What are your rights as a debtor?


At FREED, we have researched the codes of conduct for collection activities generally followed by most banks and lenders and as formulated in consultation with Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Banks Association. We have also compiled views from Industry experts to bring you an abbreviated version of Dos and Don’ts that would apply for any debt collector:

You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, the debt collector cannot harass or humiliate you, threaten you with violence or harm or use obscene or profane language. Remember, this goes both ways.

The debt collector must generally call you between 7 AM to 7 PM unless requested by you.

They can’t lie. For example, they can’t misrepresent the amount you owe or lie about being attorneys or police officials and falsely claim that you’ll be arrested or claim legal action will be taken against you if it’s not true.

They can’t engage in unfair practices. For example, they can’t try to collect undue interest, fees, or other charges on top of the amount you owe.

The debt collector when visiting your residence should respect your personal space, maintain adequate physical distance and maintain your privacy by not embarrassing you in the presence of your family or neighbors.

The collector must not discuss your debt obligation with anyone else other than a coborrower/supplementary card holder/co-signatory of the loan or your loan guarantor.

The debt collector must not visit your workplace or any other place other you’re your billing address, against your wishes. You may be asked to provide with an alternate venue for a meeting if you are not available to meet with them at your billing address.

The debt collector must attempt to answer all your questions and any request to speak with a supervisor or manager must be complied with.

If you are behind on your payments or a prior commitment to make a payment to the creditor is not met, a collector may call you with reasonable frequency based on the amount you owe,

your payment history, aging of the debt etc. However, calling multiple times in a day or back to back calls are considered harassment.

The collector must adhere to your request of not calling you or showing up at your place of work. The collector may ask you for an alternate place of meeting to discuss your debt

The collector must not force his or her way into a conversation, rather a permission or the convenience of the customer to talk should be checked at the beginning of the call.

All collection calls must ideally be recorded and logged by the collector.

Last but not the least, the creditor has the right to call you if you owe money to them. However, they are mandated to comply with the guidelines that govern the code of conduct of debt collections, as formulated by The Banking Codes and Standards Board of India, established in 2006 by the Reserve Bank of India.

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