applicant has acquired an operating collection agency, the amount of the bond shall be based upon the amount of money collected by the collection agency in the calendar year immediately preceding the date of the application for registration. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 2 (3).

(4) Where the amount collected was,

(a) less than $50,000, the amount of the bond shall be $5,000;

(b) $50,000 or more but less than $100,000, the amount of the bond shall be $10,000;

(c) $100,000 or more but less than $150,000, the amount of the bond shall be $15,000;

(d) $150,000 or more but less than $250,000, the amount of the bond shall be $20,000; or

(e) $250,000 or more, the amount of the bond shall be $25,000,

provided, however, that where the collection agency is involved in a prepaid collection service the Registrar may require any of the aforementioned amounts to be increased by an additional amount of up to $20,000. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 2 (4).

(5) The bond shall be,

(a) the bond of a guarantee company approved under the Guarantee Companies Securities Act;

(b) a personal bond accompanied by collateral security; or

(c) the bond of a guarantor, other than a guarantee company, accompanied by collateral security. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 2 (5).

(6) The classes of negotiable security that may be accepted as collateral security for a bond are,

(a) bonds issued or guaranteed by Canada; or

(b) bonds issued or guaranteed by any province of Canada. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 2 (6).

(7) The collateral security referred to in subsection (5) shall be deposited with the Minister of Finance and maintained at a market value of not less than the face value of the bond. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 2 (7).

(8) The bond referred to in subsection (2) shall be in Form 1, Form 2 or Form 3, as the case may be. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 2 (8).

3. A bond may be cancelled by any person bound thereunder by giving to the Registrar and the collection agency named in the bond at least two months notice in writing of intention to cancel and, subject to section 4, the bond shall be deemed to be cancelled on the date stated in the notice, which date shall be not less than two months after the receipt of the notice by the Registrar. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 3.

4. For the purpose of every act or omission occurring,

(a) during the period of registration; or

(b) during the period prior to cancellation of the bond under section 3, where there has been no termination of registration,

every bond shall continue in force and the collateral security, if any, shall remain on deposit for a period of two years following the termination of the registration or the cancellation of the bond, as the case may be. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 4.

5. Where a bond has been cancelled or the registration has been terminated, and the bond has not been forfeited, the Minister of Finance may, two years following termination of the registration to which the bond relates or two years after the cancellation of the bond, deliver the collateral security to the person who deposited such security. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 5.

6. The Registrar may declare any bond mentioned in section 2 forfeited,

(a) where a collection agency, in respect of whose conduct the bond has been conditioned or any collector or official of the collection agency has been convicted of,

(i) an offence under the Act, or

(ii) an offence involving fraud or theft or conspiracy to commit an offence involving fraud or theft under the Criminal Code (Canada),

and the conviction has become final;

(b) where proceedings by or in respect of a collection agency, including any member of a partnership, in respect of whose conduct the bond has been conditioned, have been taken under the Bankruptcy Act (Canada) or by way of winding-up and a receiving order under the Bankruptcy Act (Canada) or a winding-up order has been made, and the order has become final;

(c) where a judgment based on a finding of fraud has been given against a collection agency, including any member of a partnership, in respect of whose conduct the bond has been conditioned, or against a collector or other official for money collected for any other person and the judgment has become final; or

(d) where judgment has been given against a collection agency, including any member of a partnership, in respect of whose conduct the bond has been conditioned or a collector or other official of the collection agency on any claim involving a collection matter, and the judgment has remained unsatisfied for a period of ninety days,

and thereupon the amount thereof becomes due and owing by the person bound thereby as a debt due the Crown in right of Ontario. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 6.

7. Where a bond secured by the deposit of collateral security is forfeited under section 6, the Minister of Finance may sell the collateral security at the current market price. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 7.

8. Where the Crown in right of Ontario becomes a creditor of a person in respect of a debt to the Crown arising from the provisions of section 6, the Registrar may take such proceedings as he or she sees fit under the Bankruptcy Act (Canada), the Courts of Justice Act, the Corporations Act or the Winding-up Act (Canada) for the appointment of an interim receiver, custodian, trustee, receiver or liquidator, as the case may be. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 8.

9. (1) The Minister of Finance may in his or her discretion,

(a) assign any bond forfeited under section 6 and transfer the collateral security, if any;

(b) pay over any money recovered under the bond; or

(c) pay over any money realized from the sale of the collateral security under section 7,

to any person who,

(d) is a judgment creditor of any collection agency, including any member of a partnership, in respect of whose conduct the bond has been conditioned, or a collector or other official of the collection agency, where the judgment was based on a claim arising out of a transaction involving a collection matter;

(e) in respect of a claim for less than $100 against any collection agency, including any member of a partnership, in respect of whose conduct the bond has been conditioned, or a collector or other official of the collection agency, arising out of a transaction involving a collection matter, satisfies the Registrar as to the validity of such claim; or

(f) has proven a claim in bankruptcy against any collection agency, including any member of a partnership, in respect of whose conduct the bond has been conditioned, in respect of any claim arising out of a transaction involving a collection matter,

provided that the claim or transaction occurred during the period referred to in clause 4 (a) or (b). R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 9 (1).

(2) The Minister of Finance may, where he or she considers it advisable, without any order, pay the whole or any part of the proceeds referred to in clause (1) (b) or (c) to the Accountant of the Ontario Court in trust for such persons as are or may become entitled to share in the proceeds of the bond under the provisions of subsection (1). R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 9 (2).

10. Where a bond has been forfeited and the Minister of Finance has not received notice in writing of any claim against the proceeds of the bond or such part as remains in his or her hands within two years of the forfeiture, the Minister of Finance may pay the proceeds of the bond or the collateral security, or any part remaining, to any person who made a payment under the bond or who deposited the collateral security, after first deducting the amount of any expenses that have been incurred in connection with any investigation or otherwise relating to the collection agency in respect of whose conduct the bond was conditioned. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 10.

Fees

11. The following fees are payable to the Registrar:

1. $290, upon application for registration as a collection agency or renewal of the registration.

2. $290, for each branch office of the collection agency.

3. $190, upon application for registration as a collector or renewal of the registration.

4. $10, for each written examination of an applicant for registration as a collection agency. O. Reg. 515/97, s. 1; O. Reg. 54/98, s. 1.

12. (1) No person shall be registered as a collection agency unless the person,

(a) has had at least two years of actual experience in all phases of the collection agency business, or has related experience that, in the opinion of the Registrar, is equivalent to that actual experience; and

(b) is 18 years of age or over, if the applicant for registration is an individual. O. Reg. 231/00, s. 1.

(2) No person shall be registered as a collector unless the person,

(a) is an individual who is a Canadian citizen or has been lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence and who is ordinarily resident in Canada; and

(b) is 18 years of age or over. O. Reg. 231/00, s. 1.

Terms and Conditions of Registration

13. (1) Every registration expires on the date shown on the certificate of registration unless an application for renewal of registration in a form provided by the Minister, together with the appropriate fee prescribed in section 11, is filed with the Registrar prior to the date of expiry. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (1).

(2) Every applicant for registration shall state in the application an address for service in Ontario. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (2).

(3) A collection agency shall not operate any branch office unless such branch office is authorized by the registration. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (3).

(4) Every applicant for registration as a collection agency shall file with the Registrar copies of all forms and form letters that it proposes to use in dealing with debtors, as well as copies of forms of agreement that it proposes to use in its dealings with persons for whom it acts or proposes to act. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (4).

(5) Where an applicant for registration is a corporation, a copy of a current financial statement prepared by a person licensed under the Public Accountancy Act, or where the corporation is recently incorporated or is a sole proprietorship or partnership, an opening financial statement prepared by a person licensed under the Public Accountancy Act shall be attached to the application. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (5).

