ECONOMY

Bill to set strict limits on debt collection agencies

The draft bill for so-called debt collection agencies was released yesterday for public consultation and provides for fines up to 1 million euros and temporary or permanent expulsion from the Debtor Awareness Company register. Set for tabling in Parliament next month, the draft law by the Development Ministry also provides for all such companies to enter a register and makes it their sole duty to inform debtors of their obligations, as actual debt collection will be strictly forbidden. The collection agencies cannot operate as lawyers nor exercise any form of violence, as they often allegedly do, nor are they allowed access to clients’ financial records. All their contacts with debtors also must be recorded on tape.