KPN and NVVK enter into first 'new-style covenant' relating to debt collection
On February 25 of this year KPN and NVVK, the Netherlands Association for Debt Relief Assistance and Social Banking, made arrangements concerning the policy for people with debt problems. It is the first time that the NVVK has concluded a new-style covenant, which accelerates the debt rescheduling process considerably.
NVVK members act as intermediary in debt assistance programs between creditors and debtors. To ease debt settlement processes, the NVVK has concluded covenants with trade associations, government bodies, individual companies and other parties. The benefit of this to creditors is that they know exactly where they stand and can reduce the administrative burden.
The covenant with KPN contains some new provisions, including KPN’s undertaking that it will always agree to an amicable settlement proposal by NVVK members. Under old covenants a reservation was always made with regard to agreeing to the final proposal. In addition, KPN will “freeze” outstanding claims at the request of a debt counselor. This combination of measures serves to obviate the accumulation of costs.
Taking the lead
NVVK Chair Marco Florijn says he is happy with the new covenant. “KPN shares our concerns over the increasing number of people in financial problems and over the social harm it causes, such as poverty and social exclusion,” says Florijn. “People with debt problems almost always allow their unpaid telephone bills to pile up. By being the first company to sign this new covenant, KPN has taken the lead in showing how companies can help customers with payment arrears and preventing "irreversible" financial problems from arising. Naturally we hope that others will see and follow this good example.” The NVVK is also talking about the new covenant with other government bodies such as CJIB, the CAK and Customs and Tax Administration.