Non-payment of debt only makes it worse. So what do you do when a collection agency calls you furiously and tells you to pay the bill immediately? Pay soon. This is how harmful information collection agencies work. However, this law has never existed and therefore these agencies collect millions.
A lot of money is spent, says the Dutch Consumer and Market Authority (ACM). In many cases, these are hundreds of euros per consumer.
Suspicion is that these dishonest collecting agencies have tried to collect about 6 million euros.
ACM has recently published a warning for violating the Consumer Protection Act.
Six collection agencies are blacklisted, but there are many more. In addition, he shoots like mushrooms when he disappears, says Saskia Bierling of ACM.
Everyone can start a collection agency
Assets Finance / Assets Collectum, AMK Company, Be Clean, Co Jansen, Debt Pay and Unic Parts are the names of agents that are warned. However, the name change has been implemented in no time.
Everyone can start a collection agency. Sign up in a chamber of commerce that can attract customers and start collecting. Companies such as energy suppliers or health insurance companies may choose to outsource outstanding accounts to a collection agency.
"The profits model of these people is taking unjustified debt."
Saskia Bierling, ACM
These agencies are therefore business parties, but they must follow the rules. For example, reminders must be sent. The cost of collection is also adjusted.
These agencies have nothing to do with the real collection industry, which is a normal part of the economy, says Bierling. "They're totally dishonest. Collecting unauthorized debts is a business model."
That's how scammers work
It works as follows: you are called by a company that asks you to become a member. For example, a company recommends a subscription or a common holiday home, it can be anything. The conversation is recorded. It doesn't matter whether you agree or not, Bierling explains, because such an agreement is not legally valid.
A moment later you will be called again, this time by the collection agency. You have an open account because you agreed at that time. And that account must be paid immediately.
"You don't remember anything for the first conversation, but these people know exactly how to put pressure on you.
"People are shocked by the word debt and pay quickly."
Saskia Bierling, ACM
"Most people are shocked by the word collection and pay fast before it gets out of hand. There is a threat of marrying your salary and your merchandise.
"In addition, the tape on which your conversation is recorded is used. The word" yes "will undoubtedly fall into this conversation once and fraudsters use it as a means of pressure.
The government is taking action
ACM's blacklist of collection agencies has inspired the government to take action. There will be a mandatory collection register for collection agencies.
"This is to prevent vulnerable borrowers from being confronted with improper collection practices and to improve the quality and service of the regulated collection sector," the central government says.
An intelligence gathering center on the collection market will be set up in the coming months. Agreements on the use of reliable collection agencies will be concluded with creditors.
The Dutch Consumer and Market Authority will soon come up with a new list of collectors' names, says Bierling.
"We do not know who these people are. We know they operate from abroad, are very good at handling and continue to work. Our task now is to close the network and increase people's resilience and show them the rights of the collection industry."
- Don't pay an account. Even if the collection agency is exposed to high costs, executors or other measures.
- Use the information on ConsuWijzer.nl to make sure that the documents and sound recordings are valid. The agreement is only valid if you have accepted the offer.
- If the collection agency continues to bother you, end the phone call. Ignore letters or emails. Tables often stop automatically over time.
- Pay special attention if you have doubts about the correctness of your account and need to transfer money to a foreign account number.
- Report the issue to the police if the collection agency threatens you.