Debt collection occurs when creditors seek payment from a person or business who are legally required to repay money that they owe. Debt collectors Australia are regulated by certain rules about how they can go about collecting debt. They must treat debtors with respect, fairness and courtesy and cannot use coercion or treat them unconscionably. This can mean misleading them about the nature of their debt, their legal obligations and any possible outcomes resulting from non-payment. The following is regarded as illegal behaviour when contacting a debtor:
• Using physical force or coercing them to do something
• Harassing the debtor to an unreasonable extent
• Mislead or lie to the debtor
• Take unfair advantage of a disability or other vulnerability of the debtor
At the most fundamental level a debt collector should never pursue someone for a debt unless they have reasonable grounds for believing that the person is actually liable to pay the debt.