Things a Debt Collector Can and Can’t Do
If you’re in debt, it’s likely that you are worried about Debt Collectors. What can Debt Collectors do, you may be asking? What Debt Collectors can’t do may be more important to you at this point. You may have had experience with Debt Collectors in the past, harassing or lying to you over the phone. All in an attempt to scare you into paying when you didn’t have any money available. Or worse, threatening to take your possessions.
Rest assured, what Debt Collectors can’t do is well defined within the law and if it were to happen here in Australia today, there are penalties that they would have to pay themselves.
Debt Collectors want to collect the debt, so a majority of them will follow the rules and understand what their own limits are. This article is here to help you understand what Debt Collectors can and cannot do, and protect you from unnecessary harassment and suffering.
What Debt Collectors can’t do:
- Use physical force or coercion (forcing or compelling you to do something)
- Harass or hassle you to an unreasonable extent
- Mislead or deceive you (or try to do so)
- Take unfair advantage of any vulnerability, disability or other similar circumstances affecting you.
- They can’t show up at your house or your place of work if you refuse.
- They can’t chase your spouse or family members for the debt or give them bad credit unless they are parties to the debt. If they have, they have violated the law.
- They can’t talk to anyone else but you about the debt unless they are parties to the debt (They can try and locate you, but they can’t disclose details about your private affairs).
- They can’t bankrupt you right away.
- They can’t take your households items unless they are security for the debt.
- They can’t call you after 9pm or before 7.30 am.
- They can’t put you in jail. It’s not illegal to be in debt.
A Debt Collector should only contact you when it is necessary to do so and when the contact is made for a reasonable purpose. So, what can Debt Collectors do?
What Debt Collectors can do:
- Demanding a payment.
- Arranging to be paid and coordinating the method of payment.
- Asking why the agreed payment plan has not been followed.
- Reviewing a payment plan after the agreed time has passed.
- Inspecting or recovering mortgaged goods that were used as collateral for the specific debt.
- Debt Collectors are only allowed to contact you at certain times of the day, and are not allowed to contact you on national or public holidays.
- A maximum of three phone calls or letters per week (or 10 per month)
- Phone contact only between the hours of 7:30am–9:00pm on weekdays and 9:00am – 9:00pm on weekends
- Face-to-face contact only between the hours of 9:00am – 9:00pm on weekdays and weekends
- No contact on national public holidays.
All of these rules and laws are here to protect you from undue stress and unscrupulous Debt Collectors. If you have had any of these things happen to you recently, there is recourse for the actions of these kinds of Debt Collectors.
Most companies in the business of Debt Collection are aware of the rules and follow them, so there is nothing to fear. Your debt can be managed and eliminated without Debt Collectors ruining your life, just as long as you know your rights.
If you’re in debt, it can be stressful but it isn’t the end of the world. What Debt Collectors can’t do is make your situation any worse. You have the power to take them on, and this really helps to remember when dealing with Debt Collectors. There are many things you can do and ways to resolve these issues. Plans and outlines can be created to manage your debt to help you achieve success at eliminating debt and calls from Debt Collectors forever.
The worst case scenario that can happen is Bankruptcy, and for the majority of Australian people, all that means is that the debt disappears and you can’t travel overseas for 3 years. It is a bit more complicated than it sounds, and there are procedures and guidelines to follow, but all of this can be managed within your means. There are options you may not have considered in relation to regaining control of your finances. More information can be found on the Debt Solutions Quick Guide.
Don’t get so caught up in debt that you can’t see the big picture. It is fixable and you will get past this. Life will be grand once again, and you will no longer be dealing with Debt Collectors.
Struggling with more than $8,000 of unsecured debt? You could be eligible for debt relief! Discover how to stop debt collector calls, freeze interest and fees, reduce payments and only pay back what you can afford. Start now with a free consultation
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