Are you harassed by debt collectors?
Rights and Obligations when approached by debt collectors
- Ask the agent to identify themselves and take down their full details. Do not speak to them if they cannot identify themselves and their organisation.
- If they are delivering a Section 129 notice, inform the agent that you would like to exercise your right to the 10 business days to consider your options. These include approaching a debt counsellor, ADR agent, Consumer Court or Ombud to work on a plan to bring your arrears up to date or resolve a dispute;
- If they claim to have come to repossess your car don’t hand over the car unless they have a court order. Dont sign a voluntatry surrender document unless if you want to give them the car back. You are not obliged to sign a voluntary surrender.
- If they are calling to collect debt that is more than three years old please ensure that the debt is not prescribed debt as it is now illegal to collect prescribed debt. Debt prescribes if three years has passed, you have not acknowledged or paid anything and the credit provider has not issued summons or taken judgment against you. Prescription does not apply to mortgages, TV licenses and other government debt.
- Do not make any arrangement unless you know your income and expenses. By doing this exercise properly you will determine whether you are able to afford the new instalment;
- If you make an arrangement to reschedule your repayments, make sure it is written and confirmed by the agent and accepted by your credit provider;
- Do not sign any documents you do not understand. Ask them to leave you with the document. Once you sign a document you are deemed to have read, understood and accepted the contents of the document;
- Contact the NDMA Helpline to assist you. We can help you work out a proper plan to bring your arrears up to date or to resolve a dispute.