Your Rights: Debt Collectors
Debt Collectors are permitted to contact you in various ways: phone, email, letter, in person, and even via social media, but there are limits to the frequency and times they can contact you.
Face to face visits are usually only required if you have not responded to other contact, or if negotiation or repayments were unsuccessful.
Unless you agree otherwise, debt collectors can only contact you:
Weekdays 7.30 am - 9pm
Weekdays 9am - 9 pm
Any day 9am - 9pm
What Debt Collectors must not do:
- Use any threats or physical force to intimidate you
- Damage your property
- Refuse to leave when asked
- Shout at or harass you
- Pretend to represent a court or government agency
- Make false statements about the money you owe, or repercussions for non-payment
- Take advantage of you because of any illness, disability or age
- Take advantage of your unfamiliarity with the law or the debt collection process
Debt collectors may claim they are going to collect your personal property (furniture) because you signed a secured contract over your goods, or car, or because you haven't met the terms of your rental contract for your goods. However only the Sheriff has the power to get these from your residential property, unless you allow the debt collector to do it.
HOW TO COMPLAIN ABOUT A DEBT COLLECTOR
If you feel a debt collector has breached, acted unfairly, illegally or inappropriately in Victoria, you can make a complaint to Consumer Affairs Victoria (call 1300 55 81 81), or ASIC (1300 300 630) for debts related to Financial Services, and ACCC (1300 302 502 ) for other types of debt.
It’s important, if you wish to make a complaint, to record details of each contact from a debt collector including date, time of contact, method of contact and an overview of the conversation.
For further information see the ACCC’s Debt Collection Guidelines