Know your rights – Debt collectors code of conduct

WHAT IS DEBT COLLECTION?

The National Debt Collection Act 114 of 1998 regulates the process of collecting debts in South Africa. Debt Collection is when an attorney; a person who is an agent of an attorney; or a registered debt collector collects, on behalf of the client, the capital amount plus lawful interest and the debt collectors fee.

WHO IS ALLOWED TO COLLECT DEBTS?

Section 8 of the Act says an attorney, or his or her agent, or a registered debt collector may act as a debt collector. A registered debt collector is a person registered with the Council for Debt Collectors.

WHAT DEBTS CAN THEY COLLECT?

A debt collector can only collect the capital amount of the transaction; lawful interest; and his or her administration fee and expenses. The fees are structured by the National Council for Debt Collectors.

DO DEBT COLLECTORS HAVE TO FOLLOW A CODE OF CONDUCT?

YES! Section 15 of the Act tells us what conduct would be considered “improper” or unethical.

A debt collector is NOT allowed to …

  • Use force or threats against a debtor or any other person who has ties with the debtor;
  • Use intimidation against a debtor or any other person who has ties with the debtor;
  • Make fraudulent or misleading representations including:
  • Making or using fraudulent legal or official documents;
  • Represent themselves as a police official, sheriff, officer of the court or any person other then a debt collector.
  • Practice as a debt collector if he or she is convicted of an offence that has an element of violence, dishonesty, extortion or intimidation;
  • Spread or threaten’s to spread false information concerning the creditworthiness of a debtor;
  • Violate the provisions of the code of conduct.

The OVAG Int SA family are proud to be practising the highest code of good conduct in debt collections.

You can be rest assured that your outstanding debt is collected on time, and that our collectors are registered and abide by this code of conduct.

At OVAG Int SA we create a culture of continuous training and development, that enhances our behaviour and practice.

Should you require improvement in your Debt Collection Process. you can contact our offices to schedule a meeting, so we can discuss your requirements in more detail.

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