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Debt Collectors (Field Agents and Collection Agents) Act 2014 – 1 December 2014

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Debt Collectors (Field Agents and Collection Agents) Act 2014 – 1 December 2014

Debt Collectors (Field Agents and Collection Agents) Regulation 2014 – 1 July 2015

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A person who wishes to obtain a field agent licence to carry out debt collection, repossession or process serving may apply in the approved form to the government. For further elaboration on the types of regulated activity, refer to section 10 of the Act. For suitability requirements, refer to sections 44 and 45 of the Act. For eligibility requirements, refer to section 49 of the Act. Note: Licence renewals are to be applied for prior to licence expiry and must be accompanied by an audit report for all trust accounts kept by the field agent during the relevant audit period or a statutory declaration that the field agent did not operate a trust account. If a person’s licence expires, the person may apply for restoration of the licence (within 3 months of licence expiry). It is important to note that a licence cannot be transferred. A licence may be issued for a 1 year or 3 year term.

  • Sections 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 36, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 49, 50, 53, 54, 57, 60, 73, 74, 111, 135; Regulations 3, 4, 13, 14, 15

A person who wishes to obtain registration as a subagent (for a field agent) may apply in the approved form to the government. For suitability requirements, refer to section 80 of the Act. For eligibility requirements, refer to section 82 of the Act. If granted, a registration certificate is issued. Note: Registration certificate renewal may only occur prior to registration certificate expiry. If a person’s registration as a subagent expires, the person may apply for restoration of the registration (within 3 months of registration certificate expiry). It is important to note that a subagent’s registration cannot be transferred. Registration as a subagent may be granted for a 1  year or 3 year term.

  • Sections 18, 29, 31, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 88, 91, 98, 99, 136; Regulations 3, 5

A person may, as an agent for others for reward and without a licence or registration certificate, perform a debt collection activity but only: (a) to the extent the person does not engage in face-to-face communication with the debtor; and (b) if the person is suitable to perform a debt collection activity under Part 6 of the Act. For suitability requirements, refer to sections 102 and 103 of the Act. Note: A person performing a debt collection activity as outlined is a ‘collection agent’. For the definition of ‘reward’, refer to the Schedule 2 dictionary.

  • Sections 9, 19, 102, 103, Schedule 2

In most instances, a debt collector (defined to mean a collection or field agent) must not for reward perform a debt collection activity or repossession activity for a client unless the client first appoints the collector. The appointment must be in writing and contain the particulars prescribed under a regulation; and state, among other things, the following: the service to be performed by the debt collector and the fees, charges and any commission payable for the service. Note: The appointment must be signed and dated by the client and the debt collector. The debt collector must give a copy of the signed appointment to the client. If an appointment is not compliant with section 23 of the Act, it is ineffective from the time it is made.

  • Sections 9, 10, 23, 24, 26, Schedule 2

A field agent must not perform a process serving activity for a client for reward unless the client has engaged the agent in writing to perform the service.

  • Sections 10, 25, 26

In most instances, a person must not recover or attempt to recover from a debtor the costs or expenses of a debt collector for performing a debt collection activity or a repossession activity.

  • Section 27

A debt collector or subagent must not by any false or misleading representation induce a person to enter into an arrangement for the payment of a debt. For the definitions of ‘representation’ and ‘arrangement’, refer to the Schedule 2 dictionary.

  • Sections 9, 37, Schedule 2

A creditor, when dealing with a person for payment of a debt, must not use any name, description, document or device intended to make the person believe that the person is not dealing directly with the creditor, but with a debt collector acting on the creditor’s behalf.

  • Section 38

A person who is aggrieved by another person’s conduct may apply to the District Court for an injunction. The court may grant an injunction if satisfied that the person has engaged, or is proposing to engage, in conduct that constitutes or would constitute: a contravention of this Act or a prescribed conduct provision; or attempting to contravene this Act or a prescribed conduct provision, etc. For information regarding the prescribed conduct provision, refer to regulation 9 of the Debt Collectors (Field Agents and Collection Agents) Regulation 2014.

  • Sections 39, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126; Regulations 9, 10, 11, 12

A debt collector or a debt collector’s employee must not charge a fee for the provision or preparation of a document required to be prepared under this Act.

  • Section 9, 134, Schedule 2

Nothing in this Act affects or limits a civil remedy that a person may have against a debt collector or another person for a matter.

  • Section 146

A field agent who repossesses a chattel that is subject to a bill of sale, chattel lease agreement or hire purchase agreement must provide a statement that contains repossession details to the field agent’s client and to the person from whom the chattel was repossessed.

  • Regulation 6
Reason for law

To provide a system for the regulation of the activities and conduct of debt collectors and subagents that achieves an appropriate balance between: (i) the need to regulate for the protection of consumers; and (ii) the need to promote freedom of enterprise in the market place. (Section 8)

Relevant links

Debt collecting and process serving [Office of Fair Trading]

Check a licence

Split of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000

Debt collection options [Queensland Government]

Critique

N/A

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