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View Full Version : Advice on Debt Collecting Steps in Alberta



SIR VEYOR
07-17-2015, 06:27 AM
Hi All,

What are the steps for starting legal proceedings for debt collection in Alberta? As there is a frequently used lawyer on the other side (with one), I want to make sure the steps are in order and I don't give them any angle to work with. And I still don't want to cause too much disturbance. I'm trying to nice, and it's not a massive amount of money involved. Enough to make it worth some legwork, but not for me to hire a lawyer.

Their mailing address is unknown at this time, so registered mail isn't an option and dropping things off at the offices of companies they work remotely for may not be the right first step either.

Is visiting the corporate location and dropping off a letter appropriate? (No expectation of privacy wrt letter not being opened, etc). And would that likely resolve or escalate things?

Is it better to run the debt collection ad in the paper first?

What does the ad need to say?
How long does it run?
Do I file with the courts before the ad?


What do I need to do in what order for this to run properly?

Thank you

blacksmithden
07-17-2015, 12:32 PM
Registry offices can register liens. Go to one and talk to them. They may have the answers you're looking for. AT THE SAME TIME...keep in mind that they make money from you registering anything, so they're going to want you to do that for sure and may amount to a useless step in your case. Other than that, I've got nothing brother...I've never had to collect money from someone who didn't cough it up when I showed up at their door.

Candychikita
07-17-2015, 05:00 PM
OK. My collections training is from BC, but I'm sure the legal steps are really similar. I did some training with Wolfco Bailiffs out here

Hoping you have been keeping detailed records of your collection process so far, if not get on it while you still remember. We went the collections route after 90 days in arrears, after calling every week after 30 days arrears.

1) If it's a business, you can do a search at the Alberta Corporate Registry for the information regarding the mailing address and the proper company name. Starting a suit against a company, you MUST have the correct name on the documentation not a DBA name. (https://www.servicealberta.ca/719.cfm)

2) Once you find the name and address, send them a dated registered letter listing your complaint, as much information as you can provide including dates and values, copy of contract etc, what you expect them to do about it, how to reach you and a deadline. You want to keep a copy of your letter along with the other side of the registered mail sticker as part of your evidence to prove that this information was provided.

3) Do a search with Canada Post to prove that the registered letter was received, and signed for. Print out the proof that shows the signature.

4) If no response upon receipt, send a second letter, registered, same as the first only reiterating that this is the SECOND letter you have sent. If there was a response, record all details of the interaction (date, time, who, result, etc) - be polite, firm, respectful.

5) Deadline rolls around, but you should have your ducks lined up based on how things are going with above. You have a few options: collections agency (they will tell you their rates, shop around, get referrals from their clients if possible), small claims court...there are more options but you said small figures are involved. Small claims is probably your best best, as collection agencies are limited now about what steps they can take these days, their effectiveness is only about 70%, and they work on a contingency (looking at giving 1/3 of the value away to the agency)

Info about doing a suit in small claims court in Alberta: (https://albertacourts.ca/provincial-court/civil-small-claims-court/civil-claim-process) I didn't dig too much into it but there's a filing fee for small claims based on the amount - over $7500 or under. Include the costs of your collections attempts so far, itemize all your costs out so you have an adjusted figure of what you are asking, and make sure you ask for "costs" in your suit. Include all of your information in chronological order, with as much documentation to back up your situation (you would include your registered letters with the stickers on them, the proof, etc, photos, contracts, etc, everything to give your suit substance)

Those debt collection ads in the newspaper are when they can't get a hold of the person that owes them a debt like if they skipped down. This is part of the court process when the person owes money, they can't track them down, and are asking the court to award money or put a lien on something they own. They have to prove that they have tried to track the other person down in all means necessary, which includes a newspaper ad in the city they were last seen. Collections agencies here do that if they are going to put a dent on the other person's credit report, as well as court appointed bailiffs.

Hope this helps give you some leads. There are generally people at the court house able to assist if you have the majority of your paperwork completed.

CaperJim
07-17-2015, 07:35 PM
You always have the backup option..

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/attachments/f68/27194d1145588485-graphic-artists-i-need-help-penguin_gangster.jpg

shootemup604
07-18-2015, 09:34 PM
I would say that serving docs at one's place of work, or publicly in an office (if a company) is always a good one. Let the whole world know John Doe or 123456 BC Ltd is a no good fraud and you may get payment PDQ just to go away. I know someone who walked up and down the sidewalk with a big sign in front of the shop that owned him a couple grand for a week, telling everyone who came by. He got paid by the end of the week. YMMV, but shaming will often, not always, work.

Kenwp
07-20-2015, 04:52 AM
After running a business for years in Alberta and doing many liens it all depends on what the money is owed for. Work on a home or building would be able to have a lien put on it but you have 35 days after the first invoice was issued. Other debts would be either small claims court or regular court. If it's lost wages then that is another government department.

TheCenturion
07-20-2015, 08:12 AM
I would say that serving docs at one's place of work, or publicly in an office (if a company) is always a good one. Let the whole world know John Doe or 123456 BC Ltd is a no good fraud and you may get payment PDQ just to go away. I know someone who walked up and down the sidewalk with a big sign in front of the shop that owned him a couple grand for a week, telling everyone who came by. He got paid by the end of the week. YMMV, but shaming will often, not always, work.

In some jurisdictions, this is considered actionable harassment.