(6) A copy of the current financial statement prepared by a person licensed under the Public Accountancy Act shall be attached to the application for renewal referred to in subsection (1). R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (6).

(7) A registration of a collection agency is not transferable. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (7).

(8) A collector shall be registered only where he or she is to be employed by a registered collection agency. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (8).

(9) Where a collector has not applied for transfer of registration within sixty days after termination of employment and where he or she intends to continue to act as a collector, he or she shall apply for registration by filing an application in a form provided by the Minister. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (9).

(10) Every person registered as a collection agency shall operate from a permanent place of business that is not a dwelling and that shall be open to the public during normal business hours. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (10).

(11) The Registrar may require further information or material to be submitted by any applicant or any registered person within a specific time limit and may require verification by affidavit or otherwise of any information or material then or previously submitted. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (11).

(12) Every collection agency or branch thereof shall keep on its premises proper records and books of accounts showing money received and money paid out and such books shall include a receipts journal, disbursements journal, general journal, clients’ ledger, general ledger and such additional records as the Registrar considers necessary in accordance with accepted principles of double entry bookkeeping. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (12).

(13) An entry in a record book of account kept under subsection (12) shall be retained for a period of six years from the date of the entry. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (13).

(14) Every person registered as a collection agency who collects debts for a single creditor who exercises control directly or indirectly over the agency shall not carry on business except on behalf of that creditor and shall disclose the full name of that creditor on all correspondence and communications. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (14).

(15) No person who is registered as a collector or as a collection agency shall engage directly or indirectly in the business of lending money whether as principal or as agent. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (15).

(16) Where a notice of intention to cancel a bond has been served on the Registrar under section 3 and the bond has been cancelled on the date stated in the notice, the registration of the collection agency shall no longer be valid unless prior to that date a replacement bond has been received by the Registrar. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 13 (16).

14. A financial statement referred to in subsection 13 (6) shall include a statement by the person who prepares the financial statement that the registrant has complied with the provisions of this Regulation respecting trust accounts. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 14.

15. (1) Every individual applicant and every active officer or director of a corporate applicant or registrant who has not been previously registered shall pass a written examination based on the Act and such further subject matters as the Registrar prescribes. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 15 (1).

(2) Every collection agency that is not a corporation and every officer or director of a corporate collection agency, who has been previously registered but has not been registered under this Act for a period of one year or more preceding an application for registration, shall write and pass the examination referred to in subsection (1). R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 15 (2).

(3) No corporation shall be registered or shall maintain its registration as a collection agency unless all of its officers and directors who are actively engaged in the business of the agency have met the examination requirements. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 15 (3).

(4) The examination shall be conducted in the presence of a presiding officer appointed by the Registrar or his or her nominee. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 15 (4).

(5) The examination papers shall be marked by the Registrar or his or her nominee. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 15 (5).

(6) Not less than 75 per cent shall be considered a pass mark for the examination. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 15 (6).

(7) The Registrar or his or her nominee may review, and, where so requested in writing by an applicant who fails to obtain the pass mark prescribed in subsection (6), shall review the examination paper and make such changes in the marks obtained as he or she considers proper. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 15 (7).

(8) Upon written application to the Registrar, an applicant who fails to obtain the pass mark prescribed in subsection (6) may take a further examination at any time, but where he or she fails the second examination, the applicant shall not take any subsequent examination until after the expiration of four months from the date of his or her latest examination. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 15 (8).

16. Where a collection agency is a corporation it shall, within five days after the event, notify the Registrar in a form provided by the Minister where there is a change in a director of the corporation or where there is a change in its controlling interest. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 16.

Trust Funds

17. (1) All funds received by a collection agency in the normal course of business from clients or debtors, other than those which clearly represent payment for fees earned, and all advance payments or deposits for services to be rendered or expenses to be incurred at some future date are deemed to be trust funds. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 17 (1).

