Bulgaria to come up with new rules on debt collectors – Justice Minister

A working group is carrying out a comprehensive review of the workings of Bulgaria’s debt collectors and proposals on how to improve the workings of the business are to be put forward within a month, Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov told the National Assembly on May 29.

Ivanov said that three private debt collectors had been suspended in 2014.

There had been 525 checks of debt collectors in 2014, of which 138 had been done by inspectors from the National Revenue Agency.

Last year, 75 disciplinary proceedings were initiated against debt collectors, 12 by the Bulgarian Chamber of Private Enforcement Agencies. Sixty of these proceedings had been concluded and 55 “resolved,” Ivanov told Parliament.

He was responding to questions from opposition socialist MP Maya Manolova, who cited the case of a woman in Kyustendil who had an arrear debt of 20 leva for internet service, and ended up having to pay more than 500 leva in fees and expenses, of which 200 leva was for the debt collector.

Among the most high-profile cases recently of debt collection involved TV7, where debt collectors arrived accompanied by a large phalanx of police and attempted to seize vital equipment which would have left the station unable to broadcast.

The situation regarding the station’s debt, running into several millions towards suspended Corporate Commercial Bank, was eventually resolved through negotiation on paying off the debt without vital broadcasting equipment being confiscated.

At the time, apart from the controversial action leading to the dismissal of two senior Sofia police officers, Ivanov promised, within the limited capacity available to his ministry, to look into the actions of the debt collectors.

(Photo: sanja gjenero/freeimages.com)



The Sofia Globe staff

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