20 October 2020
Both the FCCA and the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland reported in August on obscure collection letters sent by Kasbono. The issue involves long-standing debts that Kasbono has reported having purchased from the original creditors. The Regional State Administrative Agency rejected Kasbono's application to be entered in the debt collection register; consequently, the company cannot pursue voluntary debt recovery. See the instruction for what to do if you receive a collection letter.
Consumer contacts on collection letters sent by Kasbono to the Consumer Advisory Services are surging. During the autumn, the Consumer Advisory Services were contacted more than four hundred times. The letters sent collect long-standing debts, which Kasbono has reported having purchased from the original creditors. In some letters, Kasbono claims only the collection costs incurred for the collection of debt in the past and not the original debt. Many letter recipients consider the letter's claims to be unfounded or unclear.
At the beginning of October, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland announced that it did not accept Kasbono‘s entry in the debt collection register. According to legislation, debt collection companies which are not registered may not carry out voluntary debt collection, for example, by sending payment claims or agreeing on payment plans. As a matter of fact, the Regional State Administrative Agency forbade Kasbono to engage in voluntary debt collection. On 2 October 2020, Kasbono announced that it would cease voluntary collection but that it would also continue to pursue legal collection of claims, i.e., collection of debt through court or by an enforcement order. Legal debt collection does not require registration. The letters sent by Kasbono may have given the impression that the issues involve a matter of legal collection or of invoicing its costs, even though the issue has concerned voluntary recovery.
Already in August, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland reported of inquiries that the Agency had received concerning obscure collection letter sent by Kasbono. The FCCA also issued instructions to persons who have received collection letters.
Instructions for recipients of collection letters
On 2 October 2020, Kasbono announced that it would cease voluntary collection. If you received a collection letter after this, please notify the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland.
If you received the letter no later than 1 October 2020 and consider that there are doubts as to the appropriateness, expiry or reasonableness of the collection costs required in the collection letter, you can request an explanation from Kasbono.
The debtor has the right to receive the following documents and information as additional information:
- promissory note, subscription agreement or other document on which the debt is based
- Information about the interruption of expiry, for example, when collection letters have been sent and to which address
- itemisation of the required collection costs
- account of debt repayments.
If the debt is taken to legal collection
If Kasbono takes the matter to court and you find the claims unfounded, inform Kasbono and the court as soon as you receive the summons that you contest the claims. Submit the notification in writing. After receiving a summons, it is recommended that you contact the legal aid office or a private attorney as quickly as possible, so they can assist you in responding to the summons.
If you do not respond to the summons as instructed in it, the court will order you to pay the entire debt at one time.
Please note that contesting a case at court involves a risk of costs. The main rule concerning court proceedings is that the losing party is obliged to compensate both their own costs and those of the opposing party.
If you feel that the claim made by Kasbono is completely or partially unfounded, you may contest it. A debt can also be contested, for example, if the debt has expired or the collection costs are unreasonable. Send a notification of contest to Kasbono in writing, for example by e-mail, and explain in the message why you consider the requirement to be unfounded.
In addition, you may contest the collection cost claims if the actual debt has expired. Normally, the period of limitation of a debt is three years from the maturity of the debt. According to legislation, the debtor is also not obliged to pay collection costs if the matter has been carried out in violation of good collection pracitice. In connection with the collection process, no misleading information may be given, for example, on the consequences of non-payment. In addition, collection may not cause unnecessary costs or harm or jeopardise the protection of the debtor's privacy.
Once the matter has been contested, the creditor must suspend the collection of the debt in order to settle the case or bring the case to court. The court will ultimately decides whether the debtor must pay the debt in question.
If you need personal advice, contact the Consumer Advisory Services.
Further information on the subject: