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July 2004 - Ignoring a registered mail may cost you a bundle

Ignoring a registered mail may cost you a bundle

☳ by Adam Aspilla

When we are behind in the payments of our bills, we are not thrilled to receive mails from creditors much more to open them. An ordinary mail means there is no urgency, special delivery conveys it is urgent and important, while registered mail, signifies it is very important, thus, it needs proof of delivery. It must be acknowledged receipt by the addressee or by his/her authorized representative. Usually when a court of law requires proof of delivery of correspondence to the parties involve in the court proceeding, the court needs confirmation that letters were sent by registered mail to the parties concern. Moreover, if the addressee does not claim a registered mail, the mail would be returned to the sender and it is deemed delivered to the addressee even if he/she did not receive it.


There are many people who believe that if a registered mail is not claimed, they regarded they have not receive it; that is why they simply ignored their registered mail especially if the they think it is from a creditor demanding payment of their overdue account, without knowing that by brushing aside it would put them deeper into financial trouble.


A good example is a couple who had a second mortgage on their residential property. They are behind on their payments for few months. They received letters from the lender demanding payment of their arrears. Since they do not have the funds, they simply disregard those letters. After a while, they received two notices of a registered mail, but they too turned a blind eye on them, because they knew it was from their second mortgage lender. Three weeks later, one evening, they received papers (a Statement of Claim) personally delivered from a court of law advising them to file a defense within 20 days otherwise, default judgment would follow.


The Statement of Claim was part of the process of Power of Sale instituted by the second mortgage lender for the couple and there family be evicted from the subject property so the lender could sell said property and recover the amount of the second mortgage plus cost that include the legal fees. The couple was panicking upon receipt of the Statement of Claim; they move heaven and earth to secure funds to pay off the second mortgage plus additional legal cost of $3,000.00. Should they only claim the registered mail, the legal fee at that stage of the power of sale process was only $1,000.00. Because the chose to ignore the registered mail notices they had to pay extra $2,000.00, otherwise, they would lose their house.


When you receive a registered mail notice do not be timid to claim and open it, for if you simply ignore it, it might cost you a bundle like in the above case scenario. Be courageous to face life’s problems, for according to 2 Timothy 1:2, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 


Adam Aspilla is a Senior Financial Counselor of the Debt Clinic of Canada Inc. and the author of the book, You Can Negotiate All Your Debts. He also writes a biweekly column, “What Matters In Life” in “Taliba Newspaper. For free initial, professional and confidential consultation, please call 905-306-7572.