As debt collectors we often deal with debtors who are new to the debt collection process and don’t understand the process or what to do going forward.

So, if due to an unforeseen circumstance you have fallen behind on paying your loans, credit cards maybe even your normal everyday bills have become overdue and are now being contacted by a debt collector here are some considerations:

You should know that debt collection is legal and is generally conducted by a debt collector; a person who collects overdue debts.

A debt collector is seeking to recover the money you owe to creditors, who have a legal right to payment of goods or services that have been provided, the debt collector can be engaged to do this by a lender such as a bank, a service provider such has a phone or power company, on behalf of themselves or a debt collection agency.

It is in your best interest not to ignore any notices you receive regarding an outstanding debt, if you receive a notice informing you of court action, you should obtain legal advice as a matter of urgency.


Debt collectors are able to contact you in an effort to collect the outstanding money and must respect your privacy in the process. 

In making contact with you they are able to ask for payment to settle the outstanding amount, arrange a payment plan, discuss why you have failed to meet payments of a payment plan and review a payment plan. 

It is important to note they will advise you of what will happen should you not meet the payment plan repayments and if they have the appropriate court documents, they are then able to repossess goods of value to be sold in order to settle the debt.

Contact can be made via phone between the hours of 7.30am – 9pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 9pm on weekends, limited to 3 calls per week (or 10 per month).

Debt collectors are not allowed to contact you on national public holidays.

Any contact using social media can be used only if the debt collector is reasonably certain only you have access to any messages sent and the social media account is not public.

In person (face to face) is not best practice and is only done if all pervious attempts to make contact have failed and the debt collector is licenced to do so.

There are strict laws in debt collection and debt collectors are not able to harasses you/your family, trespass on yours/family’s property, contact you/family at unreasonable times, or mislead/deceive you/family.

At no time should a debt collector discuss your debt with anyone other than your self or use a disability, illness or lack of knowledge of the law to coerce you into paying the debt.

When you are dealing with a debt collector it is important to be co-operative and honest regarding your financial situation, it is your duty to reply in a reasonable time to any calls or correspondence, advise the debt collector of any changes to your circumstances including contact details, if you can arrange a payment plan that you can afford, and be able to stick to.

A good idea during the process it to keep a record of your communications with the debt collector, noting their name or company, how, date and time of any contact, and what was agreed or said during these encounters.

Debt collectors make all effort to correspond in writing where they can so there is a paper trail for future reference.

If you are struggling to pay the debt, contact the debt collector, immediately and explain the situation, debt collectors can help where possible by discussing what you can afford, what sort of payment plan would be suitable for you that you are able to stick to. Ignoring the debt increases the chances of legal action being taken against you.

In the likelihood you wish to dispute the debt, for instance the debt is not actually yours, you are not sure the amount stated is correct or you believe you have paid the debt contact the debt collector, and where possible do so inwriting with copies of receipts, agreements etc. proving your claim.