Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - Posted by Michael McCulloch
Debt purchase company, Panthera Finance, is fighting a lawsuit commenced by Consumer Action Law Centre on behalf of Edwina Crawford, an alleged single mother claiming harassment and alleged breaches of the Debt Collection Guidelines.
The lawsuit filed in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal claims:
- Panthera Finance acted illegally;
- That Ms Crawford was harassed; and
- Panthera Finance made certain misrepresentation of about the consequences of non-payment.
It is alleged that Panthera Finance contacted Ms Crawford on 10 occasions in a fortnightly period after it was explained by her that she had 4 children and was in receipt of a Centrelink pension and was unable to service the debt.
In response to the allegations Panthera Finance released the following statement:
"We deny all allegations made against us and will be submitting evidence to the tribunal to this effect if required. We are very aware that the law prohibits us from harassing customers, engaging in threatening behaviour, garnisheeing Centrelink benefits or seizing household goods. We have a number of safeguards in place to ensure this conduct does not occur".
Ms Crawford is seeking damages of up to $10,000.
While we are unable to comment at this stage as to the validity of the lawsuit it should serve as a timely reminder that Creditors and Collectors understand their rights and obligations and that any debt collection is undertaken in a way which is consistent to consumer protection laws across Australia.
A copy of the Debt Collection Guidelines can be downloaded from here