Consumer guide on debt collection
The Unirec (National Union of Companies for the Protection of Credit) has developed a real guide for all those citizens who, for the most varied reasons, now find themselves in the position of debtors to banks and financial institutions. The guide has the difficult goal of being a point of reference and consultation, useful to the citizen-debtor to better understand the mechanisms that lie behind the function of debt collection.
The Guide also shows all the initiatives put in place by Unirec to guarantee transparency, correctness and value to the extrajudicial credit recovery activity, as well as the protection of the Consumer-Debtor.
Unirec: what is it?
Unirec is the acronym of National Union for Credit Protection. Its history began in the near 1998 and currently belongs to Confindustria, it is a member of Fenca (European Federation of National Associations of Credit Recovery Companies). It is easy to understand that Unirec represents a point of reference for the entire Credit Recovery sector. Its goal is to promote a ” bilateral debt collection culture “. Unirec constantly promotes refresher and specialization courses in its field of competence and its commitment is aimed at guaranteeing professionalism and ethical behavior in the performance of recovery mandates.
Many companies are members of the association, being part of Unirec means almost passing an exam and receiving a certificate of professionalism. The task of assessing the applications for admission lies with the College of Arbitrators of Unirec and the list of the associates can be consulted on the website of the association.
It is important to underline that Unirec is a non-partisan and independent association, the three main aims of the Association, as reported in the Statute, are:
- promotion in society and associated companies of social, civil and entrepreneurial values typical of a free development society;
- promotion at the institutions, economic, political, social and cultural organizations of forms of collaboration that allow the pursuit of broader goals of progress in common;
- guarantee of professionalism and fairness of the associated companies.
Unirec has adopted a Code of Ethics to which all members are bound.
The Consumer Guide on Debt Recovery
The Consumer Guide on debt collection of Unirec is available on the web here and consists of 13 pages written in a clear and simple way. After a brief introduction on the aims of Unirec, the characteristics of the extrajudicial credit recovery activity are analyzed. Nothing is left out. It is thus possible to discover the ways in which the Creditor, a customer of the Recovery Company, delivers the latter’s mandate, the correspondence procedures envisaged for the recovery activity, the phone collection or more simply the debt collection service telephone. We then talk about the home recovery activity and the key rules of the Operator and the agent in charge of Credit Recovery.
The Consumer Guide is a valid tool for the debtor, not only to know the mechanisms of Debt Recovery, but also to understand what are the limits beyond which the behavior of the telephone operator in charge of recovery and of the Agent having the same job are to be considered illegitimate. Let’s see them in detail.
The telephone operator according to the Unirec regulation
There are many cases in which a debtor citizen received the call from the debt collector and complained of excessive arrogance, aggression and lack of transparency. In some cases the victim has suffered intimidation and threats from unqualified personnel. Well, these situations are not foreseen by the current legislation which indeed invites to report illegitimate behaviors by telephone operators involved in debt collection. In this regard, it is useful to read the contents of the Consumer Guide on the behavior of the telephone operator for the protection of credit during the reminder call.
Prompt telephone calls characterize the telephone credit collection service also called phone collection. This activity is carried out by qualified personnel, duly trained in compliance with the law, in particular those concerning Privacy and Anti-Money Laundering. The telephone operator for credit protection, in the management of telephone contact with the Customer-Debtor:
- make calls at non-invasive times, generally between 8.30am and 9.00pm Monday to Friday and Saturday from 8.30am to 3.00pm. No phone calls are made on holidays;
- avoids situations that may embarrass the Debtor seeking only direct contact with the interested party;
- entering into contact with third parties unrelated to the debt does not communicate information on the reasons for the attempted tracing.
Rules of conduct of the Operator and the Credit Recovery Agent
The Unirec Consumer Guide establishes in a timely manner what the rules of conduct are to be followed by both the telephone operator and the credit recovery agent during contact with the Consumer. They are simple rules characterized by common sense and fairness. It is useful to read them carefully to counter any abuse. The Guide shows the following.
The telephone operator and the Credit Protection Agent […] in contact with the Consumer:
- undertake as far as possible to ascertain the identity of their interlocutor and strictly avoid communicating confidential information to persons outside the Debtor;
- they present themselves in a precise and punctual manner;
- accurately represent the reasons for the credit and the consequences that could derive from the persistence of the default, always maintaining a professional approach;
- they do not present improper legal actions and / or illegitimate expropriations.