Debt collection guideline: for collectors and creditors

4. Hours of contact

  1. Contact with a debtor or a third party must be made at reasonable hours, taking into account their circumstances and reasonable wishes. The following can be assumed to be appropriate contact times, subject to the qualifications set out:

Reasonable contact times

These times apply to both debtors and third parties10 and are the local times in the debtor’s state or territory.
Contact by telephone Monday to Friday 7.30 am to 9 pm
Weekends 9 am to 9 pm
National public holidays No contact recommended11
Face-to-face contact Monday to Friday 9 am to 9 pm
Weekends 9 am to 9 pm
National public holidays No contact recommended
All workplace contact Debtor’s normal working hours if known, or 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays
  1. We assume that contact will usually be by telephone. The above contact times for face-to-face contact, including contact at the debtor’s workplace, need to be read in conjunction with part 2, section 7, Face-to-face contact.
  2. There may be reasons why contact during the above times is unreasonable, or contact outside these times is reasonable. For instance, a debtor may ask that contact be made at other or more restricted times due to various reasons, for example, because the debtor:
    • is a shift worker
    • is responsible for children, or caring for a family member, and contact at certain times is not convenient
    • does not wish to be contacted when other family members are present.
  3. In these and other such cases, the reasonable wishes of the debtor should be respected, and contact limited to the times requested by the debtor.
  4. However, a collector may alter the time of contact if, after reasonable efforts over a reasonable period of time to contact the debtor during normal hours or at the times requested by the debtor, the collector has not been able to do so.

10See definition of ‘third party’ in appendix C. Contact with a debtor’s representative, such as financial counsellors and solicitors, would normally occur during ordinary business hours.

11It will generally be inappropriate to contact debtors on New Year’s Day, Australia Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Contact may also be prohibited on other days in particular jurisdictions. For instance, s.43(1)(d)(i) of the Fair Trading Act 1987 (SA) prohibits telephone calls or personal calls on any public holiday (state or national) to demand payment.

12Footnote removed.