Bankruptcy in Australia – What To Understand about Debt Collection
A log of folks wrestle with financial challenges at some time in their lives, and the majority of these people are probably familiar with debt collectors. A debt collector is a person whose job is to collect debts on behalf of a firm. A debt collector can either be an employee of a company you owe money to, or they could be a third party servicing a lender. As you can imagine, it’s not a simple task to squeeze money out of people who don’t have any. Most people in debt are already burdened by their financial condition, and other people calling them to remind them of this doesn’t always end happily. Consequently, debt collectors have a lot of detrimental connotations. There have been a large number 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 how to handle these sorts of interactions.
Learn about Your Legal Rights.
Recognising what debt collectors can and can’t do is vital in having the ability to appropriately manage any communications 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 additionally your partner or spouse, family members, or anyone else related to 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 additionally vital to understand how and when debt collectors can contact you. They can do this by telephone, mail, emails, social media or by seeing you personally. Each time you have interactions with debt collectors, it’s pivotal that you maintain a document of such communication including the date and time of contact, the source of contact (person, email, phone), the debt collector’s name and company name, and what was said during the correspondence. It’s also crucial to note that debt collectors must respect your right to privacy and supplying your financial info to another party without your permission is breaking the Law.
The Australian Consumer Law also stipulates that:.
Debt collectors can only make up to 3 phone calls or letters each week (or 10 each month).
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 responded to any of their past 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 communication can not be viewed by anyone but you.
If you do agree to meet a debt collector personally, 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 pleasant and give you a variety of debt relief solutions. Their job is to persuade you to repay as much of your debt as possible, as quickly as possible. So, the best thing to do is to have an understanding of what your debt relief options are. You can perform some research on the internet to find what options you have or you could seek professional debt management advice (most businesses will offer free advice at the beginning). Once you recognise what choices you have, you’ll be more comfortable in dealing with 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 being able to dictate the discussion and informing you of what options you have, whether they’re true or not.
It’s always a complicated 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 creditors. The best way to deal with interactions with debt collectors is to understand your legal rights, when and how they can contact you, record all interactions, and knowing what debt relief options you have. If you’re aware of these points, then it will significantly improve your correspondences with debt collectors and hopefully won’t add even more stress to your current financial situation. If you need any advice about what debt relief options you have, call the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth on 1300 795 575 or visit their website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertstamworth.com.au.