Debtors – What Are Your Rights

The highest percentage of credit card accounts that come past due occurs in the months after Christmas – 7.6 percent of Kiwis pay their credit card bills late. By April, these debts could start being referred to debt collectors.

If you owe money to a creditor and stop making payments, they can take action against you to recover their money. Problems occur when disreputable companies play on people’s fears to get their money back – but if it’s harassment you don’t have to accept it. Debt collectors have no legal right to use scare tactics to demand payment.

Debt collection agencies are heavily regulated so if an agency is chasing you for money and you think they are behaving inappropriately – breaching your privacy or harassing you, question it.

By law a debt collector can’t use physical force, coercion, or unreasonably harass your family. They also can’t mislead or deceive you or take advantage of vulnerability such as a disability. A debt collector can’t visit your workplace and tell your boss about your debt without your permission.