Money hunters. A lawyer reveals how to distinguish a debt collector from a fraudster | Right | Society

Money hunters.  A lawyer reveals how to distinguish a debt collector from a fraudster |  Right |  Society

More than 21 million Russians have problems with loan payments, according to the Federal Bailiff Service. Many of the borrowers have already encountered debt collectors – collectors of overdue debts. Lawyer, head of the social project “STOP! Collector” Vyacheslav Kurilin explained what you need to know about the work of “white” collectors and how to distinguish them from unscrupulous colleagues and scammers.

Antonina Lopaeva, — Vyacheslav, just a few years ago, cases often flashed in the press when debtors were “pressed” by collectors. It got to the point of threats and assault. Has the situation changed somehow?

Vyacheslav Kurilin: — Such situations sometimes still arise. But there are significantly fewer of them. There are practically no such gang warfare as we saw in 2013-2014.

— Let us remind you why collectors are needed at all?

— Collectors collect overdue debts from borrowers to creditors. Most often we are talking about banks and microfinance organizations. The creditor can collect debts independently, with the help of the court, or through a collection agency.

— Tell us how a conscientious collector should work?

— The functions of collectors have been streamlined at the legislative level in recent years. For example, if previously the debtor’s phone could get hot from calls from collectors, now you can’t call more than once a day and eight times a month. If messages are sent to the phone, there can be no more than two per day and 16 per month. Personal visits are also regulated: no more than once a week. Time for calls, messages and meetings is limited – from 8 to 22 o’clock on weekdays and from 9 to 20 o’clock on holidays and weekends.

Collectors can inform a person about his debt, inform him that there is a delay, that penalties and penalties have been accrued, and also tell him about ways to pay off the debt. If work with the debtor does not bring results, the court and bailiffs are involved in the work.

— What methods of collectors are prohibited?

– Insults and threats of influence – neither physical nor moral – are unacceptable. It is prohibited to call the debtor’s relatives or his place of work. The debt collector cannot describe the property, seize the borrower’s accounts, tell anyone else about the overdue debt, or disclose personal information to third parties. Collectors are now required to record all facts of interaction with debtors, so communication with them has become much more civilized.

— A fraudster or a “black collector” can act under the guise of a collector. Are there any ways to tell them apart?

— If a person calls the debtor and introduces himself as a collector, he must fully state his position and the address of the agency. The debtor has the right to clarify other data – write down the details of the agency and the telephone number of the employee who can be called back. Then you can take a break and interrupt the call to verify the information received. For example, on the website of the Federal Bailiff Service there is a register of organizations that have the right to conduct collection activities.

A conscientious collection agency must have its own website and not be in the process of bankruptcy or liquidation. The main activity of such a company should be the collection of overdue debts.

– How else can you suspect a fraudster?

— Fraudsters are constantly improving their work schemes, so even the above methods do not guarantee one hundred percent protection against fraud. The most important signal is when they start asking you for account details, card numbers, etc. Believe me, neither lenders nor collectors need this data: they have all this information, they see debts and balances on borrowers’ accounts and much more. Therefore, if it comes to “clarification” of any details and transfer of personal data, you can safely hang up.

— If a debt collector threatens or tries to obtain the debtor’s data, for example by telephone, is there any way to complain about him?

— The activities of collectors are controlled by the Federal Bailiff Service. You can complain there if the collector breaks the law. When it comes to threats, insults or other pressure, this is a reason to contact the police and prosecutor’s office.


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