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NS Credit Bureaus and Collection Agencies. Nova Scotia Credit Bureaus and Collection Agencies.
In Canada, there are two major credit bureaus:Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. You can contact these agencies to ensure that the information being reported about your credit is accurate. You are entitled to have a record of the information maintained on their databases.
In Nova Scotia, the Consumer Reporting Act establishes a consumer's rights related to consumer or credit reports. By law, companies that collect and distribute consumer credit information must ensure the information they hold is accurate, must only share the information with authorized recipients, and must provide consumers with access to the information held in the file. All of these rights are important, because the information in a consumer's credit file can have a great impact on their ability to qualify for a loan, rent an apartment, or in some cases, get a job.
Credit information includes, name, address, age, social insurance number, marital status, spouse's names, number of dependants, occupation and employment history. It also contains debt information including any judgments, garnishments or bankruptcies. You must give permission to anyone who wishes to review your credit information.
If there is a dispute regarding the information on the database, the credit bureau can advise you as to your rights. Most information regarding your credit history is on your file for six or seven years (check with the agency). Negative information (such as missing a couple of payments) and positive information (no late payments) will appear on the credit file and may affect future credit, accommodation or employment applications.
Credit bureaus are registered under provincial law. Thus, rules regarding their activities can vary between regions. You should contact the provincial registrar should you have complaints or problems with the credit agency.
Not every creditor is a member of the credit agencies (example Canada Customs and Revenue Agency) and therefore your credit history with that credit grantor may not be reported to the credit bureau. It is the responsibility of the debtor to maintain a listing of the creditors to whom they owe money.
• R0 Too new to rate; approved but not used;
• R1 Pays within 30 days of billing, or pays as agreed;
• R2 Pays in more than 30 days but less than 60 or one payment past due;
• R3 Pays in more than 60 days but less than 90 or two payments past due;
• R4 Pays in more than 90 days but less than 120 or three or more payments past due;
• R5 Account is at least 120 days past due but is not yet rated "R9";
• R6 There is no R6;
• R7 Paid through a consolidation order, consumer proposal or credit counseling debt management program;
• R8 Repossession;
• R9 Bad debt or placed for collection or bankruptcy.
Functions Fulfilled by Credit Bureaus:
Credit bureaus, especially local agencies, fulfill two functions:
• They provide the information as outlined in the general information section;
• They may also act as a collection agency. The credit bureau may contact you attempting to collect for one of your creditors.
Collection agencies are also largely unregulated and like credit bureaus are covered under provincial law.
The following activities are not allowed:
• Collecting more than the amount owing to the creditor;
• Collecting without first being satisfied that the money is actually owing;
• Making collect calls to the debtor (the person who owes money);
• Communicating with a debtor after being told in writing to communicate with their legal advisor;
• Communicating verbally with a debtor unless a written notice has previously been sent;
• Using any letter to collect from a debtor unless that letter has been approved by the Registrar under the Act for use in Nova Scotia;
• Using any form communication that is meant to resemble a notice, summons or demand;
• Threatening, abusing or intimidating a debtor, either orally or in writing;
• Making harassing telephone or personal contacts or written communications;
• Contacting a debtor on a Sunday or between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. any day;
• Giving false or misleading information that may be harmful to a debtor, spouse or family member;
• Giving or threatening to give information that may negatively affect employment or employment opportunities;
• Demanding payment without disclosing the name of the creditor, the account balance and the name of the collector;
• Communicating with the employer, friends or relatives of a debtor except to obtain the debtor's address.
An individual has the most control over his credit bureau report. Correct information must remain on the credit bureau report, so if there has been a judgment or bankruptcy, the information must remain on the credit file for the requisite number of years. Many agencies advertise that they are able to remove debt or "repair" credit history, but removal of correct information is not allowed. Attempt to have incorrect information adjusted through your own efforts prior to obtaining help; obtain help from competent lawyers or paralegals.