How Long Can Debt Collectors Try To Collect In Canada (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 Years 

Debt collectors in Canada can collect a debt for up to 6 years. However, one can do a few things to stop them from contacting them. 

This may seem like a long time, but it is important to remember that the debt collector is only interested in recovering as much money as possible. 

There are several things one can do to protect themself from aggressive debt collectors, including knowing the rights and understanding the collection process. Knowing what to expect can help one deal with debt collectors and ultimately pay off the debts.

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How Long Can Debt Collectors Try To Collect In Canada?

Type Duration
Canada6 years
Columbia2 years

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the situation and the type of debt in question. In general, however, collectors can try to collect for up to six years. 

If they are unsuccessful in collecting within that time frame, they may apply for a judgment from the court. Once a judgment is obtained, the creditor can pursue wage garnishment or seizure of assets to recoup their losses.

In Ontario, the statute of limitations on debt collection is two years. According to the federal authorities, this is shorter than the maximum time one may pursue a debt in Canada, 6 years.

However, if one makes any payments, acknowledges the debt in any manner (such as promising to pay), or takes other action that benefits the lender in some manner, this time limit is restarted. Also, it changes if one changes or moves one’s phone number without notifying the original creditor and doesn’t allow them to contact them.

It depends on the legislation in place in the relevant province or territory. Generally speaking. However, debt collectors in Canada can attempt to collect a debt for a certain period, six years. After this period has expired, the debt is considered “time-barred,” and the creditor cannot take any legal action to recover the money owed.

Therefore a person can be free of being afraid by the creditors and no longer worry about making the payment under threat.

Why Would Collecting Debt in Canada Take So Long?

The actual collections process, court proceedings, and other legal processes and documents relating to managing debt in Canada take a lot of time, effort, and expertise. Collecting money from delinquent consumers is a specialized job that takes a lot of expertise.

 Specifically, it will be necessary for a creditor to undertake additional steps before reclaiming property, such as freezing bank accounts or garnishing wages (if any exist) to recoup their losses. This whole process can take up weeks, if not months, for this all to happen successfully.

It is because bankruptcies in Canada cannot resume until all other debts are paid off, including secured debts like mortgages, so banks verify what assets people may have and whether there are enough recovered funds and income left after bankruptcy will tilt.

The government sets the costs associated with collecting the debt (phone calls, credit reporting). Collection agencies can charge these rates, but they can’t go any higher than allowed by law. 

This is why debt collectors only collect a penny on every dollar owed. If they haven’t repaid the debts after enough time has passed, they may have fallen into default or filed for bankruptcy protection, which means that the collection agency can no longer collect on this amount of money.

Normally, a lender will try to collect on their own before taking legal action. Going to court is expensive. Most individuals would rather avoid the expense if possible. A debtor can collect on debt as long as it is still unpaid.


The provincial statute governs the length of time that debt collectors can try to collect in Canada. If one is considering negotiation, there are a few things that one should keep in mind. First of all, if one owes money and has not been paying for an extended period, it would be wise to consult a lawyer before making any agreements with collectors. 

Secondly, always ask what they want as part of this agreement. Thirdly, make sure that the amount being asked for meets Canada’s minimum wage requirements (which can vary depending on where one lives). 

Lastly, remember that no creditor has unlimited rights to try and collect, so don’t let them pressure or scare into agreeing on something without fully researching their offer first.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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