What should you do if you receive a reminder from a debt collection agency?
If you can’t identify the receivable, look through your documents and incoming invoices and check your payment receipts. It’s important and can very often be helpful to check your account statement for any relevant debits. If so, the payment and the reminder may have coincided. In that case, you should inform the debt collection agency and send proof that the payment has already been made. The debt collection agency will then contact the creditor.
If you’ve forgotten to pay the invoice, the stated amount should be paid to the debt collection agency by the deadline given in the letter.
What should you do if you don’t know the creditor and haven’t done business with the creditor?
Get in touch with the debt collection agency promptly and request the relevant documents that verify that the receivable is valid.
What should you do if the receivable is valid, but you can’t pay it at present?
Get in touch with the debt collection agency straight away. If you don’t respond, you can expect further reminders, telephone calls, additional costs and possibly even judicial debt collection proceedings, entailing considerable additional legal costs.
What solutions are there in the case of payment difficulties?
The costs will be lowest for you if the receivable is paid immediately. If that it isn’t possible, you can request payment in instalments or deferment of payment. The debt collection agency will forward your request to the creditor and reach an agreement that both parties are satisfied with.
What should you bear in mind when requesting deferment of payment or payment in instalments?
You should always make such requests in writing and give a reason. The level of the instalments should be sufficiently high to ensure that the debt is paid off as quickly as possible. You have the best chances of your request being accepted by the creditor if you propose regular payments and the shortest possible repayment period for the total debt, with the first payment made up front.
Does the creditor have to issue reminders itself?
Issuing reminders isn’t required by law. However, creditors tend to remind their customers at least once that an invoice hasn’t been settled and must be paid without delay.
Why doesn’t the creditor issue reminders itself?
As experts in their field, debt collection agencies optimally supplement or assist a company’s own receivables management. They act on behalf of the creditor when its own reminders haven’t yielded any results.
Does the debtor have to pay the stated debt collection costs and default interest?
Yes, if the receivable is valid, the debtor must pay debt collection costs and default interest under the law on compensation. Maximum debt collection rates are governed by the Austrian Fees Regulation for Debt Collection Agencies.
Can the debtor settle the debt by paying the creditor directly?
Once a debt collection agency is involved, it’s advisable to pay the debt collection agency directly. Payments to the creditor delay conclusion of the debt collection process, result in unnecessary queries and may cause extra costs. The debt collection agency acts as an intermediary between the creditor and debtor.
What should you do if the name or address of the debtor changes during the debt collection process?
By informing the debt collection agency about such changes, you can avoid being charged additional costs for the necessary reminders, address searches, determination of assets etc.