Debt collection activities are currently very popular in different forms, one of which is debt collection through the application of technology tools such as using phones, text messages, email, and the internet. However, the use of technology tools in debt collection activities that do not comply with the law can lead to serious consequences. In this article, TNTP will provide opinions on legal issues related to debt collection by technology means in Vietnam.
1. The current situation of using technology means for debt collection
The debt collection by technology is very popular nowadays. Contacting the debtor via email or phone is often the first measure that debt collection service providers apply because it saves time and costs. Just a phone call lasting from a few minutes to several tens of minutes will bring certain results for the debt collection process, even with the possibility of collecting a debt immediately if the debtor is willing to cooperate in payment. Moreover, this contract also aims to probe the goodwill of the debtor’s payment. In many cases, after knowing the number of the debt collector, the debtor may block the number or have an uncooperative attitude, or no longer use the subscribed number. After initially identifying whether the debtor is cooperative in payment or not, debt collection parties can apply appropriate measures.
Many credit institutions have also built databases to collect information about the debtor to serve the debt collection process. These databases are taken from the information of the debtor when registering loan accounts at the bank, or from other sources that the bank has a relationship. Then, the debtor’s data will be provided to the debt collection teams of the bank itself or the law firms where the enterprise uses debt collection services.
Therefore, it can be seen that the use of debt collection by technology in Vietnam is widely used and brings many values, however, if technology is used to carry out illegal debt collection, it will leave many bad consequences for society.
2. Exploiting technology to illegally collect debts
Although many debt collection activities that use technology within the scope of the law are allowed, many debt collectors have illegally applied technological means to collect debts. For example, using the internet to publish images and information of debtors to threaten and terrorize the debtor (even their relatives), these actions may constitute crimes as defined in the Penal Code.
Currently, many debt collection companies have been investigated and prosecuted by law enforcement agencies for crimes such as “Appropriation of property by force”, “Defamation, insult”, and “False accusation”. For example, in February 2023, the police in Kien Giang province prosecuted a case, arrested and detained suspects to investigate the crime of “Appropriation of property by force” at Phap Viet company, with many illegal debt collection activities such as making threatening phone calls and terrorizing debtors. Posting information and edited images of debtors on public platforms to threaten and force the debtor to pay. The police in Kien Giang province identified the offenders who had threatened, terrorized, and seized the property of thousands of victims, and confiscated nearly 1,000 billion dong in illegal gains.
It can be seen that the debt collection by technology has infringed on personal information rights as well as affected the reputation and dignity of the debtor. At the same time, these actions have also constituted crimes under the provisions of the Penal Code. The exploitation of technology to illegally collect debts is a very serious offense and must be strictly punished according to the law.
Above is an article on the topic ” Legal issues related to debt collection through technology in Vietnam” by TNTP, hope that this article will be useful to readers.