REP 155 Debt collection practices in Australia
Released 14 May 2009
A joint report by the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission and ASIC.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) continue to receive reports of poor debt collection practices in Australia. This is despite significant efforts by all stakeholders to ensure compliance with consumer protection laws. These reports include serious allegations of harassment, coercion and other problems experienced by debtors when businesses seek to recover outstanding debts.
This paper summarises major issues identified by the ACCC and ASIC during information-gathering activities undertaken in 2008, and reflects the agencies’ understanding of feedback provided by a range of stakeholders. The paper aims to promote further discussion among consumers, industry and regulators. Responses to this paper will be used by the ACCC and ASIC to inform the direction of future work in this area.
Some of the issues discussed in this paper may go beyond the scope and responsibilities of either or both agencies and may extend to the jurisdiction of other agencies such as the Office of the Privacy Commissioner or state and territory offices of fair trading.