BROADCAST DATE : Mar 4, 2011

Debt Collector Dread

More and more Canadians are living with debt. The latest figure puts Canadian consumer debt at around 1.5 trillion dollars. That's big money, and with rising default rates and late payments, collecting that debt can be difficult. Enter the debt collector.

Debt collection can be a ferocious business, and while many collectors play by the rules, what happens when they don't?

Viewers have sent us horror stories of collectors becoming wolves at the door — hounding them with scare tactics. Some have been victims of mistaken identity, caught in a Kafkaesque nightmare, afraid to answer their phone; in other cases, they're chased by collectors when they don't even owe any money.

No one is saying that it's okay to not pay your bills, but when collectors cross the line, can you count on the rules in your province to protect you? Erica Johnson investigates.