The nation’s consumer watchdog will take action against dodgy debt collectors harassing. Dodgy debt collectors will be named and shamed if the nation’s or harassed companies and customers struggling to meet financial obligations.
The Australian Competition andof debt agencies seeking to recoup outstanding amounts from individuals and businesses. Concerns have been sparked within the country’s competition regulator following the ending of JobKeeper and debt deferral periods brought in at the start of the .
It believes the cut-off ofwill likely rise in complaints lodged to the ACCC about debt firms. Speaking to NCA NewsWire, ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said the regulator attempted to bring awareness to consumers and from debt collectors’ hawkish and harassing behavior.
“You have a right to question the debt, whether or not you owe it, and to demand evidence of it,” Ms. Rickard said. “We arethat are harassing and ignore consumer rights. “We have taken action against several debt collection cases in , and we will not hesitate to take more.”
Ms. Rickard also noted debt collectors could only contact a person between set hours and must respect the use of someone’s personal information. Under Australian laws, a collector cannot pursue the debt if the outstanding amount is from more than six years ago. In the Northern Territory, this is three.
Debt collectors are usually third-party businesses that buy debt from companies and then chase up the individual or business for the outstanding amount. Many firms pledged not to pass on exceptional debts to third-party collectors during the pandemic. Still, Ms. Rickard isin disputes.
“We expectrise in debt collection issues,” she said. “If you are in financial difficulty, ask for a repayment , and the important thing there to remember is to get a repayment plan that you can actually meet.” The ACCC urges Australians in financial distress to contact the National Debt Helpline (1800 007 007) or seek free advice from a financial counselor.
Ms. Rickard flagged consumers should steer clear of “for-profit” financial advice companies because, in most cases, the type of support was offered for free through financial counselors. “I would really be concerned about people who are already in financial difficulty getting themselves into greater difficulty using some of these for-profit schemes,” she said. The ACCC also and consumers to visit the federal government’s MoneySmart website for further financial help.