News

Code of conduct good for image

There is no regulatory authority for debt collectors.

But the Credit Collection Association of Singapore (CCAS) was set up by 10 collection firms last year.

A spokesman for the CCAS said they work on a "self-imposed code of conduct", which they hope other collection firms will abide by as well.

"We have introduced a code of conduct which all the members have agreed would be the industry standard," said the spokesman.

"It is CCAS' agenda to promote this among the wider community of collection professionals over time."

BEAR FULL COST

As for the payment of debt collectors, the spokesman said the common practice is for the creditor to bear the full cost of the collection process, not the debtor.

"Collection companies also work with creditors on a standard commission rate for which the age of the debt is one of the key determinants of the commission rate," she said.

"But in some rare cases, in agreements made and signed between the debtor and creditor (before credit or loan are given), some cost of the collection process may be borne by the debtor."

The spokesman said while there are different collection practices, a common standard would serve to improve the image of the industry.

"These standards ensure that professional industry-wide practices are adhered to, maintaining and delivering on the interests of all parties," said the spokesman.

"Public shaming, destruction of the debtor's assets or disruption to the debtor's business are all non-acceptable codes of conduct."