National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 – Guidelines for Debt Collectors
Learn about the rights and regulations behind ‘getting your money back’.
Claiming a debt back can be a difficult task especially if you’re running a business or juggling all your daily tasks on the side. There are calls to be made, details to be arranged and it’s easy to feel like you’re hassling the other person.
The National Consumer Credit Protection Act (NCCPA) 2009 sets out guidelines for debt collectors when contacting debtors and outlines the obligations debt collectors hold to protect the rights of debtors. If you are owed money or feel you are being harassed by debt collectors, you should get in contact with a debt collection lawyer. A debt collection lawyer can provide legal advice on your rights and discuss what your best course of action is.
LawPath has a dedicated network of debt collection lawyers who operate on a fixed-fee basis.
Guidelines for Debt Collectors
Protection of privacy
Under the guidelines, a debt collector must protect the privacy of the debtor when attempting to contact them. This means that reasonable measures must be taken to avoid revealing information about the debt before establishing the identity of the debtor or when attempting to reach the debtor through a third party.
A debt collector must be careful when revealing who they are or where they are calling from if it may suggest that there is a debt.
Identification of debt
When making initial contact with a debtor, a debt collector must clearly identify themselves, who they work for and the purpose of the call. A debt collector should also provide the debtor with basic information regarding the debt including the name of the creditor, details of the debt or account and the amount being claimed.
A debt collector must not make false or misleading representations regarding their identity or the nature of the debt including consequences or legal penalties for not paying the debt.
The guidelines advise that debt collectors must exercise caution when choosing a channel of communication. Specific prohibitions are stated in relation to using a channel that the debtor has already advised they do not wish to be communicated on.
For example, a debt collector must not contact a debtor if they have advised that all communications are to go through their lawyer, or continue to contact them at their workplace if the debtor has advised that they do not wish to be contacted there.
Reasonable purpose of contact
A debt collector must only contact a debtor where it is for a reasonable purpose and necessary. To determine whether it is for a reasonable purpose, consideration may be taken as to the frequency and content of the contact, the debtor’s personal circumstances and financial situation.
A debt collector must not contact a person about a debt if they have already advised that they do not want to receive further communication about the debt. Exceptions may be made if the debt collector has been issued a Court action to contact the debtor or are acting in compliance with a requirement of the National Credit Code.
Certain practices are strictly banned under the guideline and may result in legal consequences. These include unlawful entry on a private residence, repeated harassment of a debtor with the intention to threaten or ridicule and disclosing of the debtor’s personal information.
To learn more about legal regulations on debt collection, we advise you speak to an experienced debt collection lawyer.
Want to collect a debt? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.
Jennifer is a Paralegal, working in our content team, which aims to provide free legal guides to facilitate public access to legal resources. With a keen interest in media and IP law, her research focuses on the evolving role of the law to navigate new and emerging information platforms.