Debt Collectors are aware that statistically, the longer a debt goes unpaid, the less likely it is that they will ever recover it. This knowledge drives them to start out strong and also encourages them to create a false sense of urgency when they talk to you. As an example they may try to pressure you into committing to pay your debt by a specific deadline or according to a very short period of time.
A threat which works well on most consumers is the one about being “blacklisted”, because it’s difficult to live without access to any form of credit, but the National Credit Act prohibits the listing of a prescribed debt upon a consumers credit profile.
Therefore it’s unethical for debt collectors to use the threat of “blacklisting” a consumer’s credit profile, in an effort to coerce payment out of you.
If you don’t consent to their demands, debt collectors may try other scare tactics to get you paying by threatening you with legal action, the loss of your personal property, garnishing your salary or issuing a Judgement against you, even the threat of jail time (no one can be locked up for owing debt) – regardless of whether these consequences are likely to happen or are even legal.
When dealing with debt collectors, knowledge is definitely power! Knowing how debt collectors operate, as well as what they can and can’t do in order to collect a debt, should help protect you from their threats.
Debt collectors can’t:
- Call before 8am or after 9pm, unless the consumer has given them permission.
- Call on a Sunday and public holidays.
- Contact consumers at work if they know that the consumer’s employer doesn’t want them to be contacted during work hours.
- Make contact with your employer about the debt you owe, unless that debt is past-due child maintenance then they are legally obligated too.
- Contact relatives, friends or neighbours to embarrass you into paying your debt. They can however contact them to find out how to get in touch with you but are not permitted to say why they need the information.
- Communicate with you about your debt by using a post card or an envelope that clearly indicates that a debt collector sent it.
- Call you over and over again during a relatively short period of time. For example calling you repeatedly during a single morning or afternoon.
- Swear or insult you when you are having a conversation with them.
- Order you to accept calls from them.
- Deposit a post-dated cheque you have given them before the date on the check.
- Collect more than you owe on a debt unless the contract the debt collector signed with the creditor states that they can.
IMPORTANT: “ALL” debt collectors need to be registered with the Association of Recovery Agents (ADRA) and openly provide you with their registration number. Be advised that the collection company is not registered under one membership number, but all agents of the debt collection company have to have their very own registration number. If any “debt collector” approaches you and they do not have a debt collectors registration number be advised that they are then collecting illegally and you are within your rights to report them to ADRA.
Note: Attorneys firms do not require registration with ADRA, hence there are many legal firm that specialize in debt recovery. This does not mean that they are above the laws of responsible debt collection though! They have to follow the same legal collection process like everybody else.
Therefore OUDS is willing to assist consumers in this predicament with a free service of a financial assessment, assist the consumer to organize an affordable, realistic and structured monthly budget and debt management plan thereby providing consumers with a guideline for eliminating and remaining out of debt.
Oyisa United Debt Specialists is therefore committed to assisting consumers struggling to make their debt repayments and facing financial difficulties, to solve their debt problems and empower them to take back control over their financial situation.
With over 11 years of specialized experience in the debt & legal field Oyisa United Debt Specialists is committed to assisting South African consumers in financial liberation.