Sending a “stop contact” letter

What rights do I have to stop a Debt Collector from contacting me?

The law in Victoria[1] states that a debt collector must stop contacting you if you write to the debt collector and advise them that no further contact should be made about a debt. We call this written communication a “stop contact letter”.
[1] Section 45(1) and 45(2)(m) of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 (Vic).

What happens if the debt collector continues to contact me after I have sent a “stop contact letter”?

Each time a debt collector makes contact with you after you have sent a stop contact letter, they will be engaging in “prohibited debt collection”.
If “prohibited debt collection” causes you distress or humiliation, you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to ask for compensation of up to $10,000 for each instance of prohibited debt collection.
If you have sent a “stop contact letter”, and you continue to receive contact from the debt collector, we recommend making a record of every time the debt collector:

  • calls you;
  • texts you; or
  • sends you a letter.

Are there any exceptions to the above rule?

Yes, there are some exceptions to the above rule, for example a debt collector is always allowed to send you:

  • A letter threatening to take you to Court (that they intend to act upon);
  • Court documents showing court proceedings have been commenced against you;
  • Notices that must be sent under the National Credit Code, for example default notices, account statements and notices in relation to your credit file.

The Credit Card Debt Assistance Tool will help you to
stop a debt collector from contacting you about this credit card debt

This tool will:

  • Ask you some questions about your credit card debt;
  • Ask you some questions about what you could afford when they gave you the credit card or increased your credit limit (if applicable);
  • Generate a letter of demand that you can send to your credit card company / debt collector.
  • Send you an email with a link to the letter and some other information to help you take the next step in dealing with your credit card debt.
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