Dealing with a debt collector is something that no one ever wants to have to do. Unfortunately, though, it is a situation which can arise within your lifetime if you have debt you owe, whether you want it to or not. Debt collectors have a reputation (in some cases a well-deserved one) for being obnoxious, rude and even scary and this doesn’t help make the thought of facing a debt collector any easier. What you may not know, is that when dealing with a debt collector, you have protection under the Australian Consumer Law and there are things debt collectors just can’t do.
So, if you do find yourself in the situation of having to deal with a debt collector one day, we want to ensure you know your rights and how you’re protected, so you can feel more confident and secure when dealing with them.
Today, we are going to share with you the things debt collectors can’t do.
Debt collectors can’t:
- Call you at odd hours
A debt collector is only permitted to contact you on weekdays between 7.30am and 9.00pm or on weekends between 9.00am and 9.00pm.
- Come to your workplace
Although there is no requirement for a debt collector to visit you face to face, some debt collectors will, and are authorized to do so. They are not however, allowed to come to your place of work.
- Harass or threaten you
Harassment can come in many forms:
- Repeated calls
- Threats of violence
- Abusive or obscene language
All of these are illegal under the debt collection practices act.
- Say they’ll have you arrested
You can’t be arrested for a debt you owe to a debt collector.
- Publicize your debt
Debt collectors must protect your personal information and the personal information of third parties.
Contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner if you believe that a debt collector or creditor has breached privacy laws.
Although you have an outstanding debt and may be feeling embarrassed at this time, it’s important to remember that you have absolutely every right to be treated with courtesy, respect and professionalism by a debt collector, or debt collection agency.
Should you feel you are being mistreated, abused, or harassed and that you may be dealing with a debt collector displaying misconduct, it is important to talk to someone about it, and make a complaint.
We hope these tips have provided you with more of an insight on your rights and responsibilities and the correct conduct of a debt collector.
At Life After Debt® we have offices in Perth and Sydney; we can help you reduce unmanageable debt by assessing affordable, practical debt solutions once lending is no longer available to you. We do not lend money nor are we a broker, so we will never try to ‘sell you’ products.
Contact us today to receive honest and sympathetic advice, without judgement.