DEBT COLLECTION DURING THE LOCK-DOWN
DEBT COLLECTION ACTIVITES DURING THE LOCKDOWN PERIOD
The Council for Debt Collectors has noted confusion over debt collection activities during the 21-day national lockdown and wishes to set the record straight regarding debt collection in this period.
The Council for Debt Collectors is the regulatory body that exercises control over the debt collection industry, to ensure the fair recovery of debts and make provision for the regulation and control of fees charged by debt collectors. All debt collectors in South Africa must be registered with the Council for Debt Collectors to ensure the industry is properly governed.
This week, the Council approached Government to obtain clarity regarding the activities of debt collectors during the lockdown period. Government has since amended its lockdown regulations as follows:
Debt collection services are not allowed to operate as per normal until the lockdown ends.
Initially, debt collectors were included in the financial industry’s essential services, but this is no longer the case.
According to CEO of the Council for Debt Collectors, Advocate Andries Cornelius, this means debt collectors are not allowed to operate from their offices and are not allowed to knock on the doors of people owing money.
Cornelius said: “While debt collectors are able to work from home, make phone calls and send emails to recover debt, the same rules apply to them as to the rest of the non-essential service providers in the country”.
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has the power to expand the list of essential financial services at his own discretion, but debt collection is the exception to this rule.
“Offices and call centres must remain closed until the lockdown is lifted, to ensure we protect those working in the industry during this difficult time,” Cornelius said.
For more information and interview opportunities, contact:
Advocate Andries Cornelius
CEO – Council for Debt Collectors
082 446 5391