Nobody likes debt; however, if you are in a situation of being a debtor, it is unavoidable that you have to keep your head down to pay off your debt. So, in this article, we have summarized all the key facts about debt collection which both debt collectors and debtors need to know. "Debt collector" means a creditor who makes a loan to a debtor. The debt can be legal or illegal. Further, creditors’ authorized representatives are all categorized as debt collectors. “Debt collection business” means any business hired to collect a debt which must be registered to the registrar. In the case where the debt collection business operator is a lawyer or a lawyers’ office, it must be registered to the Lawyers’ Council of Thailand. Whoever will operate the debt collection business shall register such business and own a qualification in accordance with rules, procedures and conditions prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation as follows:
Shall register such debt collection business to the registrar
It is prohibited for the State official like soldiers or police to operate a debt collection business or collect debt or support the collection of debt which is not his or her own debt except in the case where it is a debt of husband, wife, parents or descendants or in the case where such State official has the power under the law.
Any person operating a debt collection business or a similar business under this Act prior to the date that this Act comes into force, if such person wishes to continue operating a debt collection business, such person shall lodge a registration application within ninety days as from the day that this Act comes into force (September 2).
How to collect a debt legally?
Dealing with delinquent debtors is not a piece of cake -- some may not have no money, some may be disagreeable so, debt collectors must handle with them patiently and calmly. However, there is also one important thing debt collectors should know that is how to collect a debt legally? The main idea of this debt collection Act, B.E 2558 (2015) specifies rights and duty of debt collectors towards debtors in an appropriate manner, and punishment when debt collectors treat debtors in an unfair manner. Debt collectors shall perform the following actions:
Debt collector is prohibited from making contact with other persons who are not debtors or debt collection, except for a person specified by a debtor for such purpose;
A debt collector shall inform name, last name and expressing an intention to enquire information in regard to a place of contact with a debtor or person specified by a debtor for debt collection purpose;
It is prohibited to disclose the indebtedness of a debtor;
It is prohibited to contact or express oneself causing misunderstanding in order to acquire information on the place of contact of a debtor or person specified by a debtor for debt collection purpose;
A contact with a debtor on Monday to Friday shall be made from 8.00 a.m. to 20.00 p.m. and on public holidays shall be made from 8.00 a.m. to 18.00 p.m.;
A contact shall be made as many times as appropriate;
In the case of an attorney authorized by a debt collector, it is necessary to show the evidence of authorization for the collection of debt.
Some debt collectors may collect debts in unfair manners, in this case, such debtors shall be entitled to complain to a Provincial Debt Collection Supervisory Committee. However, if competent official performing duties do not comply to the mentioned principle or treat debtors too violently than necessary in the following manners:
Treating debtors unfairly or taking an advantage of debtors;
The use of threat, violence or performance other actions causing damage to the body and mind property of debtors;
The use of profane verbal or other languages to a debtor or other persons;
Sending document implying the evident collection of debt;
The notification or disclosure of the indebtedness of a debtor to other persons irrelevant to the collection of debt;
Contact or express oneself causing misunderstanding for debtors;
Calling for the payment of fees or expenses exceeding the rate prescribed and announced by the Committee;
Offering or inducing a debtor to issue a cheque in the knowledge that a debtor is in a state of inability to pay debt.
If the Provincial Debt Collection Supervisory Committee receives complaints and finds out that a debt collector violates or fails to comply with the regulation above, the debt collector must receive a punishment. If the debt collector does not collect a debt in the stipulated time, he/she shall be fined not exceeding 100,000 baht and shut down his/her debt collection business. Moreover, if a debt collector who uses violence shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and a fine not exceeding 500,000 baht.
Credit: Facebook page @Interesting.deka