Lots of folks struggle with financial challenges at some point in their lives, and the majority of these folks are probably 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 an organisation you owe money to, or they can be a 3rd party working with a creditor. As you can picture, it’s not an easy job to squeeze money out of people who don’t have any. Most people in debt are already burdened by their financial complications, and other people calling them to remind them of this doesn’t always end well. As a result, debt collectors have a lot of unfavourable associations. There have been lots of cases of individuals being harassed by debt collectors so it’s critical that individuals who are being contacted by debt collectors understand their rights and effective ways to manage these kinds of interactions.
Learn about Your Legal Rights.
Recognising what debt collectors can and can’t do is essential in having the capacity 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 concern a debt collector’s behaviour towards you, but additionally 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).
How And When Debt Collectors Can Contact You.
It’s equally critical to recognise how and when debt collectors can contact you. They can do this by telephone, letters, emails, social media sites or by seeing you personally. Every time you have interactions with debt collectors, it’s important that you keep a document of such interaction including the date and time of contact, the source of contact (phone, email, person), the debt collector’s name and business name, and what was said during the interaction. It’s also valuable to note that debt collectors must respect your right to privacy and providing your financial information to another party without your permission is breaking the Law.
The Australian Consumer Law also stipulates that:
Debt collectors can only make up to three phone 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 answered any of their prior 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 correspondence can not be seen 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 pleasant and give you a series of debt relief options. Their task is to urge you to repay as much of your debt as possible, as fast as possible. So, the best thing to do is to have an understanding of what your debt relief options are. You can perform some research online to uncover what alternatives you have or you could seek professional debt management advice (most firms will offer free advice to begin with). Once you recognise what options you have, you’ll be more self-confident 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 easier by having the chance to control the discussion and advising you of what choices 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 difficult, and they’ll use any way possible for you to repay your debt since the quantity of debt you repay and how fast you repay it determines the commissions that debt collectors receive from creditors. The best way to deal with correspondences with debt collectors is to realise your legal rights, when and how they can contact you, document all communications, and understanding what debt relief alternatives you have. If you’re aware of these points, then it will drastically improve your communications with debt collectors and hopefully won’t add even more stress to your current financial situation. If you need any advice about what debt relief opportunities you have, call the professionals at Bankruptcy Experts Shepparton on 1300 795 575 or visit their website for additional information: http://www.bankruptcyexpertsshepparton.com.au.