Debt notifications cannot be sent by text messages

The ethics committee of the Israel Bar Association Tel-Aviv district, recently published general guidelines addressing the use of short messages services (SMS) and phone services when contacting a debtor. The ethics committee received many complaints regarding SMS's sent and phone messages left on the debtor's answering machines by lawyers, whilst trying to collect a debt. Adv. Efraim Naveh, chairman of the committee, this has become a sort of method through which many lawyers try to collect money owed to their clients. After weighing the issue, the committee decided that these methods should be regarded as a disciplinary offense. The committee justified the decision, inter alia, on the fact that such means did not dignify the profession. It further mentioned that this form of contact did not offer the debtors suitable ways through which to reply to the lawyer. Lastly, the committee argued that repeated approaches by an attorney using this method may cause inappropriate harassment, be considered illegal harassment and even lead to a criminal offenses under the Telecommunications Act.  The guidelines state that pursuant to the sending of a notification letter, a well "mannered" and "personal" phone call may be made by the lawyer to inquire whether or not the letter was received. Source: The Israel Bar Association, Tel-Aviv District.