The Chairman of the state Duma Sergey Naryshkin and Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko has submitted to the state Duma the bill “About protection of the rights and legitimate interests of individuals in the implementation of activities to repay debt”, establishing rules of interaction of collectors with debtors.
The new bill establishes that a creditor or someone acting in his interests, can communicate with the debtor in three ways: at meetings, by phone, or electronic mail messages.
The collector cannot come to the debtor to call or write him on weekdays from 22:00 to 8:00 PM and weekends and public holidays from 20:00 to 9:00. He can meet with the debtor not more than once a week and call no more than once a day, but no more than twice per week and not more than eight times a month. Send electronic communications to the debtor can only twice a day, four times a week and sixteen times a month. Every time a creditor or collector should introduce themselves, disclose the existence of the debt and leave contact information.
The bill provides that creditors and collectors must act “honestly and reasonably”. Not allowed to apply to a debtor with physical force, threatened him with bodily injury or murder; it is prohibited to employ methods dangerous to life and health of people, to exert psychological pressure on the debtor, to insult and to humiliate, mislead, etc.
To communicate with the debtor only or the creditor himself or his representative — collector. To attract a collector a creditor may only with the written consent of the debtor. Moreover, the creditor may not engage simultaneously two or more manifolds for communicating with the debtor.
The creditor or collector must communicate about the debt with the debtor, to talk about the debt with any other persons he may only with the written consent of the debtor. Moreover, the debtor must agree after occurrence of delay, and not before, for example at the conclusion of the credit agreement. In addition, the debtor has the right at any time to withdraw your consent.
The creditor or collector may not communicate with persons incapable or limited in capacity; with people who are on treatment in hospital; disabled persons of the 1st group; with a minor.
The debtor may at any time refuse to communicate with the creditor or collector, appointing in his stead a representative who may be a lawyer.
“The main objective of this bill is to protect debtors from collectors, but it is only the elimination of symptoms rather than treatment of the disease itself,” — says the financial Ombudsman Pavel Medvedev.
He said that most often citizens complain about the requirement of employees of the Bank or collectors to repay the loan, which nobody took. In second place, according to him, complaints about violations of the law on personal data (phone calls made to relatives of debtor, to work).
“Out of 700 hits per month, we process approximately 300 accounts to requests for restructuring of loans, says Medvedev. — To recover loans account for approximately 60 complaints per month, of which 12-13 are directly on the collectors”. According to him, complaints against collectors are settled in for two days through a professional Association NAPCA. “As a rule, the most egregious cases occur with the participation of collectors, and individuals who informal deal with the creditors that for a fee will be able to collect the debt. With such offenders is to fight the hardest, and the adoption of the law can’t help because the document directly regulates the collection Agency,” he said.
Years without the law
The history of the draft law regulating the work of collectors, second only to the history of the bill on bankruptcy of individuals. Itself collection market began to take shape in 2004, when there were three major companies — national recovery service LLC, “Sequoia Credit consolidation”, and Financial Agency on gathering of payments. In 2007 at the initiative of these companies was created by the self-regulatory organization NAPCA (national Association of professional collection agencies), and a year and a half, the participants realized that it is necessary to adopt the law. However, the market of crediting of physical persons was not so significant, and the problem was not so much the introduction of the bill in the Duma and its adoption was delayed.
From 1 June 2014 the process of debt recovery is regulated by the law “On consumer credit”. It sets out some rules of communication between the debt collector with the debtor. So, lenders must notify the borrower about transfer of a debt collector and to prescribe such a possibility in the loan agreement. When collecting debts allowed to use personal meetings, phone calls, SMS, e-mail, however, is not allowed to disturb the borrower after 22:00 on weekdays and after 20:00 at weekends. Also, a collector in contact with the debtor to identify and to name their organization. For violation of stipulated penalties from 5 thousand to 10 thousand rubles.
Also in may 2014 the service was established to protect the rights of consumers of financial services the Central Bank, which takes including complaints about collectors. According to her, citizens complain about collectors more often than on the creditors.
Who will regulate the work of collectors after the entry into force of the new law is unknown. The bill only States that it will be the authorized body, which will be determined by the government.
What happened to the debtors?
As stated on the website of NAPCA, which receives the most complaints, more than 50% of cases belong to the category of “I’m not what you need.” To collectors it is difficult to determine whether or not they need the debtor owns the phone number. Borrowers can specify the incorrect phone in a credit application.
About 30% of the debtors complain to the transfer of personal data to third parties without their knowledge, however, the borrowers do not pay attention to the fact that such a right spelled out in the loan agreement. About 10% of people do not agree with the size of the debt, accrued fines and penalties. 5% of calls are related to the fact that collectors continue to call after the payment of the debt. 1-2% of letters are associated with complaints methods of work in the foreclosure process.
In the U.S. a serious problem for the citizens are private collection agencies hired by state agencies. As last year’s CNN investigation, if the regional budget is formed hole, local authorities outsource the collection of debts from the population: in the course are even outstanding Parking tickets many years ago. One of the largest private collection firms is Linebarger law firm that collects for its 2.3 million customers with over $1 billion annually.
At the same time, the activities of collectors is controlled by the minimum: in the different States is established only the maximum percentage of collection fee to the total bill, including the penalty and legal costs (for example, up to 40% in Florida, or up to 30% in Texas). In this regard, writes CNN’s failure to pay $7.5 for the toll road may cost in the end $of 157.5. Optionally, officials may also attract collectors for fines, issued just a few months ago.
In the UK, along with collectors the Institute of bailiffs: it is both public and private companies and individuals, who are appointed by the court to carry out its decisions on collecting of debts. The rights and duties of bailiffs are regulated by law. The activity of collectors fall under the supervision of the financial controller of the UK FCA. It also fixes cases of violence, blackmail and other violations in “knocking out” of debts by private collectors. The act 1970 for such actions a penalty of up to £100 or up to £400 for repeated violation.