ASIC Makes Changes to RG96
With temporary debt relief measures ending on 1 January 2021, both the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) updated their guidelines for debt collection.
Regulatory Guide 96 Debt Collection Guideline: for Collectors and Creditors was published by the regulators with a specific emphasis on debt collectors providing a "flexible, fair and realistic approach to collection" -
The need for collection activity will be greatly reduced when debtors act promptly and responsibly, and collectors are flexible, fair and realistic. Debtors may default on their debts because of circumstances beyond their control, such as unemployment, illness or family breakdown. While there are cases of fraud and deliberate evasion, most people are honest and want to meet their commitments if given a reasonable opportunity to do so
The ACCC and ASIC encourage flexibility on the part of creditors and collectors. This includes recognising debtors who are vulnerable and experiencing financial hardship, and recognising that debtors may have a number of debts owing to different creditors.2 A flexible approach involves making meaningful and sustainable payment arrangements that reasonably take into account a debtor’s ongoing living expenses to enable them to live in basic comfort and prevent impoverishment or humiliation.
At LCollect it is our policy to apply a co-operative approach and actively work with our customers to come to resolutions to have their debt paid and will not unreasonable withhold hardship relief where a statement of financial position is supplied along with supporting documentation.
If you or someone that you know is experiencing financial difficulty we strongly recommend that you speak with your creditors or obtain the services of a financial counsellor. More information and support is available via the Moneysmart.gov.au website.