Find out how you can deal with debt collectors and keep your stress levels down.
Are you receiving constant calls from debt collectors? Are you feeling harassed, intimidated or stressed about it?
It is useful to know what debt collectors can and cannot do. It is also useful to know what about your rights so that you can take action.
If a debt collector contacts you, you should expect to be treated in a professional manner and not to be intimidated.
Debt collectors can contact you by
- Social media
- Visiting you in person
Debt collectors should not:
- Abuse or threaten you
- Contact you more than 3 times per week
- Contact you at work
- Threaten your family or friends
- Block access to your property or block your way
- Remain on your property when asked to leave (unless they have a court order)
- Reveal to another person that they are chasing you for a debt
- Threaten you with court action (if there is no intention to take you to court)
This is what you can do:
- Tell the debt collector that all contact with you must be in writing
- Tell the debt collector not to call you anymore because contact must be in writing
- Complain about unacceptable debt collector’s behaviour by writing to the debt collection company
- Contact your creditors, tell them about your situation and seek an amended payment plan
- Call Xdebt on 1300 261 693 and ask for help
- Seek help from family or friends
- Seek help from a financial counsellor
This is what you should not do:
- Ignore your debts
- Ignore your creditors
- Ignore the debt collectors (a debt collector may visit you if you do not respond to their attempts to contact you)
- Take no action
The road to being free of your debts begins in your mind, and not in your wallet. If your debts are piling up and you’re trying to ignore the situation because you don’t know how to fix it, doing nothing is really not going to help you.
Taking action will make you feel more in control and less at the mercy of your debts and your creditors.
Some things to remember
If you fall behind in paying your bills or your debts and you don’t contact your creditors to try and resolve the issue, a debt collector may contact you.
Debt collectors can contact you in a variety of ways but you can insist that all contact be in writing only.
Debt collectors must respect your privacy and must not tell your family, friends or work colleagues about your financial situation, without your permission.
Being in debt is not a criminal offence and bankruptcy is a legitimate financial solution for some.
For more information on how to get out of debt and declaring bankruptcy go to www.xdebt.com.au