This report sets out a rules of conduct which will provide a firm and ascertainable legal basis for the conduct of private debt collection agencies and the debt collectors, and rules of conduct which should apply to everyone including collection agencies but also including creditors who collect their own debts. Proposed standards of conduct include prohibitions and obligations stated in simple and intelligible language so it will provide and efficient method of enforcement of the standards.
Examples of prohibited behaviour include actual or threatened violence, illegal acts, false accusations, and threats of arrest or criminal proceedings. Obligations include providing agency’s name and the creditor’s name to a debtor, and refraining from making false statements about the nature and powers of the collector’s agency.
Proposals would be implemented by amendments to the Collection Practices Act, which does not now establish any rules of conduct for creditors who collect their own debts, nor any administrative means of ensuring that their conduct will comply with minimal acceptable standards. The implementation of proposals would reduce paper work and regulation as there will no longer be a need for the “prior vetting” system which required the Administrator’s yearly approval of all forms and form letters proposed to be used by debt collection agencies.