Thursday, May 24, 2007

Unfair Collection Practices

Reminder : BSP Cir. 454 Series of 2004 Sec. 7

Banks, subsidiary/affiliates card companies ,collection agencies, counsels, and other agents must observe good faith and reasonable conduct and refrain from engaging in unscrupulous or untoward acts. Following conduct is a violation of this :

a) Harassment

Debt Collectors may not harass, oppress or abuse you or any third parties they contact

1. The use or threat of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation
or property of any person;
2. The use of obscenities, insults or profane language which amount to a criminal act or offense under applicable laws ;
3. Disclosure of the names of the credit cardholders who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except as allowed under Sub-sec. X320.9 and 4301N.9;
  • repeatedly using the phone to annoy someone
b) False Statements

Debt Collectors may not use any false or misleading statements when collecting a debt.

1. Threats to take any action that cannot legally be taken;
2. Communicating or threat to communicate to any person credit information which is known to be false including failure to communicate that a debt is being disputed;
3. Any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain any information concerning a cardholder;

  • falsely imply that they are attorneys or government representatives
  • falsely imply that you have committed a crime
  • falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit bureau
  • Misrepresent the amount of your debt
  • Indicate that papers being sent to you are legal forms when they are not
  • Indicate that papers being sent to you are not legal forms when they are
Debt Collectors may also not state that :
  • You will be arrested if you do not pay your debt
  • They will seize,take,garnish,attach or sell your property or wages, unless the collection agency or creditors intend to do so and it is legal to do so
  • Actions,such as a lawsuit, will be taken against you,when such action legally may not be taken or when they do not intend to take such action
  • Send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency when it is not
  • Use a false name
Debt Collectors MAY
1. contact you at unreasonable/inconvenient times ( before 6 a.m. or after 10 p.m.) provided:
a. account is past due for more than 60 days; or
b. cardholder has given express permission; or
c. said times are the only reasonable or conveninet opportunities for contact

Should you wish, you can either send these concerns to :

Acting Deputy Director and Head
Financial Consumer Affairs Group
Central Supervisory Support Subsector
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Mabini, Manila

Alicia A. Risos-Vidal
National Director for Bar Discipline
Integrated Bar of the Phils.
IBP Building, No.15 Julia Vargas Avenue,
Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines

Note: The numbered conditions are from the BSP guideline, the rest came from FDCPA.

Next.. The Amnesty Program

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