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Debt collection is an absolutely legitimate activity, sometimes very necessary for both private individuals and commercial organizations for the civilized resolution of debt conflicts.

In Moldova, there is a fairly new form of enterprise for us – collection agencies. For a small percentage, they are ready to help withdraw the necessary amount from the debtor in favor of the creditor.

World experience shows that the path of collectors to law-abiding forms of activity is complicated and thorny – they appeared half a century ago in the USA, then in Europe, after which a legislative base was formed that determined the legal methods of their work and distance them from various thugs and mafiosi, “knockers” debts.

In the post-Soviet space, everything turned out to be more complicated – the line between the legitimate activities of collectors and criminal, was, to put it mildly, blurred – everyone remembers the scandals associated with the fact that collectors terrorized citizens in Russia and Ukraine. It came to grievous bodily harm and even murder, and among the victims were debtors and collectors themselves. At least that was until recently.

From January 1, 2017, a law comes into force in Russia that regulates relations between collectors and debtors. In Moldova there is no such law, but collectors work.

A Sputnik correspondent called one of Chisinau collection agencies and tried to clarify the situation by introducing himself as a creditor who could not repay a debt of several thousand euros.

The collectors readily responded, their working conditions are as follows – the potential client pays them a non-refundable fee of 500 lei, after which an agreement is concluded with him, the collection percentage is negotiated separately, usually 10%. Collectors do not give guarantees of return of a debt, however they claim that they work with an efficiency of 70%.

The interlocutors said that they did not use illegal methods of influencing debtors and there would be no problems with the law – neither they nor the customer.

For an explanation of how the activities of Moldovan collectors correlate with the law, our correspondent turned to experts. Lawyer Vitaly Nagachevsky said that collection agencies fit into the legal field of Moldova.

“There is a presumption of legality – until someone’s activity is recognized as illegal, it remains within the law. If an agency buys debts and seizes them, I don’t see sedition or any deviation from the law. Another thing is whether their activities under licensing, but based on a liberal interpretation of the law, I don’t see any problems that would put the activities of these agencies out of the law, “said Nagachevsky.

Lawyer and professor Pavel Midrigan, in turn, expressed doubts about the legality of the existence and activities of collection agencies.

“We have a Department of bailiffs, it is he who executes decisions, it is impossible to duplicate his work in the absence of clear legislation. In my opinion, collection agencies are a new form of earnings for us, unlike bailiffs, their powers are very vague,” explained the expert.

Pavel Midrigan advises citizens not to enter into conversations with collectors and immediately connect state power structures if collectors are interested in your person.

“You need to contact the law enforcement agencies, find out on what basis they are concerned about this or that debtor, if there is no court decision and there is no writ of execution, then why do they turn to a citizen? You need to say right away that enforcement officers are executing the documents, and I’ll talk with you I’m not going to. None of the debtors are obliged to conduct any conversations with collectors. We need a serious legislative framework for the activities, “Midrigan summed up.

The opinions of experts were divided, and most likely, in Moldova, over time, as in other countries, a legislative basis will be formed for a civilized interaction of debtors with collectors. But now and after this event, it is always better to repay debts on time, and ideally, to have no debts, and to know about the activities of collectors and bailiffs only from TV shows and paperback books.

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