Skip to main content Skip to accessibility
This website is not compatible with your web browser. You should install a newer browser. If you live in Jersey and need help upgrading call the States of Jersey web team on 440099.
Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

  • Choose the service you want to log in to:


    Update your notification preferences


    Access government services


    Clear goods through customs or claim relief

  • Talentlink

    View or update your States of Jersey job application

Collecting debt: a collection agency's responsibilities

General code of conduct

Each subscriber of the code of conduct for debt collection must act responsibly and with integrity in the day-to-day conduct of its business and:

  • comply with this code of conduct
  • conduct its business lawfully
  • comply with all relevant legislation
  • regulation and judicial decisions and trade fairly and responsibly
  • conduct its business under a name, title or style which will not confuse or mislead clients, creditors, debtors or subscribers of the public, or which will not imply any association with other organisations or persons, which do not exist
  • comply with the code of practice and guidelines on the processing of personal data for credit purposes issues by the Data Protection Commissioner
  • provide adequate training for subscribers of its staff, bringing to their attention the principles of this code, requiring them to carry out their duties in accordance with it
  • ensure continuous and appropriate training of staff in respect of current legislation and best practice
  • use plain English in all communications
  • show on all letters, postcards and forms the full business address, telephone number and email address, where used
  • in all contacts by staff, ensure that the subscriber’s identity is clearly disclosed
  • ensure by continuously examining debt collection procedures, and those of any third parties employed, that they conform to the highest ethical standards
  • comply with all reasonable requests by debtors, clients or their appointed representatives for information concerning their agreements and accounts
  • ensure the Code is available on their own website where they have one.They shall further ensure that a copy of the Code is supplied promptly upon request


Subscribers must keep any information supplied by the debtors or their chosen third party in strict confidence, except when authorised by the debtor or others permitted or required by law or by Order of the Royal Court. 


Subscribers must have in place adequate processes to deal with debtors complaints, this must contain the following minimum procedure:

  • the management level at which complaints are handled
  • the time frame in which complaints are handled
  • the remedy, if the complainant is not satisfied
  • complainants must be advised that other remedies include referral to
    • Trading Standards Service where it appears that the subscriber has not complied with this Code
    • Office of the Data Protection Commissioner for data protection related complaints
    • Citizens Advice Bureau who provide debt advice and have an online self help debt pack
  • subscribers shall deal with complaints speedily, responsively, in a user-friendly fashion and at an appropriate management level
  • subscriber’s complaints procedures must be made available to the complainant or his / her advisor on request

Debt collection and default guidelines

The following set of guidelines is intended as an indication of the procedures to be adopted by subscribers.

In attempting to carry out collection of payment, subscribers of the code should:

  • not use oppressive or intrusive collection procedures
  • not bring unreasonable pressure to bear on the debtor in default of payment
  • not act in a manner in public intended to embarrass the debtor
  • be discreet when attempting to contact the debtor by telephone, text, email or by personal visit
  • ensure that all attempted contacts with debtors are made at reasonable times and at reasonable intervals
  • respect debtors’ legitimate wishes in respect of when and where to contact them

Legitimate wishes include:

  • shift workers who ask not to be telephoned during certain times of the day
  • only visiting debtors at work upon request ​
  • accept all reasonable offers by debtors to pay by instalments, provided acceptable evidence of non-ability to pay is given
  • not use improper means to obtain the telephone number and address of a debtor and treat all information supplied as private and confidential unless specific authorisation has been given by the debtor to disclose information to third parties
  • have specific regard to Article 55 of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005 as regards the unlawful obtaining or disclosing of personal data
  • not pressurise debtors to sell property or to raise funds by further borrowing
  • not falsely imply by written or verbal means that criminal proceedings will be brought, nor that civil action has or will be instituted where subscribers are unable to do so due to legal restrictions
  • ensure that collectors who use pseudonyms can be identified within the subscribers’organisation
  • have due regard and deal sensitively with individuals where evidence has been given, or is apparent, that the individual is incapacitated by mental or physical disability
  • offer co-operation with the debtor’s nominated or chosen third party, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau
  • encourage debtors in financial difficulties to inform subscribers of their difficulties and then respond sympathetically and positively on the evidence provided
  • take into consideration before determining whether to enforce repayment, all information supplied in relation to the reason for non-payment, which may include The Common Financial Statement, or the debtor’s future ability to repay. If the debtor has disclosed multiple debt problems, inform them of the availability of accredited advisory services.Where available, provide in all relevant correspondence the name or designation of a specially trained subscriber of staff who may be contacted regarding financial difficulties
  • where a debt or the sum owed is disputed, as soon as is practicable, supply information to the debtor in support of the claim
  • where no information has been supplied by the creditor, obtain the required support, or failing that cease collection action 

Trace guidelines

Each subscriber must:

  • in all contact, be circumspect and act with full regard to the data protection principles
  • take all possible steps to verify that the person traced is in fact, the debtor
  • cease contact should it become apparent that the located person is not the debtor, and carry out further checks 

Verify data relating to a debtors whereabouts via one or more of the following methods:

  • public databases
  • sending soft letters
  • contacting other people
  • investigative / field enquiries

Purchased debt guidelines

Each subscriber must:

  • timely advise the consumer in writing that the debt has been assigned and that the debt should now be settled with the assignee
  • adhere to all relevant requirements under any other relevant legislation
  • in debt collection or trace activity comply with all the principles of this code

Subscribers to this code

Subscribers are required to re-affirm to this code every 24 months and must display a certificate of compliance with this code on their premises.

Companies signed up to the Code of Conduct for Jersey Debt Collection

Back to top
rating button