Too late to collect

Authority Ministry of Children and Family Development

Fran was unhappy that the ministry was attempting to collect $3,000 from her. She thought she did not owe the debt, so she contacted the ministry to try to resolve the problem. The ministry told her she would have to prove that she did not owe the money. Fran didn’t know what else to do, so she called us.

We investigated the fairness of the procedure followed by the ministry in this case. During the investigation, we found the ministry’s record of Fran’s debt dated back almost 15 years. During that time the ministry had not taken any steps to collect on the debt. Fran had also not paid any portion of the debt over the time period.

We questioned whether it was fair for the ministry to collect the debt from Fran after so many years had passed. Over a series of discussions we drew the ministry’s attention to sections of the Limitation Act and other provincial statutes, explaining our understanding that, based on these laws, the debt was unenforceable. The ministry agreed and cancelled Fran’s $3,000 debt. Fran was delighted when she received the statement of account that showed the debt was written off and that she no longer owed money to the ministry.

Category Children and Youth
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2014
Location Vancouver Island / Sunshine Coast