Last updated 29 July 2016
Debt collectors must be licensed under the Debt Collectors (Field Agents and Collections Agents) Act 2014 (Qld). This Act prohibits debt collectors from:
- entering the house or land of a debtor without lawful authority (s 36). If a debt collector arrives at the front door of a person’s home, they may be asked to leave
- asking the debtor to pay the costs of the debt collection (s 27). The collector can only require payment of the debt itself and any court costs if legal action has already been taken
- making false or misleading representations to induce a debtor to enter into arrangements for the payment of a debt (s 37).
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission have issued guidelines on debt collection for debtors and creditors. The guidelines state that creditors (or debt collectors) should:
- only contact debtors between 7.30 am and 9 pm (9 am to 9 pm on weekends) unless the debtor is unavailable in that period of time
- first attempt to contact debtors by telephone and not by a visit
- not contact debtors more than three times a week or ten times a month without the debtors’ permission
- not contact debtors at work unless there is no reasonable alternative
- not discuss debtors’ financial affairs with other people
- not threaten debtors with any action they do not have the power or intention to carry out.
A complaint about a debt collector’s failure to comply with the guidelines may be made to the Queensland Office of Fair Trading. The office recommends that if a person is being harassed by a debt collector, they should request that future contact be in writing. Inappropriate behaviour by a debt collector will not affect whether or not the debt must be paid.