The Law and Debt Collection – Introduction to the council

The Council has been established by the Debt Collectors Act 114 of 1998 to regulate the occupation of debt collector.  The Act came into operation on 7 February 2003. The recovery of debts plays an integral part in the economy of South Africa. Due to the escalating levels of unpaid debt it is also an industry that affects or has the potential to affect the majority of most South Africans on a day to day basis. As a result much has been done to improve and regulate the debt collection industry.

Even though much has been achieved in ensuring that the recovery of debts is done in an ethical manner in accordance with the Act, Regulations and Code of Conduct for which the industry should be congratulated, there is still work that needs to be done.

To ensure the fair recovery of debt by enforcing the Act, Regulations and Code of Conduct

·To exercise control over debt collectors by:
· ensuring compliance with our enabling Act, Regulations and Code of Conduct
· encouraging the training and development of debt collectors
· reviewing and reforming our enabling Act, Regulations and Code of Conduct
· reviewing and reforming disciplinary procedures
· To develop and maintain fair disciplinary justice in line with the rules of administrative justice
· To appoint, develop and retain a competent and dedicated staff complement
· To develop and maintain a dedicated and efficient Information Technology system
· To ensure financial sustainability, integrity and accountability
· To educate the consumers on debt recovery processes and
· Market and promote the Council.

To provide for the establishment of a Council, known as the Council for Debt Collectors; to provide for the exercise of control over the occupation of debt collector; to amend the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944, so as to legalise the recovery of fees or remuneration by registered debt collectors; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

The broad mandate is formalized in more detail in the Act as follows:

The objects of the Council

The objects of the Council are set out in section 2(2) of the Act: to exercise control over the occupation of debt collector. This provision in the enabling legislation is supplemented by other provisions in the Act, the Regulations and the Code of Conduct promulgated in terms of the Act. Broadly speaking the aims of the Council are to:

· regulate the occupation of debt collectors
· regulate the recovery of fees
· register debt collectors
· issue registration certificates
· the investigation of complaints against debt collectors and
· where appropriate, institute disciplinary proceed ngs against debt collectors for misconduct.

In short, the Council for Debt Collectors regulates the occupation of debt collector, ensures that debt collectors are registered with the Council and protects the public by the investigation of complaints and the institution of disciplinary proceedings where necessary.

Information obtained from (with written permission) Ë

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