More than every fifth debt collection claim is unjustified, according to consumer advocates. The collection fees are also usually higher than consumer advocates consider it justified, as the consumer protection center Brandenburg announced. It evaluated the data of more than 40,000 consumers, who had their receivables from collection agencies checked on the "debt collection check" portal since February of this year.
Although collection agencies are likely to charge fees up to the level applicable to lawyers, the Consumer Advice Center explained. In most of the cases entered in the "Debt Collection Check", however, they paid more for simple standard letters than a lawyer may require for an average-length legal examination.
The managing director of the consumer center Brandenburg, Christian Rumpke, demanded a more effective supervision over debt collection companies and a cap of the costs, which collection agencies may demand. "It can not be that the same thing may be required for simple procedures that a lawyer appoints for a legal exam."
The Debt Collection Check Center has been online since February. Since then, 100,000 consumers visited the site; 40,000 clicked through to the end. The portal provides a legal assessment of whether or not those affected have to pay, and if so, whether the full amount of the costs is justified. For contradictions, a tool provides the appropriate letter.
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