On 06.04.2022. The Council of Ministers has approved and proposed to the National Assembly to consider and adopt a draft of the Act on Collection of Consumer Contract Debts (“ACCCD”).
The draft provides that the Act shall cover the special requirements and general provisions in the activity with respect to “debt service persons acting on behalf of a creditor or a buyer of receivables under non-performing consumer contracts” and “debt buyers who acquire the rights of a creditor under non-performing consumer contracts”. The additional provisions exclude notaries, lawyers and bailiffs.
The law provides that debt collection companies will be obliged to register in a single register, which in turn will leave creditors with the possibility to transfer their contractual claims only with companies reflected in this register.
A further change envisaged by the draft is that the creditor will have to notify the debtor of the assignment of the claim, giving the debtor the opportunity to comply voluntarily with the obligation within two weeks. If the debtor does not voluntarily fulfil his obligation, he will also have the right to appeal against the claim within three months of the expiry of the two-week period. The transparency of claims is also on the agenda in the draft, as collection companies will be obliged to find alternatives from their current methods (approved under Article 181p of the Consumer Protection Act), and all claims that are led by the company will have to be publicly announced on their website or in any other publicly visible way.
Many of the current debt collection practices of debt collection companies will also be prohibited, namely:
- making telephone calls between 20:00 and 7:00 and on weekends and holidays;
- repeat telephone calls in less than 2 working days;
- conducting business to inform the debtor’s family or employer concerning the debtor’s collection or ability to pay, and to collect such information from them;
- making contact in relation to or concerning the claim with persons to whom it has not been assigned;
- to carry out recovery actions at the debtor’s place of work;
- the posting of notices and information about the debt in any form in public places as well as in places in the debtor’s private legal sphere from which publicly accessible information can be obtained;
- carrying out other similar acts and practices.