THINGS NOT TO DO WHEN ASKING THE OBLIGOR TO PAY OVERDUE DEBTS
The business process of an enterprise is often expressed through commercial transactions on the market, more specifically, the signing of contracts for the sale of goods and other specialized arrangements. Accordingly, the signing of an agreement represents economic needs and the commitment to perform obligations between the parties, so the responsibilities agreed upon by the parties in the contract will be recognized and come into effect. Usually, one of the most common and controversial obligations between the parties is the payment obligation. Accordingly, the obligee is entitled to use legal measures prescribed by law to request the obligor to make a payment or repay the debt on time. However, in practice, the obligor’s deliberate prolongation of the repayment period or failure to make payment on time often leads to discomfort and frustration for the obligee, leading to the obligee’s ability to perform illegal and unethical acts to recover money in any form. In this article, TNTP will analyze and share our legal experiences with readers about actions that should not perform when asking the obligor to pay overdue debts.
1. Unauthorized disclosure of the obligor’s photo or personal information
With the development of the current mass media, it is not difficult to see information about businesses’ acts of avoiding debt repayment obligations on social networks. A group of creditors often posts these resources to seek help from the community and put pressure on the businesses that don’t meet their payment obligations. However, this has inadvertently violated the provisions of Article 38 of the 2015 Civil Code on the right to private life, personal secrets, and family secrets, and the obligor can entirely sue against this act. At the same time, this act also negatively affects the obligor’s cooperation and goodwill in the payment of the debt.
2. Infringing upon the honor and dignity of the obligor
One of the common behaviors along with the unauthorized disclosure of the obligee’s photos or personal information is to show the loss of emotional control by using negative words on social media posts. In addition to media attacks, the obligee regularly curses and insults honor and dignity directly at the obligor’s business establishments or residences. This violates the provisions of Article 34 of the 2015 Civil Code, and the obligee may bear unnecessary legal consequences due to their frustration, such as compensation for damage caused by insulting the honor and dignity of others or being administratively sanctioned for the above actions. At the same time, this act is also quite detrimental to the debt collection process from the obligor.
3. Threats to use force or use force against the obligor
Vietnamese law is equal to every citizen and protects the legitimate rights and interests of the parties, regardless of whether or not that party has violated its obligations as agreed in the contract. Therefore, the obligor should note that in addition to the acts which TNTP mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2, threats to use force or using force are also wholly prohibited from performing against the obligor. Because if the obligee uses violent measures, causing physical injury to the obligor, it may be one of the elements constituting the crime of “Deliberate infliction of bodily harm upon another person” according to the provisions of Article 134 of the 2015 Criminal Code (amended and supplemented in 2017) and potentially criminally responsible in this case.
4. Performing acts of soliciting debt by telephone harassment towards the family or acquaintances of the obligor
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the obligee is allowed to use any legal means not prohibited by law to request the obligor to pay the overdue debt, such as sending a reminder letter to the obligee: Reminders, face-to-face meetings, calls, or lawsuits at a competent dispute settlement agency. However, in reality, the obligee regularly calls for debt collection for even those not related to the agreement between the parties, such as repeatedly calling to ask the obligor’s family or acquaintances to make repayment promptly. It should be noted that the obligee is not permitted to request any third party to make any payment on behalf of the obligor without prior agreement among the involved parties on payment on behalf of the debtor.
5. Transactions with a third party providing debt collection services to request the obligor to pay the debt
According to Article 6 of the 2020 Investment Law, the business of debt collection services belongs to industries and professions where investment is prohibited. Therefore, from 1 January 2021, all activities directly related to debt collection services are against the law. Thus, the obligee should not use debt collection services in any form, directly or indirectly, to request the obligor to repay the debt.
6. Unauthorized coercion to recover the obligor’s property
According to the provisions of law, only competent state agencies have the right to take coercive measures and apply relevant sanctions against the obligor to take their money, property, and pay to the obligee. Therefore, forcing the obligor to take the obligor’s assets to deduct from the overdue debt without consent is against the law.
Thus, as per the above analysis, the obligee should carefully consider using necessary legal measures in the debt collection process to avoid unnecessary legal consequences. The debt recovery process not only requires compliance with legal regulations but also requires the obligee to be patient and adjust their emotions and behavior so as not to seriously affect the debt recovery, especially when the obligor is in good faith and shows cooperation in repayment to the obligee. Hopefully, in this article, readers can better understand the behaviors that should not be performed when asking the obligor to pay the overdue debt and consider making appropriate options in settling debts during business operations.
TNTP & ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL LAW FIRM