|July 27, 2017||Comments Closed|
Lots of individuals deal with financial hardship at some point in their lives, and most of these individuals are 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 business you owe money to, or they can be a third party employed by a creditor. As you can picture, it’s not a straightforward job to squeeze money out of people who simply have none. It would be safe to say that most people in debt are already stressed about their financial issues, and people contacting them to remind them of this doesn’t always end smoothly. As a result, debt collectors have a lot of detrimental connotations. There have been lots of cases of individuals being harassed by debt collectors so it’s imperative that individuals who are being contacted by debt collectors are aware of their rights and how to manage these sorts of interactions.
Learn about Your Legal Rights.
Recognising what debt collectors can and can’t do is essential 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 similarly your partner or spouse, family members, or anyone else associated 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 additionally crucial to be aware of how and when debt collectors can contact you. They can do this by telephone, mail, emails, social networking sites or by seeing you in person. Whenever you have communications with debt collectors, it’s important that you maintain a record of such interaction including the time and date of contact, the source of contact (letter, phone, person), the debt collector’s name and company name, and what was said during the interaction. 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 approval is breaking the Law.
The Australian Consumer Law also stipulates that:
Debt collectors can only make up to three telephone calls or letters per 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 responded to 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 face to face, any threats of assault or violence should be reported to the police immediately.
Know What Options You Have.
A debt collector’s job is not to be courteous and give you a variety of debt relief alternatives. Their job is to encourage you to repay as much of your debt as possible, as fast as possible. So, the best thing to do is to be aware of what your debt relief options are. You can carry out some research online to uncover what possibilities you have or you could seek professional debt management advice (most businesses will offer free advice in the beginning). Once you are aware of what choices you have, you’ll be more self-confident in resolving 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 easier by having the chance to dictate the discussion and informing you of what choices you have, whether they’re true or not.
It’s always a tough situation when you come into contact with debt collectors. Their job is very difficult, and they’ll use any methods possible for you to repay your debt since the amount 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 correspondences with debt collectors is to realise your legal rights, when and how they can contact you, record all communications, and understanding what debt relief alternatives you have. If you’re aware of these points, then it will greatly improve your interactions with debt collectors and hopefully won’t add even more stress to your current financial condition. If you need any advice about what debt relief alternatives you have, speak to the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Mount Isa on 1300 795 575 or visit their website for additional information: http://www.bankruptcyexpertsmountisa.com.au.