Collections agent wants more than CZK 8 million from the town of Chomutov
Collections agent JUDr. Jan Paraska is billing the town of Chomutov CZK 8 million for collections performed on their behalf. Last year Paraska confiscated welfare benefits from debtors immediately after they were disbursed in cash at the town hall. The town is refusing to pay Paraska his fee. Instead, authorities are appealing to the Regional Court in Usti nad Labem, the Collections Chamber, and the Czech Justice Ministry. The news server iDNES.cz reported on the case today.
Romea.cz is informed that Paraska is billing the town CZK 7 800 for each of the 1 040 cases he handled. The town therefore owes him CZK 8 112 000. However, Chomutov town spokesperson Tomas Branda says those costs must be paid by the debtor, either directly to the collections agent or through the town, iDNES.cz reports.
Branda says the town hall has been working with several collections agents since 2004 and began working with collections authorities in Most, represented by JUDr. Paraska, in 2007. “In February 2009, JUDr. Paraska performed collections at the town hall after welfare benefits were disbursed, and it was widely covered in the media,” Branda says. The town supplied video recordings of the collections action to the media, a violation of the law on the protection of personal information.
When the court banned Paraska from continuing this collections method, Branda claims Paraska stopped collecting altogether. “This can be proven through those cases in which the town eventually succeeded in collecting on the debt but Paraska failed,” Branda told iDNES.cz, adding that Paraska’s move to halt collections was a vengeful response to the court ban and the audits of his business that were conducted as a result of the famous case.
Branda says the town has appealed the suspension of the collections and claims Paraska did his best to prevent the town from appealing by closing down his collections registry. “The town is preparing to file a complaint with the chamber and the Justice Ministry over the incorrect behavior of this collections agent,” Branda told iDNES.cz.
Last June the Regional Court in Usti nad Labem found in favor of debtors who complained against the approach taken by Chomutov under the leadership of Mayor Rapkova. The court said welfare benefits released as aid for those in material need cannot be subjected to collections and should not be considered the sort of cash on hand that collections agents may normally access. Welfare benefits make it possible for the recipients to meet their basic needs and do not represent savings,reports iDNES.cz
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