15. Duty of debt collectors in respect of trust money
(1) Where a debt collector in respect of any service or transaction in the course of his business as such receives or collects an amount of trust money, for or on behalf of any person ¾
(a) he shall, before the expiration of the day next following the day of the receipt or collection of the amount being a day on which the banks in the State are open for business ¾
(i) record the amount, or cause the amount to be recorded in his record of accounts so as to show particulars of the receipt or collection separately from records of money received, collected, or held on his own account or for or on behalf of any other person; and
(ii) pay the whole of the amount, or cause the whole of the amount to be paid into a trust account;
(b) shall not withdraw, or permit the withdrawal of the whole or any part of the amount except in payment of ¾
(i) the expenses, commission, fees and other charges of or incidental to the service or transaction; and
(ii) any moneys owing to the debt collector by the person on whose behalf the service or transaction was carried out to which the debt collector is lawfully entitled.
(2) Every debt collector shall within 14 days of demand in writing made by the person on whose behalf the service or transaction was carried out, and in any event unless the person otherwise agrees in writing, within 45 days of receipt of the trust money in respect of the service or transaction, pay the balance of that money, if any, to the person on whose behalf the service or transaction was carried out or as he may direct in writing.
(3) A debt collector shall not draw against or cause any payment to be made from a trust account unless the drawing or payment is made by or on his cheque, and where the cheque is in respect of a payment referred to in subsection (2), that cheque requires payment to be made to or to the order of the person to whom the sum for which that cheque is drawn is payable under or in pursuance of that subsection, is crossed and bears across its face the words }not negotiable~.
(4) A debt collector, shall within 14 days after ¾
(a) any trust account is opened by him notify in writing the Commissioner of the name of the trust account and the name and address of the bank where the account is kept; and
(b) any change of the name of that trust account or in the bank where the trust account is kept, so notify the Commissioner of the new name of the trust account and the name and address of that bank.
(5) A debt collector who neglects or fails to comply with this section commits an offence against this Act.
(6) Money paid into a trust account in accordance with this section is not ¾
(a) available for payment of the debts of a debt collector or to any other creditor of the debt collector; or
(b) liable to be attached or taken into execution under the order or process of any court whatsoever at the instance of any other creditor.
(7) Nothing in this section takes away or affects any lawful claim or lien that any licensee may have against or upon any money standing to the credit of a trust account.
[Section 15 amended by No. 55 of 2004 s. 227.]