According to the Emergency Ordinance no. 52/2016 on credit agreements granted to consumers for immovable property, the debt recovery activity can only be performed by entities registered with the NACP (National Authority for Consumer Protection). The ordinance also sets out the procedure to be followed for the registration of such entities to the National Authority for Consumer Protection.
This being said, in accordance to the normative act mentioned above, the "entity performing the debt recovery" is represented by a legal person, other than the creditor, with a minimum share capital subscribed and paid which can not be less than 500,000 lei, that conducts debt recovery activities and / or that obtains rights to some due debts arising from credit agreements.
As mentioned, the Emergency Ordinance no. 52/2016 establishes that only will registrants of the National Authority for Consumer Protection will be able to operate debt recovery activities.
In order to be registered, such entities must fulfill the following conditions:
• have their registered office, a branch or representative in Romania to resolve any disputes and to respond to the potential disputes and to contraventionally and/or criminally answer before public authorities;
• the persons responsible for the management and administration of the business to have a good reputation;
• the manner in which the staff is remunerated and motivated should not depend solely on the achieving recovery objectives nor nor to be reported exclusively to the recovered amounts.
The entity in discussion must send the National Authority for Consumer Protection a request, accompanied by the information and documentation demonstrating compliance with the above requirements.
The National Authority for Consumer Protection evaluates and notifies the applicant of its decision regarding the acceptance or rejection of the registration within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the request.
In case the National Authority for Consumer Protection rejects the application for registration, the applicant is entitled to challenge the decision, and the dismissal of the the application for registration by the National Authority for Consumer Protection does not limit the applicant's right to introduce a new application on the same subject.
Debt recovery entities are required to report to the National Authority for Consumer Protection the number of cases or credit contracts that are ongoing.
The recovery of debts can be equally held by both entities which carry out recovery activities and by creditors.
Moreover, the Emergency Ordinance regulates the possibility of the National Authority for Consumer Protection to radiate the registration of a debt recovery entity, in cases where the entity:
a) expressly renounces the registration or hasn’t conducted any debt recovery activities in the last six months;
b) has obtained registration by making false or misleading statements or through any other irregular means established by law;
c) no longer meets the requirements under which it was registered;
d) has repeatedly violated legal provisions in the consumer protection field;
e) seriously or systematically infringed the provisions of the Emergency Ordinance mentioned above.
For more information on the new legislative provisions in matters of entities which carry out debt recovery activities, as well as for legal advice regarding the procedure for the registration of such entities with the National Authority for Consumer Protection, you can confidently contact the team of lawyers within the Darie, Manea & associates law firm.