(2) Every collection agency or branch thereof shall maintain in respect of all trust funds that come into its hands a separate trust account in any Province of Ontario Savings Office or any Ontario branch of a bank, a corporation registered under the Loan and Trust Corporations Act or a credit union as defined in the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act authorized by law to accept deposits, and such account shall be designated as the “Collection Agencies Act Trust Account”. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 17 (2).

(3) For the purposes of this section, no collection agency or branch thereof shall maintain more than one account designated as a trust account without first notifying the Registrar and obtaining the Registrar’s consent in writing. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 17 (3).

(4) All trust funds received by a collection agency or branch thereof whether by cash, cheque, or otherwise, shall be deposited in the collection agency trust account within two banking days of their receipt. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 17 (4).

(5) No collection agency shall disburse or withdraw any money held in trust, except in accordance with the terms and conditions upon which the money was received or as otherwise provided. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 17 (5).

(6) Where a collection agency collects debts for other persons in consideration of the payment of a commission or other remuneration it shall remit all money collected to the persons entitled thereto in accordance with subsection 18 (1). R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 17 (6).

(7) Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the right to any remedy available in law to a collection agency or any other person having a lawful claim to the money held in the trust account referred to in subsection (2). R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 17 (7).

(8) When so requested in writing by the Registrar or a person entitled to an accounting, every collection agency shall account within thirty days for all trust funds received from or on behalf of the person entitled to such accounting. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 17 (8).

18. (1) Every collection agency shall without any notice or demand account for all money collected and pay the money less the proper fees of such collection agency, to the person entitled thereto on or before the 20th day of the month following the month in which the money was collected, but when the money collected and due is less than $15, payment to the person entitled thereto shall be made within ninety days. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 18 (1).

(2) Where for any reason a collection agency is unable to comply with subsection (1) and any money collected by it remains for a period of six months unclaimed by, or unpaid to, the person entitled to the money, it shall cause the money to be paid to the Minister of Finance who may pay the money to the person entitled thereto upon satisfactory proof being furnished by the person that the person is entitled to receive the money. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 18 (2).

Exemptions

19. The Act does not apply to a telephone system or telephone company that is,

(a) engaged in the business of a collection agency on behalf of Tele-Direct Limited or Tele-Direct (Publications) Inc.; or

(b) collecting accounts through its normal procedures on behalf of other parties where use of a telecommunications system is an integral part of the service provided by such a party to its customers. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 19.

19.1 (1) The restriction in subsection 4 (1) of the Act against a person acting as a collector, unless the person is registered by the Registrar under the Act, does not apply to a person employed by an incorporated full or associate member agency of the Ontario Association of Not-For-Profit Credit Counselling Services. O. Reg. 467/01, s. 1.

(2) The following provisions do not apply to an incorporated full or associate member agency of the Ontario Association of Not-For-Profit Credit Counselling Services:

1. Section 22 of the Act.

2. Section 11. O. Reg. 467/01, s. 1.

(3) Section 15 does not apply to an incorporated full or associate member agency of the Ontario Association of Not-For-Profit Credit Counselling Services or to the officers or directors of that member agency. O. Reg. 467/01, s. 1.

19.1.1 (1) Subsection 4 (2) and clause 22 (d) of the Act and clauses 20 (a) and (g) of this Regulation do not apply to a collection agency or collector that is contacting a debtor in the name of a creditor pursuant to a written contract between the collection agency and the creditor under which,

(a) the collection agency is authorized to act in the name of the creditor to collect money owed that is no more than 60 days past due;

(b) the collection agency or collector is not compensated contingent on or based on the amount, if any, collected from the debtor;

(c) the collection agency or collector does not receive payment directly from the debtor and may not request that the debtor make any payment to the collection agency or collector; and

(d) the collector is required to give the debtor the name of the creditor and his or her own name in every contact with the debtor. O. Reg. 466/01, s. 1.

(2) The exemptions in subsection (1) only apply to a registered collection agency or collector while engaged in the collection of money owed as described in that subsection and do not apply to the same collection agency or collector while engaged in any other activity. O. Reg. 466/01, s. 1.

