What is global debt recovery

Helene Mueller
eCollect support team

Global debt recovery is carried out by external debt collection agencies, operating on a global level. There is a difference in the total outstanding debts percentage concerning international debts, depending on the country. According to the “Global Collections Review”, used data from the Heliview Research B.V (ext. link 1), companies in Belgium have 32% international debts, in Australia- 13%, in Hong Kong- 44%, etc. Therefore companies with higher global debt percentage will have a bigger need of global debt recovery agencies, than organisations with less or almost none foreign debtors. As debt collection is time- and resource-consuming process, a lot of creditors decide to outsource their bad debt profiles and transfers the collection process to external DCAs (Debt Collection Agencies).

Global debt recovery agencies- granted actions

National debt recovery agents possess the following legal authorities:

  • They can contact the debtor in order to settle the debt amount. Such tracing and communication process can be done by phone calls, letters, emails, etc. Depending on the country, the allowed calling hours vary, but are usually between 8am-9pm Monday to Friday;
  • They can visit the debtor in their property. If the collection agent is a bailiff, he can forcefully deprive the debtor of part of their belongings. The legal agent can then sell these belongings to restore the defaulted payment’s amount and settle the debt. If the agent is not a bailiff, he can offer to sell some of the belongings or settle a convenient payment plan for the debtor. This plan is usually an option when the agent appraises that the debtor does not have enough funds to cover the debt in full and within one single payment;
  • Global debt recovery agents can send official letters of demand (formal reminders), which consist either: the total debt amount and suggest the sum to be paid; OR warning letters, which inform that the debt is still not settled and if the debtor does not transfer the amount due, court actions will take place. The letters are not harassing or in breach with the debtor’s rights, but inform the subject of debt and remind him about the overdue payment;
  • Such agents are authorised to contact colleagues or relatives of the debtor, but only if he cannot be contacted by phone or when he does not answer letters, emails, etc. If the debtor is represented by a legal attorney, the collection agent will contact the attorney first;
  • They have the legal right to collect their commission fee from the debtor, if: their practice is to charge the debtor, not the creditor, and if this action is legal and law-regulated, depending on the country. For example, in the GSA region- Germany, Switzerland and Austria, debtors are obliged to pay collection agency’s percentage. In other countries like USA and UK, the global debt recovery agency cannot require additional payment to be made by the debtor, unless it is specifically pointed out in the contract, signed by both first party (original creditor) and second party (subject of debt);
  • International DCAs (Debt Collection Agencies) are allowed to proceed with legal actions, if the pre-legal have not been successful. They can pass the case to court and also send legal representatives (bailiffs or enforcement agents) and try to collect the debt amount;
  • They can collect any type of debt (consumer, commercial, medical debt, etc., except country national debts);
  • Global debt recovery agents can act on behalf of the creditor (then they are called third-party DCAs), they can be part of internal subdivision of creditor’s organisation (such agents are called first-party DCAs) or they can purchase the bad debts and pay the original creditor a fraction of the debt amount. After the debt buying process they become the new creditors and collect the amount on behalf of their own debt collection company;
  • International debt recovery agents have the right to long-term monitor debtor’s profiles on behalf of the creditor in order to avoid future bad debts;

Global debt recovery- international purchase of debts

International debt recovery agents can also purchase foreign debts from the original creditor. The lender prepares debtors’ portfolio profiles and sells them to the international debt buyers for a fraction of the total debt amount. The debt buyer then becomes the new creditor of the bad debt and has all the legal rights to collect this sum. International debt collection agencies usually buy foreign debts, if they have representatives in the same country as the debtor. They can proceed using pre-legal actions for collecting the default payment or, if necessary, resort to court actions, taking into consideration national laws and regulations.

Used literature & External links