–Consumer Protection BC
The Supreme Court of British Columbia has confirmed Consumer Protection BC’s finding that CBV Collection Services Ltd. (CBV), a national debt collection agency, broke the province’s consumer protection law.
After the release of Consumer Protection BC’s decision in 2015, CBV disagreed with the interpretation of the law and applied for a Judicial Review of the decision. The Supreme Court of British Columbia judgment, published on June 21, 2017, confirms Consumer Protection BC’s position that the company must stop attempting to contact debtors after the person has requested that communication be in writing only.
“This decision impacts tens of thousands of British Columbians,” says Tayt Winnitoy, Executive Vice President for Consumer Protection BC. “Our interpretation of the law has been tested. It’s simple – if a debtor requests communication in writing only, they are well within their right to do so. Collectors can’t keep trying to reach them by phone; this includes the use of auto-dialers.”
A copy of the court’s full judgment is available on the Supreme Court of BC website. CBV has the right to file an appeal with the BC Court of Appeal within 30 days of the decision.
“This decision also sends a strong message to the rest of the debt collection sector,” says Winnitoy. “The industry needs to recognize and respect the laws about communicating with debtors. We now have confirmation from the courts and if a collector is engaged in that business practice, it must change.”
The law gives all Consumer Protection BC-regulated businesses the opportunity to request a reconsideration if they disagree with a decision. “Fairness and due process are an essential part of our operations, and because of that we are confident in our process and our understanding of the laws we oversee,” says Winnitoy.
For more information about Consumer Protection BC’s reconsideration process, please click here.
There is a lot to know about debt collection in BC. A backgrounder on debt collection and other information for businesses and the public are available at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.