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Code of collector's ethics


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Clauses and definitions of Code of collector's ethics, approved by The Associated Collecting Businesses of Ukraine

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Code of collector's ethics

  1. 1. CODE OF ETHICS The Associated Collecting Businesses of UkraineGOAL The Ethics Code (henceforth – Code) was developed for implementation of highest standardsof conduct in commercial activities that include any types of interactions with clients and othercounterparties; as well as for supervision over their implementation by other collecting agencies, sothat collecting business is acknowledged by the society as the institutions of public trust. Chapter I Part ITerminology 1. „Collection agency” – an enterprise that professionally operates in the spheres of debts, debt collection, debt rights’ transfer, and debt monitoring; and provides other types of similar or related services both for themselves and on behalf of their clients; 2. „Collector” – an employee, agent or other individual that performs collecting actions when properly authorized by a collection agency; 3. „Collecting activities” – a number of non-legal and legal actions aimed at debt recovery in clients’ best interests; 4. „Indebtedness” – a right granted by a legal agreement for one participant of such agreement to have certain actions performed by his contractual counterparty; 5. „Debt” – a debtor’s monetary or other type of obligation; 6. „Debtor” – an individual or a legal entity, that has obligations to perform a certain action that would benefit another individual or a legal entity, 7. „Customer” – an individual that performs actions that are not immediately related to his/her commercial or professional activities; 8. „Counterparty” – a seller of a debt obligation or a subject that employs a collection agency to provide collecting services.General regulations§1This document is a compilation of principles of conduct that are based on generally accepted moralnorms and are in congruence with Ukrainian legislation. These principles are put into practice by theenterprises that provide collecting services on Ukrainian market and collectively represent ACBU.§21. ACBU members (henceforth – Collection Agencies) pledge to conduct their professional activitiesin congruence with Ukrainian legislation, principles of this Code (henceforth – Principles), andaccepted principles of public coexistence.2. Implementation of the aforementioned pledge is also mandatory for all authorized individualsrepresenting the Collection Agencies and acting on their behalf.§3Collection Agencies driven by clients’ interests and rights pledge to conduct commercial activities, inparticular those related to debt recovery, in congruence with the norms of Ukrainian legislation,internal ACBU rules and established commercial conduct standards.§4In congruence with the standards established and approved by the ACBU, General AssemblyCollection Agencies may use the name, symbols and the abbreviation of ACBU in their operationalactivities, in letters, addressed to the clients, and in advertising materials.
  2. 2. §5Collection Agencies must cooperate with ACBU organs, as well as to execute their approvedresolutions. Part II Conduct with the clients§6Collection Agencies timely and duly execute their commercial activities in congruence with legalrequirements; and pay special attention to clients’ legal protection at every stage of cooperation.§71. Collection Agencies pledge not to disclose confidential information, information that may beclassified as commercial secret, and any other information protected by Ukrainian legislation.2. The information protection pledge does not have an expiration date. Meanwhile, the CollectionAgencies may be exonerated from the pledge only by appropriate officials, or with consent of theindividual that the information refers to.§8Collection Agencies pledge to provide accurate information in a way that does not cause doubtsregarding its factual contents in all public letters and documents, as well as in all promotional andadvertising materials.§9Collection Agencies pledge to duly conduct all financial settlements with the clients.. Part III Conduct with counterparties and competitors§ 10Collection Agencies pledge to conduct their commercial activities in congruence with the principles offree and decent competition, and principles of loyalty and corporate culture, providing for realizationof ACBU goals.§ 11Collection Agencies collaborate to minimize the risks created by disreputable and fraudulent marketsubjects, in particular in the sphere of consumer credits.§ 12Collection Agencies may not publicly voice groundless judgments about other ACBU members.§ 13Publication or other form of distribution of false or misleading information about the CollectionAgency itself or about other Collection Agencies in advertising materials and/or promotional activitiesis considered unethical and violates this Code.