NBS warning - Unfair practices of non-banks - Don’t be deceived!
Has a debt collection company ever tried to recover a non-existing or suspiciously high debt from you? Such firms recover debts in various ways. When do their activities constitute an unfair business practice?
Debt recovery methods
Firms may approach you about the recovery of a debt by letter, SMS message, email or telephone.
The following cases may involve an unfair business practice:
– The firm applies psychological pressure that begins to make you afraid.
– The firm sends you letters that seem to have an official or legal form.
They may contain such words as “you are required to appear” or “summons”.
They may include threats such as “you will be visited by a bailiff” or “a lawyer will visit you to list your assets”. Such formulations may not be used unless based on an actual court ruling. If you know your case has not come before a court, such threats are unlawful, i.e. they have no basis in law. If you are not sure whether a threat is lawful, consult a lawyer.
Unless a court has issued a ruling on your debt, a debt collection company may not send you a final demand before the enforcement of a warrant of execution.
– Telephone calls and SMS messages – they are usually generated automatically from different numbers and should not be so frequent as to cause you a nuisance.
– You may be contacted by debt collection companies only on working days and by 6 p.m. at the latest.
– Personal visits – debt collection companies are forbidden by law from visiting you at home or work for the purpose of recovering a debt.
– Debt collection companies may not bring a court action for the recovery of a debt that is time-barred, nor may they threaten to do so. If you are not certain whether a debt is time-barred, consult a lawyer.
PLEASE NOTE! The right of complaint is a basic consumer right!
What should I do if I’m threatened by a debt collection company?
– Be assertive! Write to the firm and request detailed documents about the debt (including information about its amount and origin). After obtaining the documents, consult a lawyer.
– If the firm does not want to give you the documents or if their debt recovery activities are bothering you, make a written complaint!
– The firm must respond to a complaint within 30 days. If it does not respond, make a complaint about the firm to Národná banka Slovenska.
PLEASE NOTE! By law, Národná banka Slovenska is responsible for supervising only part of the business of debt collection companies, namely the recovery of consumer loans and housing loans. NBS supervision does not cover the recovery of unpaid bills (for example, telephone, gas and electricity bills).
National Bank of Slovakia
Imricha Karvasa 1, 813 25 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Tel.: +421-2-5787 2142, +421-2-5865 2142, +421-2-5787 2169, +421-2-5865 2169
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