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Debt Recovery Letter from Photoshoot?

Discussion in 'Debt and Bankruptcy Law Forum' started by SarahBW, 10 May 2014.

  1. SarahBW

    SarahBW Member

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    In 2008, a friend and I took part in a free photoshoot. It was an offer provided by a company named Blush Photography in Melbourne. The photoshoot was free, however, if you wanted prints, then a fee was required. Please note I am not a model, this shoot was purely a promotion for this company.

    At the end of the shoot, my friend and I looked over the photo's and decided to purchase a few. We were informed that we could pay half and pay the other half later. We paid $135. By the time the due date came around for the remainder of the amount, we could not afford the remaining $135. I advised Blush of this and they responded saying that the rest of the amount needed to be paid. 6 years on I have received a 'Debt Recovery' letter advising me to make the remaining payment or a Notice of Proceedings for Judgement would be issued against me via debt collectors.

    I would like to know if there is anything to worry about. I have not received any of the photo prints or other merchandise from the company. I am worried that if I pay the remaining $135 I will not receive my prints and I am not sure $135 is worth the effort of legal proceedings, as well as the cost?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    SarahBW,

    Assuming that you did enter into a contractual arrangement to obtain the prints, they will have grounds to follow you up for payment. However, debt recovery actions are subject to limitations periods. In Victoria the limitation period of recovering debts is 6 years. The 6 year term begins on the latest of the following:
    • date on which the debt became due and you didn’t pay; or
    • date that you last made a payment; or
    • date that you admitted in writing that you owed the debt.
    The person seeking payment of the debt will need to institute court proceedings within this 6 year period, otherwise they may have to jump through additional hoops with the court and may be prevented from suing you if the court deems there is no good reason for extending the limitation period.

    I would try to calculate with the records you have available to you, when that time limit would be up. If it is, I would simply draft them a letter in response saying that they are out of time to pursue the debt recovery.

    If they are within their time limit, which I am assuming they may be since they have come after you right on the 6 year mark, they will want to institute court proceedings before the 6 years is up. However, as you point out, $135 is not a huge amount of money, and it would likely cost them more to institute legal proceedings to recover it. That being the case, they may just be trying to scare you into paying up and may not intend to institute proceedings as claimed. However, you should be aware that if they do decide to institute proceedings (which would not be a very smart move but not beyond some people) they will have incurred costs and will not let you go without a fight after that point.
     
  3. SarahBW

    SarahBW Member

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    Thanks Stacy for your reply. It has been very helpful. I am going to contact Vic Legal Aid on Monday and just verify what I should do. You have been very helpful.
     
  4. Paul Cott

    Paul Cott Well-Known Member

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    Sarah, perhaps try a community legal centre. Legal Aid (Vic) don't generally deal with such types of matters.
     
    John R likes this.

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