§ 141. Collection Agencies may obtain information about their competitors exclusively in legallyacceptable ways and in congruence with principals of industrial loyalty and generally accepted faircommercial practices.2. Collection Agencies have a right to attract clients in a manner that does not violate generallyaccepted fair commercial practices.§ 15Encouraging other Collection Agencies counterparties’ or clients’ full or partial non-fulfilment of theircontractual and other obligations is considered unethical and violates this Code.§ 16All disputes that Collection Agencies may encounter during their commercial activities must beresolved amicably with or without assistance from the appropriate ACBU organs. 2
  3. 3. Part IV Conduct with employees§ 17Collection Agencies pledge to pay special attention to compliance with and thorough execution ofemployer’s obligations established by the Labor Law.§ 18Collection Agencies pledge to create environment for professional development of their employeeswithin the limits of their competencies.§ 19Collection Agencies pledge to acquaint their employees with the regulations established by this Codeand to enforce their employees’ compliance with these regulations during execution of theirprofessional duties, on their private time and after termination of their employment in a CollectionAgency. Part V Collection Agencies employees’ conduct§ 20Each Collection Agencies’ employee must accepts ethical conduct as a part of his life position andmust use it in his professional and private life both during and after his employment in a CollectionAgency.§ 21Each Collection Agency employee must:  take part in realization of Collection Agency’s goals by thorough execution of his professional duties;  to timely and duly perform his professional duties;  to follow generally accepted norms of communicational politeness;  to regularly elevate professional qualifications;  to be responsible for all oral communications as.§ 22Collection Agencies’ employees may not offer, present or be asked to present to clients, governmentalofficials, or other entities any material or other valuables that may influence the recipient’s actions ordecisions. Part VI Responsibility for violation of the principles of this Code§ 231. All cases related to violation of this Code by Collection Agencies are reviewed by EthicsCommission (henceforth – Commission).2. The Commission is compiled of minimum 3 members elected by the ACBU General Assembly.3. Both ACBU members and non-members may be the members of the Commission.4. The Commission elects the Head of the Commission from the number of its members.5. The Commission is elected for a two-year term.6. The Commission acts on the grounds of the Commission Work Order approved by the ACBUGeneral Assembly.§ 241. Any individual or entity may notify the Commission or the ACBU Office about the violation of thisCode by a Collection Agency. The notification is presented in writing and must include the descriptionof the violation in question. 3
  4. 4. 2. ACBU Office upon receipt of the complaint must immediately notify the Head of the EthicsCommission and the Collection Agency that presumably committed the violation about receipt of thecomplaint.§ 25The Commission must take immediate measures to establish the verity of the accusation.§ 26In case the verity of violation is established the Commission may send to the violator a note ofwarning or a reprimand with a request to eliminate the violation and the factors that caused it.Moreover, the Commission is authorized to terminate the right of the agency-violator to use the ACBUtitle, symbol and abbreviation.§ 27In case of blatant violation of the Code or in case of repeated violation, the Commission may requestthe General Assembly to terminate the agency-violator membership in ACBU. Chapter II Part I Communications with a debtor§ 28Collection Agencies pledge to interact with the debtors respectfully and in a way that protectscounterparty’s interests and complies with current legislation and generally accepted fair commercialpractices.1. Correspondence§ 29Letters addressed to the debtors must be sent to his mailing address or to any other address where thecorrespondence may be delivered to him in a sealed envelope.§ 30First payment request must include a thorough description of the delinquency (the title of the creditorganization that issued the debt, date of the payment request, number of credit account, term ofdelinquency, full amount of indebtedness, and all interest, fees and fines generated by theindebtedness); consequent payment requests may include only the information needed for caseidentification and the amount of payment requested.2. Telephone communications§ 31Telephone calls may only be conducted only during the appropriate time: during business daysbetween 06:00 and 22:00. In case it is impossible to contact the debtor during the aforementionedperiod, the Agencies may contact the debtor during other days between 08:00 and 22:00.