The Debt Collection Act is government legislation that offers consumer protection from illegal and unethical tactics by the debt collection services.
The Council for Debt Collectors has, under section 14 of the Debt Collectors Act, 1998 (Act No. 114 of 1998), with the approval of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional development, adopt a code of conduct in the Schedule.
Under the DCA, a debt collector is not permitted to do the following:
- Call you an unreasonable amount of times, before 8 am or after 9 pm or contact you at your place of employment if your supervisor disapproves.
- Disclose information regarding your debts to uninvolved third parties.
- Use harassing, Profane, or accusatory language.
- Misrepresent the factual information surrounding the debt or threaten to communicate false credit information.
- Make Further contact with you after a Cease and Desist Letter has been sent.
How Creditors Establish Compliance with the DCA:
To be in compliance with the DCA, the debt collector must send a dunning letter, or written communicating several pieces of information.
They are as follow:
- Amount of the debt
- Name and address of the creditor who is owed the debt
- That the debt will be assumed valid if the debtor doesn’t respond to the communication within 30 days of receiving it
- That if the debt disputes the debt in writing within 30 days. The debt collector will send verification of the debt.
- That if you request the name and address of the original creditor within 30 days, if different from the current creditor, the debt collector will provide that information.