Debt Recovery: What’s the process? 

Debt recovery is the collection of unpaid debt owed by individuals or businesses. Debt collectors are responsible for recovering debt, typically they will work for your creditor or are hired by your creditor. The worst thing you can do is ignore the debt collector, as this will lead them to assume that you are hiding something and are unwilling to deal with your financial problems.


What do I do when a debt collector contacts me?

  • Be cooperative and expect to be treated in a professional manner.
  • Don’t lie about your financial situation, be honest about your debt and let them know you’re aware of the issue.
  • Negotiate a repayment that you can afford. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can contact the National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007 or Credit Counsellors Australia 1800 904 682.

How can a debt collector contact me?

  • Social media, email and phone. They must ensure the message can not be seen by anyone except you.
  • Face-to-face visits: A debt collector doesn’t need to visit you in person if a repayment can be organised via phone or email. It may be necessary if all other attempts to contact you have failed.

If you feel that debt collectors are not operating within their guidelines, you can contact ACCC on 1300 302 502.

Why would a debt collector contact me?

  • Accounts and payments: To provide information about your account or demand for payment.
  • Consequences: To explain the penalties of you not paying.
  • Mortgaged goods: To inspect or recover.
  • Get explanations: Find out why you have ignored them or not made payment.


The most effective way to recover your unpaid debt is to come to an agreement. If you can’t do this on your own, a credit counsellor can determine the best solution in recovering your debt and stop any debt collectors from continuing to contact you. Having unrecovered debt can become a huge financial burden and cause stress for yourself and the people around you. Collectors and creditors can take legal proceedings to collect a debt, however, this can be avoided if you take action and tackle your financial issues today.

For more information about debt collectors, click here.

Watch this video to find out how to deal with debt collectors.