ISLANDERS TO RECEIVE BETTER PROTECTION UNDER AMMENDED COLLECTION AGENCIES ACT

Family Service PEI Supportive of Changes
Family Service PEI is very supportive of the Prince Edward Island Government‘s amendments to the Collection Agencies Act. These amendments were developed after consultation with industry stakeholders and the public and will limit the allowable actions of debt settlement companies, including clear guidelines on the types of fees permitted and the requirement for written contracts that are shared and agreed to by all involved parties to be in place prior to the exchange of funds of any type.

“We have seen many Island families who have worked with these Agencies. The results they received, though costly, were often less than expected and in some cases non existent. This new legislation will help to change that,” says Denise Lockhart, Executive Director of Family Service PEI.

The Government of PEI has taken its duty to protect Islanders to heart; the changes to legislation means that vulnerable debt holders will be less likely to be taken advantage of as they face the challenges associated with taking control of their finances and reducing their level of debt.

With the implementation of the new legislation comes the need for Islanders to play their part in ensuring agencies abide by the regulations. “The legislation is only effective if people come forward and report the ill practice of these Agencies. The public needs to be actively involved and notify Consumer Services, their bank, Family Service PEI or a trusted source whenever they pay for a debt reduction service that achieves anything less than the anticipated result,” says Lockhart.

When looking for options to reduce debt levels Lockhart suggests that people use local community based organizations that have a physical presence. “It is always best when you can walk into an office, sit down with the professional and talk face to face. This will help ensure you receive quality service.”

Family Service PEI is a not-for-profit agency providing free Credit Counselling to all Islanders, helping people to examine all options for decreasing debt, including an analysis of lifestyle and spending habits in order to help people understand the warning signs that a financial crisis may be looming. Additionally, Family Service PEI provides affordable and effective Therapeutic Counselling services to Islanders as financial stress impacts many other areas of a person’s life.

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For more information on this subject, or to schedule and interview, please contact Denise Lockhart – Executive Director, Family Service PEI at 1-902-892-2441 or via email: director@familyservice.pe.ca