Labour and Christian party team up against "cowboy" collection agencies

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No image availableNL Times

The PvdA and ChristenUnie are teaming up in creating a legislative proposal for stricter rules for the about 600 collection agencies in the Netherlands. Keklik Yucel of the PvdA and Carola Schouten of the ChristenUnie want to tackle the "cowboys who try to earn a lot of money with pressure and intimidation", ANP reports.

Last year the Authority for Consumer and  Market warned that people dealing with collection agencies often face dishonest claims, too high collection costs and even intimidation. In February the Consmentenbond reported that collection agencies threaten people with fake lawsuits.

The two parties want to put an end to the fact that anyone can start a collection agency. "Now everyone can frighten civilians and run up costs, putting people with debts in further trouble." Yucel said. Schouten added: "In the debt collection industry you sometimes run into crazy things. We want to work on an honest and reliable debt collection industry."

They want a mandatory registry for collection agencies, where only those who meet certain educational requirements can be registered. Fines for violations of the rules should be increased to up to 650 thousand euros and a five year closure of companies who violate the rules three times. The ACM will monitor that the rules are being followed.