§ 32Whenever possible the debtors requests regarding time of phone calls or place of planned collector’svisit (if different from those noted in § 51), except for the requests that are aimed at making thecontact and the conversation impossible.§ 33The conversation must be conducted in congruence with generally accepted norms that provide forconfidentiality and non-disclosure of information about the debtor’s personal information andobligations; the collector must initiate the conversation with a proper introduction, inform the debtorabout the name of the Collection Agency and to mention the creditor that is being represented.§ 34During the conversation the collector must explain the goal of the conversation and to clarify allexisting misunderstandings.§ 35During the conversation the collector must gather the information about the sate of debtors financesand other assets; as well as any other information required for further processing of the case.§ 36Frequency of phone calls with the debtor may not be burdensome for the debtor. 4
  5. 5. 3. Personal visits§ 37Personal visits to the debtor may be paid in time and place that is not burdensome for the debtor:during business days between 07:00 and 21:00. In case it is impossible to contact the debtor during theaforementioned period the visits may be paid during other days between 08:00 and 20:00.§ 38Personal visits to the debtor in places other than his dwelling must be paid in a way that pays duerespect to his right of privacy. Such visits are possible only when the debtors address is unknown or ifit is impossible to contact him at his home address. Furthermore, the collectors may not without thedebtors consent contact third parties in regards of debtors indebtedness.§ 39Collectors that pay personal visits must be appropriately dressed. Their clothes may not be misleadingin regards of their professional activities.§ 40Collectors that pay personal visits must properly introduce themselves, to show his personalcollector’s ID or othr document that authorizes him to act on behalf of a Collection Agency.§ 41If during the personal visits there other individuals present in the vicinity and the debtor prefers tokeep his relations with the creditor confidential, the collector must make a personal conversationpossible, except for the cases when this, on his opinion, could be an attempt to scam him.§ 42The conversations held during the personal meetings must be conducted in congruence with thegenerally accepted politeness norms.§ 43During the conversation the collector must explain the goal of the conversation and to clarify allexisting misunderstandings.§ 44During the personal visits the collector may act only within the scope of his competencies. Part III Protection of personal and confidential information§ 45Collection Agencies provide for information confidentiality and safe-keeping, as well as for fullspectre of technical and legal protection of any information received from counterparties related tocontract negotiations, subjects of agreement or execution of contractual obligations. Such informationmay not be used for any purpose other than that specified by the counterparty; and may not betransferred to a third party unless such transfer is required by the current legislation.§ 46Collection Agencies provide for safe-keeping, protection, and non-disclosure of debtors’ personalinformation received during provision of collecting services or acquired with a purchased debtportfolio in congruence with requirements of Ukrainian law. Part IV Prohibited activities§ 47Collection Agencies and individuals authorized to act on their behalf may not use in their professionalactivities methods and practices that violate legal requirements and generally accepted commercialpractices.The following actions are strictly prohibited: 1. Use of force, intimidation to physically or in any other way harm one’s dignity. 2. Use vulgar or profane lexicon or phrases that may harm one’s dignity, as well as rude tone of voice. 5
  6. 6. 3. Use of any other measures aimed at debtors’ intimidation.4. To publicize or transfer information about indebtedness and the list of collecting activities to unauthorized third parties (incl. underage members of the debtor’s family).5. To present unclear misleading information about the character, amount and legal status of the indebtedness.6. To provide false information about the Agency’s status, qualifications, experience or professional competencies; in particular: about acting on behalf of another Collection Agency.7. To inform the debtor about false consequences of not fulfilling the credit obligations such as arrest, incarceration, and confiscation of property.8. To call the debtor a criminal in conversations with the debtor or with third parties.9. To accept money or other valuables from the debtor.10. In any way to voice threats or to violate the property or the right of property. 6