Pledge to tackle unfair debt collection

  • Ensuring accountability: Walton Brown, Minister of Home Affairs

Legislation will soon tackle unfair debt collection, home affairs minister Walton Brown told MPs yesterday.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act under development will cover cases such as credit card bills, auto and personal loans, mortgages and medical bills.

Mr Brown added the Act will also cover personal, household and family debts.

He explained the legislation was designed to eliminate “abusive practices”.

He added: “Debt recovery practices require oversight and regulations to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of consumers during the collection process.”

Practices targeted include debt collectors who impersonate law enforcement officers and barristers, and people who send deceptive documents designed to look like court papers.

Misrepresentation of the debt amount or demands for amounts different from that of the original contract will also be cracked down on.

Mr Brown said: “It is a statement of fact that businesses and consumers need each other in order to enjoy a good quality of life.

“When that balance is undermined by predatory lending the Fair Debt Collection Practices legislation will ensure the accountability of all parties.”

The minister told The Royal Gazette that he expected to bring the legislation to Parliament this February.

• To read Mr Brown’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”