QLD Credit Corp Chasing a Debt - What are Our Rights?

Discussion in 'Debt and Bankruptcy Law Forum' started by Paige Haines, 8 September 2018.

  1. Paige Haines

    Paige Haines Member

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    Hi there,

    Credit corp have been chasing a debt from my mum and harassing her. She definitely had a credit card with GE Money but had thought it was closed down. They are now ringing her about a $2300 debt. Is it possible her account has just accrued fees and charges over that time and because she thought it was closed down wasn't aware this was happening?

    We have asked for some proof from Credit Corp of this debt and what the transactions were but its from way back in 2003? I called GE Money and they said that Credit Corp would have to request past statements and pass them on and that we couldn't get a copy of them. Credit Corp have sent through one statement with just a balance on it which has no information of where the charges have come from.

    My question is, do we have any rights to this information? we will happily pay it if it is legit but we don't know if it is? My mum is in financial hardship and really can't afford to be paying a debt that isn't hers. Also is there some way out if it is just accrued fees and charges because the account wasn't closed down properly?

    Thanks so much for any help you can give me.

    Also I have paid this guy from cantpaymydebt $185 to lodge court proceedings to have credit corp desist and haven't heard anything back from him. So you know anything about him? He claims to be trying to file a class action against debt collecting agencies.
     
  2. Rob Legat - SBPL

    LawTap Verified Lawyer

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    If the debt is from 2003, and your mum hasn't made a payment or acknowledged that she owes the money in any way then it is 'statue barred'. Very simply put, if the last acknowledgment of the debt (which includes a payment) is more than 6 years ago then the Limitations of Actions Act 1974 provides that they cannot take action to enforce the debt. This translates into them not being able to make a demand for payment.

    However, if your mum makes a payment or agrees she owes the money - that time limit renews.

    This is aside from their inability to provide you with proof of the debt. The ACCC/ASIC Debt Collection Guidelines (which aren't binding, but are best practice) clearly state that a debt collector should cease demands for payment until they can verify the debt - and that includes justifying it to your mum.

    Add to that - under the National Credit Code they must provide a statement of account when requested to do so. Transactions up to 1 year old must be provided within 14 days; older transactions within 30 days.

    I suggest you insist on a full accounting of all the transactions since 2003 (or similar), in writing. If they can't/won't provide, ask them to explain their position with respect to:

    1. The "Debt collection guideline: for collectors and creditors", part 13 "Quantim of or liability for a debt is disputed" (link: https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/776_Debt collection guideline_July 2017_FA.PDF)

    2. Section 36 of the National Credit Code. The section requires:

    "(1) A credit provider must, at the request of a debtor ... and within the time specified by this section, provide a statement of all or any of the following:
    (a) the current balance of the debtor's account;
    (b) any amounts credited or debited during a period specified in the request;
    (c) any amounts current overdue and the dates they became due;
    (d) any amount currently payable and the date it becomes due."

    The time limits above are in subsection (2). Failure to provide the statement, as requested and within the required time frame, is subject to a criminal penalty. It is a 'strict liability' offence, which means there is no need to prove fault.

    There is an exception in that they're not required to provide information about amounts which are more than 7 years old - unless they are currently overdue and payable. If they refuse to provide the information required under this section, you may wish to point this out.

    As for cantpaymydebt, I'm not going to comment on that site specifically. But, in my opinion sites like this are a waste of time and can be very dangerous. In my opinion they fall under the category of "A broken clock is still right twice a day".
     
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  3. Paige Haines

    Paige Haines Member

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    Wow thanks so much Rob! That's helped heaps. I will get onto actioning all of that now! Yes, the guy from cantpaymydebt wouldn't answer me or send through promised documents, so I suspected something was amiss. I have actually reported him to scamwatch which he wasn't too happy about... Not sure if that was a bit harsh, but it sure felt a bit dodgy in the end...

     
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