According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the rights of customers dealing with a creditor are protected under the law. Unfortunately, most consumers are unaware of their rights and believe that debt collectors have the right to harass them. If you find yourself dealing with a barrage of harassment from a debt collector, contact a consumer lawyer. An experienced consumer lawyer is not alien to debt collectors who violate consumer rights and does their best to protect you from such harassment. Here is how.
Set Limitations on Contact — Of course, debt collectors have to abide by specific laws when contacting you regarding debt collection. However, the extent of such contact is not a grey area, as some debtors would have you believe. Ideally, a debt collector should only contact you during official business hours and days. Thus, a debt collector's contact qualifies as harassment if they keep calling you late at odd hours of the night and early morning. Other debt collectors go to the extent of showing up at your workplace unannounced. A consumer lawyer can help you draft a cease and desist letter, limiting how a debt collector should contact you. For instance, a cease and desist letter outlines where and when a debtor can call you to discuss and arrange for debt collection. Most importantly, it stops harassment of clients and allows them to lead a stress-free life.
Protect your Privacy — The law requires debt collectors to protect your personal information and that of third parties. However, it has not stopped unscrupulous debt collectors from releasing the information in a bid to shame a debtor. In fact, some collectors go as far as threatening to release debtors' personal data if they fail to pay what they owe over a specific period. For instance, a debt collector who comes to your workplace and shouts how much you owe will have violated your privacy. Besides being a form of harassment, such action is considered blackmail; hence, illegal. By hiring a consumer lawyer, you do not have to worry about a debt collector touting your personal information to anybody.
Act as Liaison — Generally, a debt collector should never discuss your debt with anyone else other than you or your spouse. Sadly, cases abound where a debt collector contacted a debtor's employer about a debt. It is wrong, and you have a right to take legal action against such a debt collector and claim damages. That said, a consumer lawyer can act as your liaison, and a debt collector can only talk to them if they cannot get a hold of you. Having a lawyer as your liaison also prevents you from inadvertently providing information that a debt collector can use against you.