Being unable to recover bad debts from your clients can put your company in a truly difficult situation; where finding the right way to get them to make good on their payments, in a time that it can add to the cashflow of your business, can be a challenging and treacherous floor to cross. Fortunately, there are quite few professional debt collecting services that are there to help recover bad debts in a carefully regulated, though effective way, that does not make use of intimidation or harassment tactics to get debtors to fulfill their end of the bargain. So, if you have been enlisting the assistance of a debt collection agency, and want to know if they are treating your efforts in a way that maintains your businesses integrity, here are a few guidelines on debt collection best practices, as laid out by the DFDC in 1998 to protect creditors and debtors alike.
Debtors cannot be harassed at home
It is very important to remember that a debtor right to privacy must be respected. This means that while various means of making contact are allowed, any attempt to contact them at home outside of work hours (such as late at night, on weekends or on public holidays) can be regarded as misconduct, which could land both you and the debt collection agency in trouble, should the client choose to pursue the issue. Be sure then to only use agencies that operate under professional guidelines to avoid injuring your company’s reputation.
Debtors cannot be victimized, intimidated or humiliated in any way
A collection agency should never use tactics that undermine the human rights allotted to the debtor as they are set out in the South African constitution. This means that no threatening or intimidating behavior should be tolerated, while tactics that besmirch the client’s reputation or credit rating should also be avoided.
No false legal documents
Submitting fraudulent legal documents in a bid to frighten debtors into paying can have dire legal consequences for both you and the collection agency, and so any one of them worth their salt should avoid such underhanded, and of course, illegal tactics.
Debtors cannot be charged collection services
Collection fees charged by a collection agency is the responsibility of the creditor who has contracted them. In no instances is the debtor responsible for these fees. Steer away from firms that tell you that the debtor is responsible, all that they owe you is what was initially agreed upon with interest. It is your responsibility to cover the costs of any third-party debt collection.
Contact Scheepers Pretorius Attorneys today
For more information on how our legal firm can assist you in recovering debt with integrity, contact Scheepers Pretorius Attorneys today or visit our website for details on our range of legal services.