How long do debt collectors try to collect in Canada?

But collection agencies can also pass off debts to other collection agencies. So, while the collection calls can stop for a period of time, once the debt has been transferred to another collection agency, the process to collect can start up again, promising an “indefinite pursuit.”

What does indefinite pursuit look like? It can mean regular letters and phone calls until the debt is settled—we’re talking years

So, is there ever relief if you don’t pay the debt down? Collection agencies are bound by law-dictated time limits if they want to take you to court to collect an unpaid debt. 

The statute of limitations for debts is a set of laws established by each province that stops collection agencies from successfully suing a consumer after a certain amount of time has lapsed since acknowledgement of the debt. This time varies from province to province, though most sit at two or six years.

For example, Ontario’s statute of limitations is two years from the last date of acknowledgement, while in Newfoundland it’s six years

However, the “last date of acknowledgment” is open to interpretation, which can make it confusing for both consumers and some experts. For example, some might estimate the clock to start ticking within six months of a last payment. But this isn’t always the case.

Remember: While the statute of limitations on debt protects you from legal action after a certain period, it doesn’t protect you from debt collection calls. You’ll also risk lowering your credit score, making it slow and difficult to build your credit back up.

Additionally, the statute of limitations doesn’t prohibit legal action for all kinds of debt. So, the type of debt can make a difference in whether or not a debt collection agency can take legal action against you, too.  


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