At LCollect we believe that knowledge is power. Every month our debt collection blog gives you practical tips, stories and news from around Australia and the world.
As is the usual practice this time of year we have received notification that several Courts will not be opened or will have limited staff over the Christmas / New Year period.
As of 18/12 notification has been received from the following States and Territories:
New South Wales
A majority of Registries will be closed from Monday, 25 December 2017 and will re-open Monday, 8 January 2018.
All Registries will be closed from Wednesday, 27 December 2017 and will re-open Monday, 8 January 2018.
Australian Capital Territory
All Registries will close from 4.30pm on Friday, 22 December 2017 and will re-open Tuesday, 2 January 2018.
Magistrates' Court Registries permanently staff during the Christmas / New Year period except for gazetted public holidays.
Supreme and District Court Registries closed from Friday, 22 December 2017 and will re-open on Tuesday, 2 January 2018.
Please remember that our office will also be closed over the Christmas and New Year period with us returning for business on Wednesday, 3 January 2018.
Consumer Affairs Victoria has recently re-released an article which outlines the debt collection practices that are banned in Victoria.
The ban covers the following:
In our April 2017 edition we released a blog post about the Australian Securities & Investments Commission ("ASIC") releasing a new public resource called ASIC MoneySmart Teaching.
The independent evaluation has now been released by ASIC which you can download from their website.
The report contains ASIC's response to the independent valuation of the program and the independent evaluation of the program. Case studies have also been provided from several participating schools with 2 notable student quotes:
"... so you don’t make mistakes when you’re older, like buy a Lamborghini before you get a house and then you don't have any money."
"You learn to read the fine print ... because [the product] could be amazing and in bright colours, but if you look at the tiny asterisk down the bottom, it says ‘this product may cause death."
You can learn more about the MoneySmart Teaching program via their website.
Source: ASIC - December 2017
In a report released by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ("ASIC") it has been revealed that a total of 404 Australian Credit Licences were cancelled between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017.
The report, Overview of Licensing and Professional Registration Applications, showed that 7 credit licences were suspended and 404 cancelled with the most common reason for cancellation being the company being placed into external administration, becoming deregistered, failure to comply with licence conditions to applying to ASIC for suspension or cancellation.
Of the 404 cancellations, 97 were initiated by ASIC through enforcement action while the remainder were initiated by the licencee themselves. In the report ASIC wrote that, "The most common reason for withdrawals is linked to the quality of the application – that is, where we communicate to the applicant, and the applicant agrees, that the final outcome is likely to be a refusal if the matter proceeds to a hearing."
The full report can be downloaded from here.
Source: ASIC - December 2017
In our May 2016 issue of Debt Collection News we reported that an internal oversight by Westpac resulted in a 21 year old student overdrawing her account by $4.6 million.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on 01/12 that criminal charges against the 21 year old, Christine Jia Xin Lee, have been dropped. Magistrate Lisa Stapleton indicated earlier on in the proceedings that Ms Lee may not have broken any laws at all.
The Department of Public Prosecution dropped the charges after a similar case involving a man withdrawing $2.1 million from ATMs was dismissed by the Court.
In response to the charges being dropped a spokesperson for Westpac said, "Westpac has taken all possible steps to recover its funds, including taking civil action against Ms Lee. The criminal charges against Ms Lee were a matter for the DPP and Police, and we respect their decision.” Ms Lee's lawyer, Hugo Aston, said in a statement, "She is happy it is behind her, and to move on with her life. There was no deception. It’s a very interesting case, and an interesting outcome. It is obviously clear the bank should adopt better policies.”
NSW Police have indicated that they will continue to hold onto a number of items, including luxury handbags, pending the outcome of the civil proceedings commenced by Westpac in which to recover the monies.
The offices of LCollect and Collection Law Partners will close at midday on Friday, 22 December 2017 and return for business on Wednesday, 3 January 2018.
If you have instructions to postpone or cease collection activity during this period that you contact us as soon as possible so your request can be accommodated.
If you require urgent assistance during this period please phone Philip Harvey.
We would like to thank you for your continued support in 2017 and look forward to working with you in 2018 and beyond.