Have you received a debt collection notice in the mail? Learn more about how you can sort it out and what your rights are.
What can I do if I dispute the claim?
You must respond immediately
The Debt Collection Act (Inkassoloven) determines what duties and rights you have regarding debt collection. If you have received a claim that you do not agree with, you should immediately contact the company in question. Remember that it is important to document that you have made contact. Keep a copy of the letter or note down who you have spoken with.
Put the claim on hold
If your objections are well-founded, the claim is considered to be disputed. The claim can therefore not be collected through ordinary debt collection. The case will instead be sent to The Conciliation Board (Forliksrådet) for a judicial decision.
What happens if a debt collection notice was not received?
You are responsible for the postal service
If the debt collection agency can document that the debt collection notice has been sent responsibly, it does not help that it is delayed in the mail, is lost, or for some other reason is not received. For example, the claim has been sent in a proper way if it has been sent to the address you have provided.
If you have moved, and not reported a change of address to the creditor, the debt collection agency has fulfilled its obligations if the claim has been sent to the address you have provided.
What does it cost if I do not pay on time?
If you do not comply with the deadline, you must pay interest on the outstanding debt. You can find the current interest rate at regjeringen.no. If you have received a debt collection claim because you have not paid the loan installment, the interest rate may be higher. In such cases, the debt collection agency can instead demand the interest you have on the loan.
Debt collection fees
In addition to the penalty interest, you may have to pay debt collection fees. You can check out the current rate in the Debt Collection Regulations (Inkassoforskriften). As of 1.1.2021, the fee was 700 kroner.
When the creditor collects the debt (inhouse debt collection)
- For a reminder/debt collection notice, you may be required to pay 1/20 of the penalty rate.
- For a payment request you may be required to pay 3/20 of the penalty rate.
Please note that the creditor cannot charge you for more than two reminders and one payment request, or one reminder, then one collection notice and one payment request.
When a debt collection agency collects the debt (external debt collection)
The table below shows the maximum rates for how much you can pay in expenses to a debt collection agency or lawyer. Generally, you cannot be asked to pay a higher amount.
You can check out the current rate in the Debt Collection Regulations.
If you pay before the deadline concerning the first debt collection notice, you shall not pay the collection fee to the debt collection agency.
- Minor cases: A request for payment that may have exceeded the deadline with up to 28 days.
- Major cases: The deadline for a request for payment which has exceeded the time by more than 28 days.
Monetary claims kroner:
Over 250 000
0,25 x penalty rate
0,35 x penalty rate
0,4 x penalty rate
0,8 x penalty rate
1,6 x penalty rate
3,6 x penalty rate
7,2 x penalty rate
0,5 x penalty rate
0,7 x penalty rate
0,8x penalty rate
1,6 x penalty rate
3,2 x penalty rate
7,2 x penalty rate
14,4 x penalty rate
Requirements for sending a collection notice
The requirements for sending a collection notice are:
- It must be in writing.
- The deadline for paying the original claim must have expired.
- There must be a payment deadline of 14 days in the notice.
The requirement for writing is fulfilled by either using paper or by using electronic communication, if the communication has been done in a proper manner.
Note that the creditor can send a collection notice without having sent you a reminder in advance. If the creditor is charging for the collection notice, then he must fulfill additional requirements.
- a minimum of 14 days should have passed after the deadline of the original payment
- the collection notice must state the amount of the claim
- inform what the claim is about
Requirements for best practices in debt collection
The creditor or debt collection agency must act in accordance with best practices in debt collection. They shall not use methods that have exposed you to unreasonable pressure, damage, or inconvenience. If a creditor or debt collection agency violates best practices in debt collection, the consequences may be that all or part of the costs of recovery may be lost.
NOTE! It is only the costs of the recovery that will be deleted. The claim itself will not be discontinued for that reason. It is contrary to best practices in debt collection if, for example:
- You get incorrect information about the consequences of not paying
- There is information that the case will be known to friends or family if you do not pay
- You are approached personally in an abusive manner, for example at work
- There will be telephonic debt collection late in the evening, at night, or on public holiday
- Claims that are obviously unfounded or is disputed by ordinary debt collection
- A payment remark is registered when the claim is disputed
- You are offered a loan so that you can cover the claim
Payment remark must be deleted when you have paid
If you do not pay, you can be registered as a bad payer, but the payment note must be deleted immediately after you have settled the claim. If you do not respond or pay, you can be registered with a payment notice at the credit information agency. In order to register information about you, the debt collection agency must have contacted the Conciliation Board and/or the Enforcement Officer.
A payment remark will result in you being registered as a bad payer. This may have consequences in terms of whether you will be able to receive a loan, insurance or a mobile subscription.
One month after this contact, the debt collection agency can register the information in its registers. The payment remark must be deleted immediately after you have paid.
Generally, a remark should not be used for more than four years. If you are in doubt, or you are wondering if you are registered with a payment remark, you can contact the credit information agency. They are obliged to inform you of any registration in your name.
How do I proceed to complain about the debt collection notice?
1. Complain to the creditor or the debt collection agency
If you believe that the debt collection from the creditor (internal debt collection) or the debt collection agency (external collection) has not followed the procedure, you must first direct a complaint against the company you want to hold liable.
Complain in writing and make a copy of the correspondence. Feel free to use the Consumer Council's (Forbrukerrådet) standard complaint letters if you want to complain.
2. Complain to The Norwegian Financial Services Complaints Board
If you do not reach an agreement with the other party, you can contact The Norwegian Financial Services Complaints Board (Finansklagenemda).
The Board may assess all factors in the conduct of the agency, including calculation of fees, deadlines, and whether they have violated best practices in debt collection.
Note that the Board cannot decide whether the claim is legal or not, but only whether the debt collection agency has acted correctly in the collection procedure. The Board's conclusion is advisory, and the handling of the case is free.
3. Complain to The Norwegian Data Protection Authority
You can contact the Norwegian Data Protection Authority (Datatilsynet) if you have any questions about what rights you have related to the registration of personal information about you, including payment remarks.
If you believe that a debt collection agency does not follow the rules for registering personal data, you can complain to the Norwegian Data Protection Authority. If you discover that a payment remark has been registered incorrectly with the credit information agency, you should first complain directly and request that the information is corrected.