In Thailand, it is not unusual to hear horrific stories of debt collectors tricking debtors into paying obscene amounts of money through giving false information, or even by resorting to abusive language, violence or blackmail. Thankfully, in a well-appointed effort to get rid of such practices, the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand voted on a proposed Debt Collection Act.
Drawing inspiration from similar laws in the United States and Australia, the Debt Collection Act will function as a consumer protection law. Its goal is to protect consumers from the aforementioned abhorrent practices of debt collectors. The Debt Collection Act will effectively establish fair and standardized debt collection rules.
What is a Debt Collector?
By definition, a debt collector is a creditor who makes a loan to a debtor. It’s important to note that the loan can be legal or illegal. Furthermore, a debt collector is also classified as any person engaged or employed in the business of debt collection. Any person that works as a debt collector must register with the Fiscal Policy Office and pay a fee that is set in accordance with government regulations.
Restrictions Under the Debt Collection Act
By law, debt collectors are only allowed to communicate with the debtor or the debtor’s lawyer. Also, a debt collector is only allowed to contact the third party to learn the debtor’s location. The debt collector is also limited to identifying his identity as well as inquiring with a third party to find the debtor’s whereabouts. It is not legal for the debt collector to tell the third party that the debtor owes a debt unless it is the debtor’s spouse, child, or parent.
Rules of Debt Collection
The debt collector is only allowed to contact the debtor between 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday. During holidays, the hours of contact are 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Additionally, the debt collector can only contact the debtor at a place or location given to the debt collector.
A lawyer of a debt collector must state their name or agency, full amount of the debt as well as the name of the creditor. The only way that a debt collector can collect the amount in person is to show the power of attorney to the debtor.
It is also extremely important to note that the debt collector is prohibited from using threats, abusive language, or violence towards the debtor. The debt collector is also forbidden from stating falsehoods such as allowing the debtor to believe that the debt collection has come from a court order, a government official, or another lawyer.
Seeking Legal Counsel Regarding the New Debt Collection Act
The New Debt Collection Act is complex, and can be very confusing for a debtor who owes money to a debt collector. While it is always advisable to only take a loan from a reputable lender, the Debt Collection Act does provide a measure of protection for those who did not have this option to begin with.
Harwell Legal International Law Office is Thailand’s premier international law office in Phuket. Our team of experienced lawyers is able to provide friendly, professional services with measured results. If you are in need of legal counsel regarding debt collection or the Debt Collection Act, reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org We will do our best to ensure you get friendly service while resolving any debt collection issues you might have.
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