You may have been approached by an amicable debt collection company following an unpaid telephone, electricity, premium or premium invoice insurance, the arrears of unpaid bank credit, or any other amount that you owe and that you have not paid.
But it is clear that according to several surveys by the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud (DGCCRF) that certain collection companies resort to abusive practices, even aggressive, take undue charges, sometimes use means of pressure and intimidation. What you need to know not to be tricked.
Rules to respect
A company responsible for amicable collection can act only after having concluded an agreement with the creditor which gives him the power to collect sums on behalf of the latter.
The agreement concluded between the collection company and the creditor must include four mentions: the basis and the amount of the sums due, with the indication of the different elements of the claim; the conditions and conditions of his professional civil liability insurance; the conditions of remuneration payable by the creditor; the conditions for repayment of funds collected on behalf of the creditor.
In the letter which it addresses to the debtor, i.e. the person who owes money, the company responsible for the amicable recovery has the obligation to indicate it, under penalty of To a fine of at least 1,500 dollars, a series of mentions (article R124-4 of the Code of Civil Procedure for Execution) to his name, address or head office and the indication that it carries out an amicable collection activity; the name and address of his client, i.e. the body responsible for collecting the unpaid debt; the basis and amount of the amount claimed, clearly distinguishing the debt itself, and any interest or any other sum claimed in addition; payment methods (check, bank card, money order …). In case of doubt, the collection company must prove that it actually sent you a letter containing all of the mandatory information.
A supervised profession
Depending on the regulations, natural or legal persons may be responsible for the amicable recovery of debts. They must, before any activity begins, address to the public prosecutor attached to the court of the place of their head office (article R 124-2 of the Code of Civil Procedure ) Justification of the subscription to a professional civil liability insurance contract. They also have the obligation to justify the opening of a bank account used exclusively for the reception of sums collected for creditors.
Collection costs prohibited
Can the collection company claim a higher amount from you than you owe? In other words, can she make you pay the cost of her intervention? No, the law prohibits it (article L121-21 of the Consumer Code and article L111-8 of the Code of Civil Execution Procedures), unless otherwise decided by a judge.
Besides, the collection company must inform you of this prohibition in principle by reproducing, on the letter it sends you, part of the provisions of article L111-8 of the Code of Civil Procedures of execution. The text to appear on the letter is as follows The costs of recovery undertaken without enforceable title remain the responsibility of the creditor unless they relate to an act the performance of which is prescribed by law in fancier.
Any contrary stipulation is deemed unwritten unless otherwise provided by law. However, the creditor who justifies the necessary character of the steps taken to recover his debt may ask the execution judge to leave all or part of the costs thus exposed to the charge of the bad faith debtor.