Exchanges of knowledge between members
During the last annual meeting of ECDN, the idea came into being to have bilateral exchanges between ECDN-members. On Feb 3, three colleagues of Nibud went to Dusseldorf to visit the Verbraucherzentrale Nordrhein-Westfalen. We discussed a couple of themes during the exchange: – The lack of clear and transparant creditworthiness assessment in Germany, which makes it hard to check for overindebtedness. Dutch credit-issuers have a code-of-conduct supervised by the Financial Market Authority. The Nibud reference budgets are part of the creditworthiness assessment. – The problems with grey and hidden credits, like for example offers for 0%-interest, which in fact is a credit. – The frequent use of Restschuldversicherungen in Germany for which high commission is paid to the sellers of this kind of insurance, without them being in the interest of consumers. – We discussed online-advice tools of Nibud. – The ways debt advice and guidance in the insolvency procedure is given by the VerbraucherZentrale – The concept of Energy Poverty in Germany, and how shutting off energy due to debt is handled in both countries. A very interesting day for both organisations. It was inspiring to see how many problems are alike, and the different solutions between countries.