What we do

What is debt management

In today’s Greek economic reality, the presence of debt management companies is necessary. Debt management agencies liaise between the credit companies they represent, and the clients thereof. The members of ESEDA are not collection companies. They do not collect money, neither do they render cash management services. They do not initiate any particular action with regards to the assets of the debtors. In fact, what they do is contact debtors by telephone only inform them about overdue or delinquent debt and respective payment plan options as well as intervene so as to achieve a mutually beneficial settlement.
Moreover, their actions contribute significantly to the reduction of delinquent or bad debts and to the decline of the relevant risk indicators for Greek banks and enterprises, thus helping stabilize the Consumer Price Index and, consequently, squeeze loan interest rates. Debt management agencies always serve a twofold purpose: on the one hand they ensure a continuous flow of cash for their client, and on the other they inform consumers about their contractual obligations and help them maintain their credit rating.

What ESEDA does

ESEDA aims to:
1. Assist in creating the conditions necessary for the normal operation of the debt management market in Greece, through compliance to a strict set of regulatory rules and principles, based on the standards of the EU member states. The regulatory framework will assist in :
  •  Protecting the Greek financial system and the national credit market
  •  Ensuring the sustainability of legitimate agencies while protecting the jobs and the families of thousands of employees
  •  Promoting the reliability of the debt management industry.
2. Establish itself as the principal institutional representative of the debt management sector, in the ongoing dialogue among the stakeholders of the industry, including representatives of the government and members of business and social bodies. ESEDA sees to educate the authorities and the public on debt management issues, and protect the collective interests of its members with regards to its institutional role, general commercial aspects and activities related to debt management.

3. Provide the employees of its members with further and continuous education or training, so as to encourage adherence to highly professional standards and pave the path for long term career development.
4. Monitor and update relevant business practices, so as to ensure the total protection of consumers’ rights.

Within an economic environment that appears to be complex, unstable and vulnerable, the role of ESEDA is critical on many different aspects: ESEDA is the body which pursues the establishment of strict criteria and rules not only with regards to the operation of debt management companies, but also with regards to the monitoring and supervision of their service level and the training of their staff. Most importantly, ESEDA may act as a safety valve which can reduce the pressure on the consumers and help them avoid lengthy and costly legal battles. Finally, part of ESEDA’s role is to attest, by means of clearly defined procedures and controls, that its member companies uphold all the relevant international standards.

Position-Actions and Commendies regarding the legal framework

  • ESEDA supports the government in its initiatives to regulate the debt management agencies and set operating rules to what used to be a chaotic scenery.
  • Following four years of continuous efforts, ESEDA has managed to be heard as the voice of the industry. During the latest public consultations ESEDA proposals have been taken into account.
  • Among the key points raised during the public consultation, ESEDA has identified rules and remedies already defined by the Association in its Code of Ethics/Practice.
  • Finally, ESEDA believes that the establishment of a rigorous and modern regulatory framework will help debt management companies maintain their proper operation, defend the jobs of thousands of employees, and above all, protect effectively the interests of the consumers.

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For many years, the lack of a clear national legal framework created conditions which may have fostered illegal practices. ESEDA was the first to try and set the rules for the debt management industry.

As of the date of its conception, ESEDA has set as its primary target the creation of a rigorous legal framework. To this end, ESEDA has taken the following actions:

  • In 2006 ESEDA contacted the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) in order to agree on the criteria that would define the debt management professional services framework.
  • In 2006 ESEDA submitted its views to the Ministry of Justice and to the Bank of Greece, in an effort to define a regulatory framework pertaining to the operation of debt management agencies.
  • In February 2008 ESEDA started a formal communication with the Ministry of Development.
  • In May 2008 ESEDA submitted a comprehensive proposal concerning the statutory and regulatory rules by which all debt management agencies need to abide.
  • In November 2008, ESEDA submitted to the standing committee of the Ministry of Development, its proposal on the draft bill regarding the regulation of the debt management industry.
  • In February 2008 ESEDA was called by the standing committee on the Debt Management Service Act to express its views on the initial draft of the bill.
  • In March 2009 ESEDA appeared in the House of Representatives and presented its view on the relevant draft bill.
  • In March 2009 the bill was voted by the Parliament with several ESEDA’s proposals having been incorporated within

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ESEDA continues its efforts to assist in the creation of a strict regulatory framework regarding the practices employed by the debt management agencies. Based on the many years of accumulated experience, ESEDA members have already submitted their comments on the bill in effect and remain in constant communication with all the competent bodies that have undertaken the continuous development of the legal framework.

The following text contains ESEDA's proposals regarding the establishment of a legal framework for the operation of debt management agencies in Greece.

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