FF Publishes Bill To Regulate Debt Collectors

Fianna Fáil has published a Bill to regulate debt collectors and stamp out criminal practices in the sector.

The proposals, introduced by the party's Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins, include the establishment of an open register of debt collectors, a code of conduct for all operators and a ban on people with violent criminal convictions.

Deputy Collins said: "The number of debt collectors in operation in Ireland has exploded since the recession. There has been a surge in ordinary people turning to debt collectors out of desperation, as they see no alternative way of getting the money they need to pay their bills and feed their families.

"Despite the fact that debt collection appears to be a booming business here now, there is still no regulation of the sector. This means that as well as legitimate businesses, there are unscrupulous operators who use intimidation, threats and sometimes violence against people in financial trouble. It has even become a profitable business for criminal gangs.

"It is clear that ordinary debtors need to be offered some legal protection. They need to be assured that debt collection agencies operate according to a strict code of conduct and cannot employ heavy handed practices to intimidate debtors.

"The Fianna Fáil Bill will ensure that only legitimate debt collection agencies are allowed to operate in the State, with thorough background checks on those employed by these agencies. Under our Bill, people convicted of violent crimes or intimidation would not be allowed to become debt collectors.

"Our Bill establishes an open Register of Debt Collection Agencies, a code of conduct for the practices of debt collectors and a range of limits on debt collection activity, making an offence to use inappropriate methods of collecting money from people. We include heavy penalties such as fines and removal from the register for individuals who break the provisions of the Bill, giving this proposed legislation real teeth."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 March 2024
Alliance Calls For Action To Protect Young People Online
The Alliance Party has called for action to help young people faced with blackmail or similar situations online.
08 April 2024
Over 660 Motorists Found Speeding Over Easter Bank Holidays
More than 660 motorists were caught breaking the speed limit across the Causeway Coast and Glens during the Easter bank holiday weekend – an increase of 22% from 2022. Chief Inspector Sinead McIldowney said: "The Safety Camera Vans were deployed at various locations across the North Coast and the increase in these detections is a worrying trend.
14 March 2024
Ministers Praise Critical Work Of Ireland Funds
The First Minister and deputy First Minister have praised the work of Ireland Funds, highlighting its critical role in promoting and supporting peace. Michelle O'Neill and Emma Little-Pengelly, speaking at the Ireland Funds Gala in Washington, welcomed the positive and real impact made across society by the philanthropic body.
13 September 2011
FF To Tackle Household Debt
The two-day Fianna Fail (FF) strategy meeting continues today with the party leader promising to address household debt. In the new Dail term the party has said they will make a move on creating legislation and a statutory body that will renegotiate household debt for families who are overwhelmed by repayments.
14 February 2013
Three Irish Universities Using Debt Collection Agencies
Three Irish universities are using debt collection agencies to try and recover outstanding student fees, the Irish Independent has revealed. Dublin City University (DCU), UCD and University of Limerick are all using the agencies, according to the newspaper.