- You must not try to pressure a debtor by misleading, harassing, threatening or putting pressure on a debtor’s spouse or partner, a member of a debtor’s family (especially a child) or other third parties such as authorised representatives.
- All communication with third parties, including members of a debtor’s family, must be consistent with your privacy obligations to the debtor and the third party as set out in part 2, section 8, Privacy obligations to the debtor and third parties.
- A debtor is entitled to respect and courtesy, and must not be subject to misleading, humiliating or intimidating conduct by a creditor, debt collector or any of their agents or representative. Such conduct is likely to breach the law.
- You should never:
- use abusive, offensive, obscene or discriminatory language
The following information on bankruptcy has been written based on guidance from the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA), formerly known as the Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia.
AFSA is the Commonwealth body responsible for the administration and regulation of the personal insolvency system, trustee services and the administration of the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) and proceeds of crime.
- Generally, while an arrangement is in place, the debtor or their representative should not be contacted unless:
- the debtor asks you to
- you wish to propose a genuine alternative arrangement to benefit the debtor
- the debtor does not comply with the terms of the repayment arrangement.
- In addition, if you are required to provide or have committed to provide ongoing account statements to the debtor, you should continue to do so.
- We encourage you to work with a debtor and to adopt a flexible and realistic approach to repayment arrangements, which includes:
- making reasonable allowances for a debtor’s ongoing living expenses
- considering if a debtor is on a fixed low income (for example a disability pension or other welfare payments) and there are no prospects of their income increasing in the future
- Collection activity (including credit report listing) should be suspended if a person contacted about a debt claims that:
- they are not the alleged debtor
- the debt was never incurred, or
- the debt has been paid or otherwise settled
- Your correspondence—including automatically generated letters—should be consistent with both your records and your verbal communications with the debtor, and vice versa.
- Correspondence should reflect the repayment arrangements that you have made with the debtor.50 Such correspondence must not make inaccurate representations, including misrepresentations about:
- You should address requests for information or documentation as soon as possible.
- You should ensure:
- you maintain accurate, complete and up-to-date records of all communications with debtors, including the time, date and nature of calls about the debt, records of any visits in person, and records of all correspondence sent
- all payments made are accurately recorded (including details of date, amount and payment method)
- you provide documents to which the debtor is entitled on the debtor’s request.
- A debtor has a right to have an authorised representative (such as a financial counsellor, financial advisor, community worker, solicitor, guardian or carer) represent them or advocate on their behalf about a debt.
- Except in the circumstances outlined in paragraph (d) and (e) of this section, you should not:
- contact a debtor directly after you know, or should know, that the debtor is represented