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What’s in a name: 5 interesting differences in the collection of unpaid bills between Vietnam and Belgium

Let us now hear now Graham Lacey from Upper Class Collections (UCC), our partner for debt collection in Vietnam, and also for Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

In this blog he explains five interesting differences about the recovery of unpaid bills in Vietnam compared with Belgium. And, more particularly, how to set about finding your debtors (under their correct names, that is), …

 

1. Forms of address

 Graham: “In the West we just use a person’s surname in a formal context. Myself, for example, people call me Mr. Lacey. In Vietnam, however, the first name is written/said first. The Office Manager of UCC in Vietnam, [first name] Huong [surname] Hoang, would be addressed as Ms. Huong, not as Ms. Hoang.”

 

2. Correct spelling of personal names

 Graham: “Not only the verbal forms of address but also the written forms are the other way around from what we are used to in the West, …  According to Vietnamese convention my full name would be written as follows: [surname] Lacey [first name] Graham. So, Huong Hoang would write her name [surname] Hoang [first name] Huong.”

 

3. Interpersonal contact

 Graham: “Points 1 & 2 cause a fair amount of confusion on the social media. Some Vietnamese like to write their names the Western way, while others stay true to the traditional orthography. And that creates all kinds of difficulties when you try to write to the right debtor when it comes to unpaid bills in Vietnam.”

“In Vietnam (and throughout the whole of Asia in general), compared with the West, it is in fact much more common to use social media to contact debtors. The fact of the matter is that debtors are much more inclined to reply via WhatsApp, Zalo, Messenger, Viber and WeChat than to pick up the phone and call back. So, of course, we adjust accordingly, we also make use of social media in debt recovery in Vietnam.”

 

4. Home visits

 In Belgium TCM Belgium is a market leader in visiting debtors’ home premises (thanks to an advanced online visitor’s app), a service that is not yet offered by way of a standard in our own country as an amicable debt recovery service.

Graham: “In Vietnam, visiting the debtor is a much more frequent component of the amicable arrangement, and is usually even the only way to receive payments. It is such a customary part and parcel of the local out-of-court recovery process that no extra cost is usually charged.”

“It is however vitally important in this connection to work alongside a legitimate debt recovery partner, since Vietnam, unfortunately, is riddled with all kinds of mafia activities in the industry, …. The TCM Group screens local partners in order to guarantee ethically correct and legitimate debt recovery in Vietnam.”

 

5. The legal system

 Graham: “Usually, just as in Belgium, the debt must be substantiated with reference to all the standard documents. There is, however, one major difference in regards to practice: the local partner will require a POA (Power of Attorney) from the principal (creditor) before it can collect unpaid bills in Vietnam.”

“Besides that the Vietnamese legal system is also rather more based on mediation, mediation then also being continued by the court of law.”

“Ever since Vietnam opened its borders local courts have experienced difficulty in keeping pace with the quite considerable increase in the numbers of debt-related claims, with the result that a legal case might sometimes drag on for as long as 2 years.” In Belgium the legal system fortunately has ‘only’ to contend with delays of cases undergoing the appeal process.

But, delay or no, legal proceedings generally involve more time and money than would any out-of-court settlement. All the more reason, then, to try the amicable solution for debt recovery in Vietnam (and anywhere else, for that matter)!

 

Upper Class Collections has carved out a niche in the (Vietnamese) debt recovery market by being the first in the country to introduce cross-frontier recovery. This niche service has been enthusiastically welcomed by local Vietnamese import/export companies, with many files worth more than USD 100 000 being transferred on a weekly basis to debt recovery partners within the TCM Group.

 

 

 

 

If you still have questions or if you would like to find out more about debt recovery in Vietnam, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 016 74 52 00 or send an e-mail to info@tcm.be. Remember, you can always take a quick look in our pointdrive.

What’s in a name: 5 interesting differences in the collection of unpaid bills between Vietnam and Belgium

Let us now hear now Graham Lacey from Upper Class Collections (UCC), our partner for debt collection in Vietnam, and also for Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

In this blog he explains five interesting differences about the recovery of unpaid bills in Vietnam compared with Belgium. And, more particularly, how to set about finding your debtors (under their correct names, that is), …

 

1. Forms of address

 Graham: “In the West we just use a person’s surname in a formal context. Myself, for example, people call me Mr. Lacey. In Vietnam, however, the first name is written/said first. The Office Manager of UCC in Vietnam, [first name] Huong [surname] Hoang, would be addressed as Ms. Huong, not as Ms. Hoang.”

 

2. Correct spelling of personal names

 Graham: “Not only the verbal forms of address but also the written forms are the other way around from what we are used to in the West, …  According to Vietnamese convention my full name would be written as follows: [surname] Lacey [first name] Graham. So, Huong Hoang would write her name [surname] Hoang [first name] Huong.”

 

3. Interpersonal contact

 Graham: “Points 1 & 2 cause a fair amount of confusion on the social media. Some Vietnamese like to write their names the Western way, while others stay true to the traditional orthography. And that creates all kinds of difficulties when you try to write to the right debtor when it comes to unpaid bills in Vietnam.”

“In Vietnam (and throughout the whole of Asia in general), compared with the West, it is in fact much more common to use social media to contact debtors. The fact of the matter is that debtors are much more inclined to reply via WhatsApp, Zalo, Messenger, Viber and WeChat than to pick up the phone and call back. So, of course, we adjust accordingly, we also make use of social media in debt recovery in Vietnam.”

 

4. Home visits

 In Belgium TCM Belgium is a market leader in visiting debtors’ home premises (thanks to an advanced online visitor’s app), a service that is not yet offered by way of a standard in our own country as an amicable debt recovery service.

Graham: “In Vietnam, visiting the debtor is a much more frequent component of the amicable arrangement, and is usually even the only way to receive payments. It is such a customary part and parcel of the local out-of-court recovery process that no extra cost is usually charged.”

“It is however vitally important in this connection to work alongside a legitimate debt recovery partner, since Vietnam, unfortunately, is riddled with all kinds of mafia activities in the industry, …. The TCM Group screens local partners in order to guarantee ethically correct and legitimate debt recovery in Vietnam.”

 

5. The legal system

 Graham: “Usually, just as in Belgium, the debt must be substantiated with reference to all the standard documents. There is, however, one major difference in regards to practice: the local partner will require a POA (Power of Attorney) from the principal (creditor) before it can collect unpaid bills in Vietnam.”

“Besides that the Vietnamese legal system is also rather more based on mediation, mediation then also being continued by the court of law.”

“Ever since Vietnam opened its borders local courts have experienced difficulty in keeping pace with the quite considerable increase in the numbers of debt-related claims, with the result that a legal case might sometimes drag on for as long as 2 years.” In Belgium the legal system fortunately has ‘only’ to contend with delays of cases undergoing the appeal process.

But, delay or no, legal proceedings generally involve more time and money than would any out-of-court settlement. All the more reason, then, to try the amicable solution for debt recovery in Vietnam (and anywhere else, for that matter)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upper Class Collections has carved out a niche in the (Vietnamese) debt recovery market by being the first in the country to introduce cross-frontier recovery. This niche service has been enthusiastically welcomed by local Vietnamese import/export companies, with many files worth more than USD 100 000 being transferred on a weekly basis to debt recovery partners within the TCM Group.

 

 

If you still have questions or if you would like to find out more about debt recovery in Vietnam, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 016 74 52 00 or send an e-mail to info@tcm.be. Remember, you can always take a quick look in our pointdrive.

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