Bankruptcy in Australia – What To Know About Debt Collection

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Bankruptcy in Australia – What To Know About Debt Collection

Bankruptcy Wangaratta

A lot of individuals face financial troubles at some time in their lives, and most of these people are very likely to be familiar with debt collectors. A debt collector is a person whose job is to collect debts on behalf of an enterprise. A debt collector can either be an employee of an organisation you owe money to, or they could be a third party servicing a creditor. As you can picture, it’s not a straightforward task to squeeze money out of people who don’t have any. Most people in debt are already burdened by their financial situation, and people contacting them to remind them of this doesn’t always end well. Consequently, debt collectors have a lot of unfavourable connotations. There have been a lot of cases of people being harassed by debt collectors so it’s important that people who are being contacted by debt collectors understand their rights and effective ways to handle these types of interactions.

Learn about Your Legal Rights.

Recognising what debt collectors can and can’t do is crucial in having the capacity to suitably manage any correspondences you may have with them. Under Australian Consumer Law, a debt collector must not:

Use any physical force or coercion (forcing you to do something).

Hassle or harass you to an unreasonable extent.

Mislead or deceive you (or attempting to do so).

Take advantage of people that are vulnerable, disabled, or have any other similar circumstances affecting them.

Not only do these laws involve a debt collector’s behaviour towards you, but also your partner or spouse, family members, or anyone else connected with you. If you find yourself in a position where a debt collecting is breaking these Laws, make a formal complaint to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)1.

How And When Debt Collectors Can Contact You.

It’s also valuable to understand how and when debt collectors can contact you. They can do this by telephone, mail, emails, social networks or by seeing you in person. Whenever you have interactions with debt collectors, it’s essential that you maintain a record of such communication including the date and time of contact, the means of contact (letter, phone, person), the debt collector’s name and business name, and what was said during the interaction. It’s also critical to note that debt collectors must respect your right to privacy and providing your financial information to another party without your consent is breaking the Law.

The Australian Consumer Law also specifies that:

Debt collectors can only make up to 3 phone calls or letters each week (or 10 monthly).

Debt collectors can only phone you between 7:30 am and 9pm on weekdays and 9am to 9pm on weekends.

Debt collectors can only make face-to-face contact between 9am and 9pm on weekdays and weekends, once a month, and can only visit you if you haven’t answered any of their prior attempts at communication.

There is to be no contact from debt collectors on national public holidays.

Debt collectors must be reasonably sure that if they contact you electronically (social media or email), that your account is not shared with another person and their correspondence can not be viewed by anyone but you.

If you do agree to meet a debt collector face to face, any threats of assault or violence should be reported to the police immediately1.

Know What Options You Have.

A debt collector’s job is not to be polite and give you a variety of debt relief solutions. Their job is to encourage you to repay as much of your debt as possible, as quickly as possible. So, the best thing to do is to recognise what your debt relief alternatives are. You can undertake some research on the net to find what possibilities you have or you could seek professional debt management advice (most companies will offer free advice at first). Once you are aware of what options you have, you’ll be more self-confident in handling debt collector’s threats or demands, or any other collection tactics. If you don’t understand what your options are, it makes the job of the debt collector much simpler by having the chance to dictate the discussion and instructing you of what choices you have, whether they’re true or not.

It’s always a challenging situation when you come into contact with debt collectors. Their job is difficult, and they’ll use any methods possible for you to repay your debt since the quantity of debt you repay and how quickly you repay it determines the commissions that debt collectors receive from lenders. The best way to deal with interactions with debt collectors is to realise your legal rights, when and how they can contact you, document all correspondences, and knowing what debt relief options you have. If you’re aware of these points, then it will notably improve your interactions with debt collectors and hopefully won’t add extra stress to your current financial predicament. If you need any advice about what debt relief choices you have, get in touch with the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Wangaratta on 1300 795 575 or visit their website for more information: http://www.bankruptcyexpertswangaratta.com.au.

Sources.

https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/debt-debt-collection/dealing-with-debt-collectors.

 

By | 2018-07-26T02:39:51+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Bankruptcy, Blog|0 Comments

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