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10 prohibited practices of debt recovery

TCM recouvrement créance interditContrary to what one might think, debt recovery is a real discipline that is subject to numerous rules. The collection companies are legally obliged to respect them. It is also important to stress that these rules and these prohibited practices apply not to the collection agencies but also, quite simply, to any person urging a debtor to settle his unpaid debts amicably.

 

 

 

They therefore apply to:

TCM lists and describes for you 10 prohibited practices in amicable debt recovery.

1. Creating a confusion

The collector may not create the least confusion and must therefore be completely transparent as regards its capacity of collector of debts. More specifically, this means that any behaviour or written communication that might give the wrong impression of its being a document from an official or legal institution or from a lawyer is strictly forbidden. The collector must therefore give sign of recognition in its interactions with a debtor.

 

2. Visits or telephone calls between 20:00 and 08:00 hrs.

Nuisance practices such as visits to the debtor’s home and telephone calls made between 20:00 and 08:00 hrs. are strictly prohibited.

 

3. Harassing a debtor who challenges the debt

If a debtor has expressly made it known that he challenges the debt claimed from him (for reasons of proof we advise you to do this by registered letter) and has stated his reasons, he may not be harassed and the only solution of for recovery would then be legal recovery. For this it is of course necessary that the reasons given are well-founded and admissible in court.

 

4. Mentioning the debt on the envelope

In order, among other things, to respect the debtor’s privacy it is also prohibited for a collection company to mention on the envelope sent to the debtor that the correspondence relates to recovery of a debt.

 

5. Attempted recovery in the presence of a third party

The creditor or any person assigned to recover the debt may not confront the debtor with his debt in the presence of a third party without his prior consent.

 

6. Approaching persons close to the debtor (neighbours, family, friends, employer, …)

The collector also does not have the right to approach the family, neighbours or employer of the debtor to communicate or obtain information concerning the debtor’s solvency or recovery of the debt concerning him.

 

7. Attempted recovery from a person other than the debtor

This might appear obvious but the collector is prohibited from attempting to recover an amount from a third party himself owing money to the debtor in question. For example, the creditor or the agent may not attempt to recover its debtor’s debts through his employer.

 

8. Collection of amounts not provided for

In a recovery of a debt, the amounts claimed by the collector must have been initially agreed in the contract binding the creditor to his debtor or provided for by the law. By way of example, the amounts claimed must be precisely specified and clearly determinable on simple reading of the contract of general sales conditions and accepted by the debtor.

 

9. Use of inaccurate legal threats

Any person urging the debtor to settle his unpaid debts amicably, or out of court does not have the right to use legal threats that he may not lawfully apply. By way of example, if a collection company threatens to seize the debtor’s furniture while only a bailiff in possession of a writ of execution could be authorized, it potentially exposes itself to heavy penalties.

 

10. Demanding transfer of debt or recognition of debt

The collector does not have the right to demand that the debtor should sign a transfer of debt or a recognition of debt. Nor may he slyly camouflage it by linking it to a payment system.

 

You understand that recovery is a closely regulated discipline in Belgium. The creditor or its agent may not engage in “just any old practice” to collect the amount that the debtor owes him. The debtor’s privacy and personal information are protected by law. It must however be said that this strict regulation has a positive impact on debt recovery in Belgium, since the supervisory Authority has recorded only a negligible number of complaints in relation to the number of current files.

10 prohibited practices of debt recovery

TCM recouvrement créance interditContrary to what one might think, debt recovery is a real discipline that is subject to numerous rules. The collection companies are legally obliged to respect them. It is also important to stress that these rules and these prohibited practices apply not to the collection agencies but also, quite simply, to any person urging a debtor to settle his unpaid debts amicably.

 

 

 

They therefore apply to:

TCM lists and describes for you 10 prohibited practices in amicable debt recovery.

1. Creating a confusion

The collector may not create the least confusion and must therefore be completely transparent as regards its capacity of collector of debts. More specifically, this means that any behaviour or written communication that might give the wrong impression of its being a document from an official or legal institution or from a lawyer is strictly forbidden. The collector must therefore give sign of recognition in its interactions with a debtor.

 

2. Visits or telephone calls between 20:00 and 08:00 hrs.

Nuisance practices such as visits to the debtor’s home and telephone calls made between 20:00 and 08:00 hrs. are strictly prohibited.

 

3. Harassing a debtor who challenges the debt

If a debtor has expressly made it known that he challenges the debt claimed from him (for reasons of proof we advise you to do this by registered letter) and has stated his reasons, he may not be harassed and the only solution of for recovery would then be legal recovery. For this it is of course necessary that the reasons given are well-founded and admissible in court.

 

4. Mentioning the debt on the envelope

In order, among other things, to respect the debtor’s privacy it is also prohibited for a collection company to mention on the envelope sent to the debtor that the correspondence relates to recovery of a debt.

 

5. Attempted recovery in the presence of a third party

The creditor or any person assigned to recover the debt may not confront the debtor with his debt in the presence of a third party without his prior consent.

 

6. Approaching persons close to the debtor (neighbours, family, friends, employer, …)

The collector also does not have the right to approach the family, neighbours or employer of the debtor to communicate or obtain information concerning the debtor’s solvency or recovery of the debt concerning him.

 

7. Attempted recovery from a person other than the debtor

This might appear obvious but the collector is prohibited from attempting to recover an amount from a third party himself owing money to the debtor in question. For example, the creditor or the agent may not attempt to recover its debtor’s debts through his employer.

 

8. Collection of amounts not provided for

In a recovery of a debt, the amounts claimed by the collector must have been initially agreed in the contract binding the creditor to his debtor or provided for by the law. By way of example, the amounts claimed must be precisely specified and clearly determinable on simple reading of the contract of general sales conditions and accepted by the debtor.

 

9. Use of inaccurate legal threats

Any person urging the debtor to settle his unpaid debts amicably, or out of court does not have the right to use legal threats that he may not lawfully apply. By way of example, if a collection company threatens to seize the debtor’s furniture while only a bailiff in possession of a writ of execution could be authorized, it potentially exposes itself to heavy penalties.

 

10. Demanding transfer of debt or recognition of debt

The collector does not have the right to demand that the debtor should sign a transfer of debt or a recognition of debt. Nor may he slyly camouflage it by linking it to a payment system.

 

You understand that recovery is a closely regulated discipline in Belgium. The creditor or its agent may not engage in “just any old practice” to collect the amount that the debtor owes him. The debtor’s privacy and personal information are protected by law. It must however be said that this strict regulation has a positive impact on debt recovery in Belgium, since the supervisory Authority has recorded only a negligible number of complaints in relation to the number of current files.

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