Agencies that Help with Consumer and Debt Law
In assisting a client with consumer or debt law problems, you may consider referring the client to another individual or agency. Ensure that referrals are in the best interests of the client — you should be satisfied that a referral will likely result in the resolution of the client’s problem, rather than a further referral or a dead end. Avoid simply “unloading” troublesome clients onto other agencies.
It may be useful to meet periodically with, or at least obtain literature on, individuals or agencies to whom you make referrals, so you are clear about when it is appropriate to make referrals. In general, referrals may be appropriate when:
- The problem requires legal knowledge beyond your experience (refer to supervising lawyers, other poverty law lawyers, or lawyers in private practice willing to take the case).
- The problem can best be resolved by a government agency with the authority to impose a remedy, such as the Information Commissioner for BC or Consumer Protection BC.
- You are aware that a professional association or trade organization has the authority or a reputation for resolving complaints (for example, the Law Society of BC for lawyers, the Better Business Bureau for local businesses, or the Vehicle Sales Authority of BC for car dealers).
Two valuable resources for finding the names, addresses and phone numbers of the agencies referred to in this publication are the:
- Consumer Help web pages provided by Consumer Protection BC.
- BC Legal Directory published by the BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association.