The collection industry in Canada is dominated by fewer than 25 large collection agencies. If you owe money to a chartered bank, credit card issuer, a major retailer, a telephone company, a major utility or have a delinquent student loan and your account has been placed for collection there is a good chance that it has been assigned to one of the following collection agencies:
Names of collection agencies
A collection agency that operates across Canada may utilize more than one corporation or it may carry on business in a particular province under a name different than its corporate name. The latter is particularly true in Quebec where most collection agencies carry on business using “Agence de Recouvrement” as part of their name.
Where collection calls may originate from
Provincial law in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia places some restrictions, directly and indirectly, on where collection calls may originate from. Depending on what province you live in it may be illegal for a collection agency to call you if the collection calls are not originating from within a particular geographic area.
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia: New Brunswick and Nova Scotia license collection agencies, branch office locations and individual collectors. All collectors employed by a collection agency must be licensed and work from the premises of a licensed branch office. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia will not grant a branch office license to an office located outside of Canada. Similarly, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia will not license individuals as collectors unless they are residents of Canada. As a practical matter, this means that collection agencies collecting monies from the residents of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia must do so from a call centre situated within Canada.
Ontario: Under the Ontario Collection Agencies Act any person employed as a collector by a collection agency must be licensed as a collector under the Act. Further, the Act prohibits anyone from being licensed as a collector unless he is a ordinarily a Canadian resident. As a practical matter, this makes it difficult for a collection agency to make collection calls from an office that is located more than 50 kilometers outside of Canada. Any Ontario resident who is receiving collection calls from an office situated more than 50 kilometers outside of Canada may want to phone the Ontario Consumer Service Bureau confirm whether or not a specific individual is licensed as a collector under the Ontario Collection Agencies Act.
Quebec: If you are a Quebec resident you are likely receiving collection calls from an office located in Quebec. It is illegal for a collection agency to make collection calls to Quebec residents from an office situated outside of Quebec.
If you are a resident of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia and a collection agency is making collection calls to you from a jurisdiction where it is not legally permitted to do so you may want to consider making a complaint against the collection agency with the licensing administrator in your province.
Contact information for the largest collection agencies in Canada
Many of the largest collection agencies in Canada will telephone consumers across Canada, except for Quebec residents, utilizing a large call centre located in southern Ontario. A few of the largest Canadian collection agencies utilize regional offices across the country.
The following list contains the addresses and contact information for some of the largest collection agencies operating in Canada.