12 July 2011

Debt Recovery Code - Long Overdue

Today, before lunch, I was pleased to gain the unanimous support of the States Assembly for my proposition, to set up a working party to look into how debt collection agencies operate in the island and to 'consider the creation of a code of practice for such agencies to ensure that they operate to best practice.'

I was pleased in presenting my proposition to acknowledge the help and input that I had from Malcolm Ferey, of the Citizens Advice Bureau (someone who knows only too well of the issues surrounding debt and the questionable practices of some agencies in the island) and several of the lawyers at Viberts, who were very forthcoming in working with me on getting to this point. I look forward to working with them and others in the weeks and months to come.

Lastly, I was also pleased in summing up, to give credit to the channel TV reporter who I thought did a very good investigative piece on the experiences of several individuals, one of whom spoke on camera about her harrowing experience of dealing with an unscrupulous debt recovery agency. More such investigative journalism would be welcome.


  1. All this will mean is that instead of being hounded by debt collectors people will be put into the Petty Debts Court quicker.

  2. I don't think it does mean that. It just means that in those instances where they might have bean 'hounded', they will now be contacted and engaged in a more legitimate fashion. It has to be said that there are (a majority) of agencies who generally behave in a 'normal' and acceptable fashion; indeed one already abides by a voluntary code of conduct. It is in the interest of both the debtor and the collection agency to behave in a way that will return the maximum amount of debt recovery in as quicker time as possible. This proposition simply focuses on the means. It has nothing to do with the petty debts court

  3. Some four years ago I was in dispute with a local firm regarding work that they had done on my boat, I contacted the company and disputed the amount being charged to me it involved materials and hours grossly exagrated I had full written proof of this, I heard nothing for some weeks,but while on holiday in Australia I recieved a telephone call at approx 12.30pm Australia time while we were fast asleep, from a dept collecting company operating along Bagot Road, they told me that I was being summoned to apear in the Petty Depts Court four days later, I explained that I was away on holiday and would not be back in time to which I was told words to the effect well thats too bad,I said as soon as I returned I would come to their office to discuss matters, they just put the phone donwn on me, when I returned some weeks later from holiday which was extended as my Wife had been taken ill in Newzealand I was to find they had taken me to Petty Depts and the case had been found against me in my absence,on taking advice I applied to the court to have another hearing, however before I could do that I had to proove to the other parties Lawers that I was actually on holiday as I had said this took some days to do as I had to present pass ports and hotel bills airline tickets eventully they accepted that I was out of the island and another court date was set with the Magistrate sending us to a mediator (I think is the word ) and an agreement was reached by the two parties, I found the Debt rep to be argagant and threatening and not one bit interested in what I had to say, best demonstrated when even after I had said I was on holiday and would call her office on my return she still went ahead and took the case to court in my absence.