(3) A collection agency that is exempt under subsection (1) shall, before engaging in the activity described in that subsection, notify the Registrar in writing,

(a) that the collection agency has entered into a contract as described in that subsection; and

(b) of the name and address of the creditor. O. Reg. 466/01, s. 1.

Prohibited Practices and Methods in the Collection of Debts

19.2 In sections 20 and 21,

“same-sex partner” means either of two persons of the same sex who live together in a conjugal relationship outside marriage;

“spouse” means,

(a) a spouse as defined in section 1 of the Family Law Act, or

(b) either of two persons of the opposite sex who live together in a conjugal relationship outside marriage. O. Reg. 42/00, s. 1.

20. No collection agency or collector shall,

(a) attempt to collect payment of a debt from a debtor unless the collection agency or the collector has notified or has attempted to notify the debtor in writing by letter addressed to the debtor’s last known address that the collection agency or collector has been engaged by the creditor to act in respect of the collection of the debt;

(b) commence a legal proceeding with respect to the collection of a debt, or recommend to a creditor that a legal proceeding be commenced with respect to the collection of a debt, unless the collection agency or collector first gives notice to the debtor that the collection agency or the collector intends to commence the proceeding or recommend that a proceeding be commenced, as the case may be;

(c) directly or indirectly threaten or state an intention to proceed with any action for which the collection agency or the collector does not have lawful authority;

(d) make telephone calls or personal calls of such nature or with such frequency as to constitute harassment of the debtor, his or her spouse or same-sex partner or any member of the debtor’s family or household;

(e) make a telephone call or personal call for the purpose of demanding payment of a debt,

(i) on a Sunday, or

(ii) on a statutory holiday,

or on any other day except between the hours of 7 o’clock in the forenoon and 9 o’clock in the afternoon;

(f) give any person, directly or indirectly, by implication or otherwise, any false or misleading information that may be detrimental to a debtor, his or her spouse or same-sex partner or any member of the debtor’s family;

(g) make a demand by telephone, by personal call or by writing for payment of a debt without indicating the name of the creditor, the balance of the moneys owing and the identity and authority of the person making the demand;

(h) where a person has informed the collection agency or the collector that the person is not in fact the debtor, continue to communicate with that person in respect of the collection of the debt unless the collection agency or the collector first takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that the person is in fact the debtor;

(i) commence or continue a court action in the name of the collection agency or collector for the recovery of the debt of a client unless the debt has been assigned to the collection agency or collector, as the case may be, in good faith by instrument in writing for valuable consideration and notice of such assignment has been given to the debtor; or

(j) commence a court action for the collection of the debt of a client in the name of the client unless the collection agency or collector has received express written authority from the client to commence such action. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 20; O. Reg. 42/00, s. 2.

21. Except for the purpose of obtaining the debtor’s address or telephone number, no collection agency or collector shall contact a debtor’s employer, spouse, same-sex partner, relatives, neighbours or friends unless,

(a) the person contacted has guaranteed to pay the debt and is being contacted in respect of such guarantee;

(b) the person contacted is the employer of the debtor and the collection agency or collector is contacting the employer in respect of payments pursuant to a wage assignment or an order or judgment made by a court in favour of the collection agency or of a creditor who is a client of the collection agency; or

(c) the person contacted is the employer of the debtor and the collection agency or collector is contacting the employer for the purpose of verifying the employment of the debtor. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, s. 21; O. Reg. 42/00, s. 3.

FORM 1
BOND OF A GUARANTEE COMPANY APPROVED UNDER THE GUARANTEE COMPANIES SECURITIES ACT

Collection Agencies Act

R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, Form 1.

FORM 2
BOND OF GUARANTOR OTHER THAN GUARANTEE COMPANY

Collection Agencies Act

R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, Form 2.

FORM 3
PERSONAL BOND

Collection Agencies Act

R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 74, Form 3.