Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hounded by Credit Card Collection Agencies?

Ever had one of those days you failed to pay your credit card dues and then suddenly the credit card company's collection agency starts harassing you to pay up? Our laws provide that a creditor (such as the credit card company) can  only use acceptable means in trying to collect from you, the credit card holder, on your due/past due account. The credit card company or its collecting agency will be liable if it commits certain acts which, according to law, or rules set by the Central Bank, are considered unfair collecting practices.

The Manual of Regulations for Non-Bank Financial Institutions, Sub-sections 4301 N (14), as amended by Circular No. 454, Series of 2004 provides that credit card companies and their collection agencies are prohibited from doing the following acts:

(a) use or threat of violence or other criminal means to harm a person, his reputation or property; 
(b) use of obscenities, insults, or profane language which amount to a criminal act or offense; 
(c) disclosure of the names of credit cardholders who allegedly refuse to pay debts, unless authorized by law; 
(d) threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken; 
(e) purposely communicating or threatening to communicate false credit information; 
(f) any false representation or deceptive means to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a cardholder; and 
(g) making contact at unreasonable/inconvenient hours before 6:00 A.M. or after 10:00 P.M., unless the account is past due for more than sixty (60) days, it is with express permission, or said times are the only reasonable or convenient opportunities for contact;
If the collecting agency/bank/credit card company/lawyer collects in such a manner as stated above, they may be liable under the Revised Penal Code as the same constitute criminal acts, and they may also be liable for damages under the Civil Code of the Philippines. This is precisely the point that
RA7653 (New Central Bank Act) stressed that banks, subsidiary or affiliate credit card companies, lawyers, collecting agencies/agents are to observe good faith and reasonable conduct, and should refrain from engaging in unscrupulous acts in trying to collect on your bill.

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