NSW Debt Collection letter from an Australian Agency collecting an Italian traffic fine

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Doubledecker

Member
8 July 2020
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Hi. Today i received a letter from an Australian Debt Collection Agency asking me to pay $672 for a traffic offence 9 months ago in Italy. The letter states that their client has tried several times to contact us to pay the fine. This is the first we have heard of it, but it is possible they wrote to us at the time of the offence as we were spending 7 months in Europe, and during this time we rented out house out, so wouldnt have received any letters. The fine seems a bit extreme (i can only assume the fine as be gradually increased due to non-response),so Im wondering what my options are. I don't want it affecting my credit history (can it?), but nor do i want to pay an inflated fine given i wasn't in the country to see any letters they wrote, and not do i want to be hounded for the next 5 years over non payment. Could i ask to pay the original fine? Thanks
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
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16 February 2017
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Gold Coast, Queensland
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First, I'd be responding to say I dispute the debt, both in terms of amount and liability, and requiring them to verify the circumstances fully including providing relevant documents and an accounting of the amount claimed. Debt collectors are then not supposed to contact you to demand payment until they have verified the particulars - however, that's accordingly to the ASIC/ACCC Debt Collection Guideline which isn't law but is considered 'best practice'. Most debt collectors tend to abide by it, or at least say they do.

They won't be allowed to make an adverse listing on your credit history as you haven't given them the necessary consent to do such (there are exceptions, but that would basically boil down to them getting a judgement against you).
 

Doubledecker

Member
8 July 2020
3
0
1
Thanks for your quick response Rob - much appreciated. So you'd suggest a response, rather than silence and hope it goes away?
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
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501
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Gold Coast, Queensland
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In my experience debt collectors don't just go away.