Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

Projet de loi no 107

Debt Collection and Management Reform (2012) Act*

An Act to Amend Chapter 77 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Collection Agencies Act, and Chapter 91 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Consumer Creditors' Conduct Act, to Ensure the Respectful Collection and Responsible Management of Debt

Déposé par :
L'honorable John MacDonell
Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations

Première lecture
Débats en deuxième lecture
Adoption en deuxième lecture
Comité des modifications des lois
    Date(s) de réunion 13 novembre 2012; 14 novembre 2012; 20 novembre 2012
    Rapport à la Chambre
Comité plénier
Débats de la troisième lecture
Débats de la troisième lecture
Sanction royale
Prise d'effet Upon proclamation
2012 Statutes, Chapter 40

Note explicative (en anglais seulement)

Clause 1 sets out the short title of this Act.

Clauses 2 and 3 add “Debt Management” to the titles of the Collection Agencies Act.

Clause 4
(a) amends definitions of “collection agency”, “collector” and “Minister”; and
(b) adds definitions for “debt management agency” and “debt management agent”.

Clause 5 allows persons or classes of persons to be exempted from the Act by regulation.

Clause 6
(a) states that the Act prevails over any agreement to the contrary; and
(b) confirms that any waiver of the protections under the Act is void.

Clause 7
(a) updates language; and
(b) empowers the Registrar to issue four classes of licence.

Clause 8
(a) changes “business” to “activities”;
(b) expands the former Section 5 to include debt management agencies and agents as those persons and individuals required to be licensed;
(c) prohibits persons being licensed as both collection agencies and debt management agencies at the same time;
(d) prohibits individuals from being licensed as both collectors and debt management agents at the same time; and
(e) clarifies that collection agencies and debt management agencies must
(i) only carry on business in their licensed names,
(ii) enter all activity on their systems, and
(iii) only use authorized locations.

Clause 9 requires any person or individual holding itself, himself or herself out as a collection agency, debt management agency, collector or debt management agent to hold the appropriate licence.

Clause 10
(a) updates language;
(b) provides that only one copy of the agreement and demand letter needs to be filed with the Registrar; and
(c) provides that security other than a bond may be prescribed as acceptable by the regulations.

Clause 11 requires a debt management agency to file with the Registrar the agency’s form of agreement used with debtors, the content and form of which may be prescribed by regulation.

Clause 12 updates language.

Clause 13 adds the requirement for an endorsement on the application and licence of a debt management agent by a debt management agency.

Clause 14 extends agent-deeming provisions, which apply to collection agencies, to debt management agencies.

Clause 15
(a) updates language;
(b) extends the termination notice requirement for collection agents to include debt management agents; and
(c) creates the same offence to apply to debt management agencies as applies to collection agencies.

Clause 16 provides that neither unlicensed agencies nor collectors or debt management agents can take legal action against debtors to recover money unless exempted by this Act or the regulations.

Clause 17 prohibits the transfer of debt-management-agent licences between debt management agencies.

Clause 18 requires a debt management agent whose licence is terminated to make a new licence application.

Clause 19 updates language.

Clause 20
(a) updates language;
(b) replaces the word “business” with “activities”;
(c) adds debt management agencies to the agencies whose licence may be suspended when a bond is terminated;
(d) adds “or other form of security” to the bond requirement; and
(e) provides for the termination of the licences of all agents of the debt management agency when the licence of the debt management agency is suspended or cancelled.

Clause 21
(a) updates language; and
(b) changes references to the county court and Appeal Division of the Supreme Court to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Court of Appeal respectively.

Clause 22 requires record-keeping by debt management agencies.

Clause 23 expands the trust account requirements of collection and debt management agencies.

Clause 24 adds to and clarifies prohibited collection practices.

Clause 25 sets out prohibited practices for debt management agencies and debt management agents.

Clause 26
(a) updates language;
(b) expands Section 21 to permit the Registrar to investigate debt management companies; and
(c) gives collection and debt management agencies that maintain their records outside Nova Scotia the option of requesting permission to produce their records for inspection at a place outside Nova Scotia provided they pay the cost of the inspection.

Clause 27 expands Section 22 to include debt management agencies.

Clause 28
(a) prohibits false or misleading advertising; and
(b) permits the cancellation by a debtor of a contract with a debt management agency.

Clause 29 provides that failure to comply with an order of the Registrar is an offence.

Clause 30 increases the penalties for an offence under the Act to make them consistent with those under the Consumer Protection Act.

Clause 31 replaces “business” with “activity” in Section 25 and adds “debt management agency”.

Clause 32 adds “debt management agency” and “debt management agent” to Section 26.

Clause 33 increases the limitation period for prosecution from two to three years to make it consistent with the Consumer Protection Act.

Clause 34 allows a debtor to recover in court money paid contrary to the Act.

Clause 35 allows the Governor in Council to make regulations respecting the additions to the Act.

Clause 36 updates language.

Clause 37 provides for the expiry of existing licences for collection agencies and collectors who engage in debt management activities.

Clause 38 updates the language in clause 2(b) of the Consumer Creditors’ Conduct Act.

Clause 39 updates the name of the Minister responsible for the Consumer Creditors’ Conduct Act.

Clause 40
(a) updates language; and
(b) adds to and clarifies prohibited practices to make the Act consistent with the relevant protections in the Collection Agencies Act.

Clause 41 confirms the Act prevails over any agreement to the contrary.

Clause 42
(a) adjusts the minimum and maximum fines; and
(b) lengthens the limitation period for prosecution to three years,
to be consistent with the Consumer Protection Act.

Clause 43 adds regulation-making authority for the Governor in Council.

Clauses 44 and 45 repeal amendments to the Collection Agencies Act and Consumer Creditors’ Conduct Act that have not been proclaimed in force.

Clause 46 provides that this Act comes into force upon proclamation.