It is unfortunate that business debt collection agencies have such a negative connotation for many people, even though a collection agency is a middleman that benefits both the creditor and the person or organization with debt.
A big part of this wrong impression of debt collection agencies is the fact that many smalltime (and soon to be out of business) agencies use tactics that are not in line with what an agency is allowed to do, as they are tantamount to harassment. This in turn results in the people they are harassing to be under the impression that all agencies resort to these unfair practices.
In order to avoid problems like this, it helps to know what a business collection agency shouldn’t do, and what they are legally entitled to do:
A Collection Agency Can’t Harass You
You are required to keep your creditors apprised of any situation that relates to your inability to settle your debts, and collection agency services are empowered to call or contact you if you fail to do so, but they cannot do anything that is tantamount to harassment. If the agency starts to call you every, hour, every day, and even in your place of work, then it may be time to bring this to the attention of higher authorities.
A Collection Agency Can’t Pretend to Have Legal Powers They Don’t Have
If you are horribly late on your payments, a collection agency can send you notice letters, but they should not make their letters look like court documents or claim to have the legal authority to prosecute. They can only send bailiffs to your property if they have a court order. Make sure you know your legal rights.
A Collection Agency Can Send Doorstep Collectors
On the other hand, the agency is perfectly entitled to send doorstep collectors, and will sometimes do so if it will be more convenient. It is however important to know that these collectors are not bailiffs—they cannot harass, threaten or even do anything outside of collect payments. Do not be intimidated.
They Can Add Interest and Charges to Your Account
An agency can continue to add interest and charges to your account, provided that it is in line with the original agreement. If they started adding exorbitant charges or interests based entirely on their own discretion, it is time to contact the original creditor.
They Can Take Money from Connected Accounts
If you have a credit card with a current account with the same bank, an agency can dip into said account and take what is owed. They don’t need to ask for permission, as this is in accordance with a bank’s right of offset. The only thing they are obligated to do is to warn you in advance.
The above notes are the main culprit and a result of confusion among many individuals, and a primary cause of people’s mistaken belief that debt collection agencies are malevolent agencies who wish to fleece them in any way possible. Thankfully, as long as you know your rights and what a collection agency is entitled by law, you will be able to deal with any debt collection and stay within the bounds of what is legally right.