With the Debt Collection Services Quality Act supervision on the Dutch debt collection market

From April 1st, 2024, the Dutch “Debt Collection Services Quality Act” (in Dutch: Wki) will come into effect. The purpose of the law is to increase the quality of extrajudicial debt collection services and eliminate misconduct within the sector. The law introduces a debt collection register and imposes strict quality requirements for the collection of claims.

Reducing debt problems
The introduction of requirements and registration obligations under the Debt Collection Services Quality Act marks the first time the profession has been regulated in the Netherlands. The implementation stems from growing concerns about the practices of some debt collection agencies, which are perceived as aggressive and lacking transparency. Consequently, the law introduces strict rules and standards for debt collection service providers with the aim of improving the quality of debt collection practices, strengthening debtor protection, and contributing to the reduction of debt problems.

Scope of the act
The Debt Collection Services Quality Act applies to:

  • Service providers performing debt collection activities;
  • on behalf of creditors, or after claims have been purchased;
  • for claims against natural persons residing in the Netherlands.

 

The law thus applies to debt collection agencies and factoring companies, as well as administrative offices that send invoices and reminders on behalf of their clients. Different rules apply to lawyers and bailiffs, as they are bound by their own professional rules and supervision is also regulated differently. The law does not apply to creditors who collect debts through their own collection department or to government debt collection.

Quality requirements

  • Service providers must compulsorily register in a publicly accessible register. Existing debt collection service providers must register within one year after April 1st, 2024, in the debt collection service provider register. New debt collection service providers must register immediately.
  • Quality requirements are imposed in the areas of professional competence, dealings with creditors and debtors, information provision, and complaint handling. Each debt collection agency must have a complaints procedure and be affiliated with a dispute resolution scheme.
  • The law also contains a provision to limit the accumulation of collection costs for recurring claims. This provision will come into effect on October 1st, 2024.

 

Supervision and registration
The Screening Authority Justis will manage the register for debt collection service providers and will verify upon registration whether debt collection service providers meet the reliability and quality requirements set out in the Debt Collection Services Quality Act.

The Inspectorate of Justice and Security will supervise the quality requirements and registration obligation and can enforce compliance if debt collection service providers do not comply with the rules, for example by imposing fines.

Responsible debt collection
Branche Creditmanagement (BCM) contributes significantly to improving the quality of debt collection services through its socially responsible debt collection policy. All our (debt collection) efforts are aimed at preventing payment arrears as much as possible and, if they do occur, resolving them adequately as early and as quickly as possible and at the lowest possible cost to the debtor. Expertise, involvement, reliability, support, and service are our core values.

Although the Debt Collection Services Quality Act is primarily aimed at the consumer market (B2C) and BCM only serves business customers (B2B), sole proprietorships, partnerships, and self-employed individuals are also considered natural persons under this law. Branche Creditmanagement will register for its Modint Credit & Finance and CRDT labels.

Source: rijksoverheid.nl, inspectie-jenv.nl
Photo: Shutterstock

If you want to know more about the Dutch „Debt Collection Services Quality Act“ or responsible debt collection, you can contact MODINT Credit & Finance. Email info@modintcredit.com or call +31 88 505 4700.

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