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Debt collection agency shocked by consumer group attack, but sees ‘definitely room for improvement’

Debt collection agency shocked by consumer group attack, but sees ‘definitely room for improvement’

EconomyJuly 10, 24 at 12:45author: BNR Web Editing

Debt collection agency Vlaanderen has been shocked by the consumer association’s attack on the debt sector. Michiel van Leeuwen, director of the largest debt collection agency in the Netherlands, has responded to consumer association director Sandra Molenaar, who in a letter to the cabinet called for action against a sector she describes as ‘perverted, immoral and socially irresponsible’.

Flandrin shocked by consumer association attack, but sees ‘definitely room for improvement’

“Companies should not be allowed to make money off other people’s debts. Costs should not rise to the point where consumers face more and more problems,” Molenaar says in AD.

“Creditors also realize that these unnecessary costs must be avoided.”

Michelle van Leeuwen, Director of Flanderijn

The director of Flandren says his company has been discussing the union’s statement “for a few weeks”, but he was nevertheless “shocked” by the consumer advocate’s call. Van Leeuwen also criticizes the statements made by Molenaar.

He points, for example, to two House of Representatives reports discussing options for radical change in the debt sector. “Creditors, debt advisers, experts and scientists are working together to find a different way to collect, and in particular to reduce costs.” Van Leeuwen thought it was “elegant” for the consumer association to wait for the recommendations in those reports.

However, the director also acknowledges that there is “certainly room for improvement” among creditors. “It is important to avoid unnecessary costs and that debtors who are already struggling to pay their debts are not burdened with unnecessary costs.” Van Leeuwen points out that there are already initiatives to improve such situations. “Some of these are already being implemented, but some are now also in the hands of politicians.” This includes setting up pooled payment arrangements.

moral awareness

Van Leeuwen also notes that there is some moral awareness among clients of collection agencies. “The picture has been painted that billions are being made and all sorts of unnecessary costs are being incurred. If that were the case, I would have no clients left.”

“We work for big health insurance companies, banks and all sorts of parties,” says the manager. “They think it’s important to collect as much as possible amicably at the lowest possible cost. Creditors also realise that these unnecessary costs have to be avoided.” Van Leeuwen describes debtors who suddenly face costs of thousands of euros for a debt of a few hundred euros as “exceptional cases”.

Debt collection agency Flandrin was shocked by the attack launched by the consumer association against the debt sector. (Afghan National Police / Afghan National Police)
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