Bad Collections Practices Leads To Massive Fine
After receiving many complaints, the Council for Debt Collectors investigated and charged Laflar Collections (PTY) Ltd with 323 violations regarding their collections processes.
Starting in August 2021, 86 different witnesses, from all over SA, were interviewed over 2 months during which time the collections agent refused to participate in the investigation.
The investigation revealed that collections agents at Laflar Collections had been harassing consumers, threatening them, telling them they would face legal action (when the agent had no intention of actually going to court), being misleading about who they really were and who they represented. Agents also continued to harass consumers even when told to contact legal representatives (where the consumers’ attorneys had even made contact).
The company owners also refused to cooperate with the investigation (which they are not allowed to do) and got caught out charging legal fees that they are not entitled to.
‘evidence led to the Council for Debt Collectors ordering a combined R1.2 million in fines’
All of the evidence led to the Council for Debt Collectors ordering a combined R1.2 million in fines against the firm and employees.
In an effort to duck the charges and carry on their bad behaviour it seems the owners have opened up operations under a new company name, which the Council is aware of. They are now taking action against this new company as well as they believe the same bad practices are going on there as well.
If You Are Threatened or Harassed By Collections Agents
If you are threatened by a collections agent or if they are vague about who they really work for (if they say things like: We are calling for X Bank and will not really tell you who they work for and who they are) then you are able to lodge a complaint.
If the collections agent starts saying they will “take you to court” and they start mentioning big figures that you know you do not owe then you can complain.
For Consumers Under Debt Review
If you are under debt review and your debt is being handled by your attorney at court then the collections agent should let the attorneys deal with the matter and not deal with you direct. If they insist, then you can contact your Debt Counsellor and ask for help in how to complain.
Thanks to Corporate Rebels for their help in regard to this article. For more info about them head to www.rebels.co.za