Freeman Cebu Business

Harassment calls: Unfair collection tactics

C&C VIEWS - Ed F. Limtingco - The Freeman

Last couple of weeks ago, I received an FB message from a friend who claimed to have an unfortunate experience of receiving a "harassing call" by a collector of a particular collection agency.  Although, I know that I have written already several articles about this topic, let me again update you on what is stated under Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Cir. 454 Series of  2004 Sec. 7. It states, "banks, subsidiary/affiliates card companies, collection agencies, counsels, and other agents must observe good faith and reasonable conduct and refrain from engaging in unscrupulous or untoward acts."

Following conduct is a violation of this:

Harassment — Debt Collectors may NOT harass, oppress or abuse you or any third parties they contact. (1). The use or threat of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation or property of any person; (2).The use of obscenities insults or profane language which amount to a criminal act or offense under applicable laws; (3).Disclosure of the names of the credit cardholders who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except as allowed under Sub-sec. X320.9 and 4301N.9;

Use False Statements  — Debt Collectors may not use any false or misleading statements when collecting a debt. (1). Threats to take any action that cannot legally be taken; (2). Communicating or threat to communicate to any person credit information which is known to be false including failure to communicate that a debt is being disputed; (3). Any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain any information concerning; such as:

• falsely imply that they are attorneys or government representatives.

• falsely imply that you have committed a crime.

• falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit bureau.

• Misrepresent the amount of your debt.

• Indicate that papers being sent to you are legal forms when they are not.

• Indicate that papers being sent to you are not legal forms when they are.

Furthermore, debt collectors may also NOT state that:

• You will be arrested if you do not pay your debt.

• They will seize, take, garnish, attach or sell your property or wages, unless the collection agency or creditors intend to do so and it is legal to do so.

• Actions, such as a lawsuit, will be taken against you, when such action legally may not be taken or when they do not intend to take such action.

• Send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency when it is not.

• Use a false name.

However, debt collectors are allowed or may contact you before 6 a.m. or after 10 pm.provided that: (a). account is past due for more than 60 days; or (b). cardholder has given express permission; or (c). said times are the only reasonable or convenient opportunities for contact.

For comments, rejoinders and questions on credit and collection matters,send e-mail [email protected]


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