Debt collection

Honeysuckle Health, nib buying group authorised with condition

The ACCC has authorised Honeysuckle Health and nib Health Funds (ASX: NHF) to form and operate a health services buying group.

The authorisation has been granted with a condition that major insurers Medibank, Bupa, HCF and HBF in Western Australia not be allowed to join the buying group.  The ACCC has also only granted authorisation for five years, rather than the 10 years sought by Honeysuckle Health and nib, to facilitate a review of the effects of the authorisation at an earlier time, if reauthorisation is sought.

Debt collection company in court over alleged harassment

The ACCC has instituted proceedings against debt collection agency Panthera Finance Pty Ltd alleging it unduly harassed three consumers over debts they did not owe.

The ACCC alleges that Panthera repeatedly contacted the three consumers for the payment of the disputed debts despite being advised that they were not liable for the debts, and in two cases placed an incorrect default listing on the consumers’ credit rating files. It also allegedly imposed onerous requirements on these consumers to “prove” they didn’t owe the debts which Panthera was trying to collect.

ACCC win puts debt collectors on notice

The Federal Court has found one of Australia’s largest debt collection firms, ACM Group Ltd, engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, harassment and coercion, and unconscionable conduct in its dealings with two vulnerable consumers.

ACM’s conduct was found to be in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.

The ACCC brought the action against ACM in respect of its conduct between 2011 and 2015 in pursuing two vulnerable customers who had defaulted on their phone bills. Their debts had been on-sold by their service provider to ACM for debt recovery.

ACCC takes action against debt collection firm ACM Group Ltd

Update: this release has been edited to more clearly identify the ACCC has made allegations against ACM Group Ltd (ACN 127 181 097).

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against debt collection firm ACM Group Ltd (ACN 127 181 097) (ACM Group). ACM Group purchases debts from companies, including telecommunications companies, utility companies and banks, and then attempts to recover all or part of the debt.

ACCC report on debt collection industry reveals improvements but warns against non-compliance

A report released today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and its Consumer Consultative Committee has found that there have been improvements in debt collection practices across Australia but that problem areas remain.

With over 500 businesses offering some form of debt collection service in Australia and collectors making up to 65 million contact attempts each year,  the report reveals the scale and breadth of the industry which affects many Australian consumers.

Research into the Australian debt collection industry

This report examines the debt collection industry in Australia. It aims to provide greater understanding of the industry and to identify structural issues or operational practices that may lead to problematic behaviours within the sector.

Dealing with debt collectors: your rights & responsibilities

This consumer brochure will help people who are currently dealing with debt problems, or being contacted by debt collectors.

Debt collection practices in Australia

This report summarises the major issues identified during information-gathering activities undertaken by both the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in 2008.

Debt collection guideline for collectors & creditors

The ACCC and ASIC have jointly produced this guideline which aims to assist creditors, collectors and debtors understand their rights and obligations, and ensure that debt collection activity is undertaken in a way that is consistent with consumer protection laws.

ASIC and ACCC sign new MOU

A new agreement covering liaison, cooperation, assistance, joint enquiries and exchange of confidential information arrangements has been signed by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) updates the existing MOU that has been in place since 1998. It reflects the close working relationship the two agencies have developed.