Contracts, debt recovery and bankruptcy
Care Consumer Law offer advice you about your rights and obligations and help you in negotiations related to disputes involving consumer contracts (for example: enrolment contracts with private childcare and schools, contracts with online education providers, contracts with traders in relation to purchase of goods or services).
We may also look into your protections under the unfair contract terms provisions of the Australian Consumer Law.
Examples of standard contract terms that may be unfair are:
terms that enable one party (but not another) to avoid or limit their obligations under the contract
terms that enable one party (but not another) to terminate the contract
terms that penalise one party (but not another) for breaching or terminating the contract
terms that enable one party (but not another) to vary the terms of the contract.
Note: If a court or tribunal finds that a term is ‘unfair’, the term will be void – this means it is not binding on the parties. The rest of the contract will continue to bind the parties to the extent it is capable of operating without the unfair term.
Debt collection takes place when creditors and debt collectors try to secure payment from consumers who are legally bound to pay or to repay money they owe. Consumers are protected from unfair and illegal practices by debt collectors. These protections include a requirement that debt collectors must be aware of their legal obligations, including:
Debt collector legal obligations include:
the principles of debt collection fairness
acceptable reasons for contacting a debtor
illegal behaviour when contacting a debtor
read the joint ACCC/ASIC guide
Bankruptcy is a legal process where you are declared unable to pay your debts. It can release you from most debts, and help you make a fresh start. You can find useful information about the process and your obligations as a bankrupt on the Australian Financial Security Authority website (AFSA).
Entering into bankruptcy may have a serious impact on you. It may affect your income, employment and business, your ability to get credit, and to travel overseas. It is important to get advice from a financial counsellor before making this decision. If your matter is complex, it is a good idea to also get legal advice.
Here to help
If you would like to access free legal assistance, contact the Consumer Law team
02 6143 0044
I had to call several organisations before I reached Care Consumer Law. I did not know of their existence. Suggest raising awareness of what assistance they can offer. When I finally found them, they were extremely courteous and helpful. They arranged a quick interview with a lawyer by telephone, considered my case carefully and resolved the issue. I was very grateful