|July 25, 2017||0|
A log of folks encounter 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 a firm. A debt collector can either be an employee of a company you owe money to, or they could be a 3rd party employed by a creditor. As you can imagine, it’s not a straightforward task to squeeze money out of people who simply have none. Most people in debt are already stressed about their financial hardship, and other people phoning them to remind them of this doesn’t always end happily. Consequently, debt collectors have a lot of negative associations. There have been plenty of cases of people being harassed by debt collectors so it’s crucial that people who are being contacted by debt collectors are aware of their rights and how to handle these types of communications.
Learn about Your Legal Rights.
Understanding what debt collectors can and can’t do is very important in having the capacity to properly 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 concern a debt collector’s behaviour towards you, but additionally your partner or spouse, family members, or anyone else connected with you. If you end up in a situation 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 critical to be aware of how and when debt collectors can contact you. They can do this by phone, letters, emails, social media or by seeing you personally. Every time you have communications with debt collectors, it’s integral that you maintain a record of such correspondence including the date and time of contact, the source of contact (letter, email, phone), the debt collector’s name and company name, and what was said during the interaction. It’s also vital to note that debt collectors must respect your right to privacy and supplying your financial information to another party without your consent is breaking the Law.
The Australian Consumer Law also stipulates that:
Debt collectors can only make up to 3 telephone 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 addressed any of their former 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 hospitable and give you a range of debt relief solutions. Their task 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 carry out some research on the web to search for what possibilities you have or you could seek professional debt management advice (most businesses will offer free advice at first). Once you recognise what alternatives you have, you’ll be more comfortable 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 easier by having the chance to govern the conversation and telling you of what alternatives you have, whether they’re true or not.
It’s always a tricky situation when you come into contact with debt collectors. Their job is very difficult, and they’ll use any way possible for you to repay your debt since the amount of debt you repay and how fast you repay it determines the commissions that debt collectors receive from lenders. The best way to manage correspondences with debt collectors is to recognise your legal rights, when and how they can contact you, record all correspondences, and knowing what debt relief possibilities you have. If you’re aware of these points, then it will notably improve your communications with debt collectors and hopefully won’t add more stress to your current financial condition. If you need any advice about what debt relief options you have, speak to the professionals at Fresh Start Solutions Adelaide on 1300 818 575 or visit their website for additional information: http://freshstartsolutions.com.au/bankruptcy-adelaide.