Len Dastard looks at the updated OFT Guidance for "debt collectors"
Hola amigos. It is I, Len Dastard, real life litigation executive with a fictional wrestling alter-ego. I won’t lie to you; it was quite a heavy weekend on the Coctel Adelitas so today I need to rest and recover. What better way to do so than sharing with you some exhilarating news...
The OFT quite helpfully produce guidance for any businesses involved in recovery of debts to set out the standards expected of them. It is quite a lengthy document which has this month had a much needed update.
The actual document is split in to 4 sections of information. As a very quick overview, the guidance covers:
2. Principles of Fair Business Practice
3. Unfair or Improper Business Practices
4. Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
There is then a further 4 sections of reader guidance relating in particular to:
A. Disputed and deadlocked debt.
B. Statute barred debt (which we have covered here)
C. Other relevant guidance and legislation
D. List of useful references
As most people are aware, many "debt collection agencies" will attempt any method they can to try and contact you to discuss/pursue a debt. Some of the preferred methods now include the use of social networking sites and contacting debtors at unreasonable times (after 6pm usually). Some agencies have also been known to contact people when they are in hospital being treated as a patient!
The guidance also deals with how your personal information is shared with others to ensure that an innocent person is not contacted and asked to repay the debt of another.
David Fisher, the OFT’s director of consumer credit, said: “In the present economic climate, with many people, including those who may be particularly vulnerable, in financial difficulties, it is crucial they are treated fairly by companies recovering their debts. This updated guidance makes clear the standards the OFT expects of all businesses involved in debt recovery, including debt collectors, banks and law firms.”
Got any issues that you would like me, heavyweight consumer wrestler Len Dastard to consider? Get in contact – [email protected] Adios!