Tougher laws for debt settlement companies receive Royal Assent

On December 12, Royal Assent was granted to Bill 55 in Ontario.  As many of you know, Royal Assent is the final step before a bill becomes law, meaning that these new regulations for debt settlement companies are now in place.  We’re thrilled by this news.  As we have posted before, we have met many people looking for debt help in Northwestern Ontario who have fallen victim to a debt settlement company.  Without regulation, these companies were free to make wild promises to consumers that they often did not deliver on.

Among others, this Act will bring in the following restrictions on debt settlement companies:

–          All terms of the agreement must be disclosed

–          The effect on your credit rating must be disclosed

–          A written copy of the agreement must be given to you

–          Only one settlement agreement can be in place with each debtor at a time

–          They cannot demand payment in advance of providing the services

–          They cannot take security against their services

–          They must provide a refund if certain terms are met

We applaud the actions of the Ontario Government in this matter, bringing provincial legislation in line with that of other provinces, such as Manitoba and Nova Scotia, that have already cracked down on these companies.

As always, we recommend consulting with a government-licensed trustee in bankruptcy as a part of confronting your debt.  We are local, in your community, and we can meet you face to face to discuss your difficulties.   Visit our web site at