REP 55 Collecting statute-barred debts
Released September 2005.
A recent decision of the Supreme Court of Victoria in Collection House Ltd v Taylor has focused attention on the conduct of creditors and debt collectors attempting to collect debts that are statute-barred. This decision highlights the risk that collecting statute-barred debts will involve conduct that is unconscionable or that is misleading or deceptive.
This report seeks to provide clarification by summarising the law, identifying the type of conduct that places agencies at most risk of not complying with the law, and identifying ways those risks can be addressed through compliance procedures. The report:
- explains ASIC’s role (Section 1)
- examines how state and territory limitation regimes operate (Section 2)
- looks at how the law regulates the collection of statute-barred debts (Section 3)
- summarises the results of ASIC’s industry survey (Section 4); and
- identifies key compliance issues highlighted by the survey and considers the way forward (Section 5).