Collection reality in Chile: Persecution and undue charges

por | Abr 7, 2022

How’s collection nowadays in Chile?

Chile is a country with more than 7 million indebted people, of which 4 million are defaulting debtors, according to the Financial Market Commission. In this scenario, repeated abuses, malpractice and unjustified charges are overly common.

SERNAC (Servicio Nacional del Consumidor) received almost 50 thousand complaints by consumers during this year first semester. Among several complaints, undue charges and abusive collections stand out the most.

The bank lead these claims with a 42,7% while financial retail and its associated cards took a 32,3% cut. We can say that 8 out of 10 complaints are related to the bank and/or retail.

Undue charges

Card cloning fraud, repayment refusal and unconformity with interest fees are at the head of the claim list by 42,1%, according to SERNAC.

Followed by that -with a 16,9% cut- we can refer to contractual disputes, unilateral cancellation of contracts, liability limitations, among others.

Abusive collection takes the third spot, with a 12.8% of the cut, due to harassment and persecution; or informing to family members, bosses and other people who shouldn’t be concerned about debts.

Recently, two bank entities were pointed out for charging legal fees -up to 15% of the debt- plus legal costs. They were required to refund these undue charges.


Harassing people to make them pay their debts, applying undue charges for collection procedures that weren’t carried out, misinformation and illegal practices are still an underlying problem in Chile.

In April 2021 a new law that strengthen consumers’ legal rights regarding extrajudicial collection has come into effect. This law confines contact with the debtor to one direct reaching (visit or call) and two indirect ways of reaching (e-mail, text message, mobile apps) with a separation of at least two days in between.

A new law draft that puts a stop to persecution and harassment in the collection sector is now being discussed, through dissuasive sanctions addressed to enterprises.

This draft proposes “The prohibition of visiting, communicating by desk phone, work e-mail or any communication with other people that’s not the debtor itself. It also proposes the prohibition of reaching the debtor recurrently through authorized paths in the same month -for instance, in the case of Saturdays, the debtor must be reached after 10 AM.

Will these measures put brakes on harassment and persecution in the collection area? We would like to know your perception. Leave us a comment.

How do we see it?

In Sumeria, a client isn’t just a number. A client isn’t a conglomerate. A client is a human being with emotions, reality and context. We certainly take all these variables into account when it comes to offering diagnosis and treatments based on the person, resulting in a more empathic and efficient collection process for enterprises.

Si eres víctima de alguna de las situaciones que planteamos en este post, puedes llamar If you’re a victim of any of the situations previously mentioned, you can call 800 700 100  SERNAC Claim Center for free and file a claim or make an enquiry. You can also access to Consumer’s portal online and have digital tools for your claim at your disposition.

Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels

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