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Debt collector charged with credit, deception offences

A debt collection company and its director have been charged with credit and deception offences in a local NSW court following an ASIC investigation.

Black Collections Pty Ltd has been charged with engaging in credit activities without a licence and posing that it could collect on debts when it could not.

Following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) after receiving a report of misconduct from the public, it is alleged that between 5 October 2016 and around 12 March 2018, Black Collections collected consumer credit debts without holding an Australian Credit Licence (ACL).

It is also alleged that on 16 December 2016, Black Collections falsely advertised that it was authorised to act as a debt collector in NSW.

At the time of the alleged offences, Black Collections did not qualify for an exemption from the need to hold an ACL.

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The company has been charged with contravening section 29(1) and section 30(3) of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009, respectively.

The maximum criminal penalty for section 29 is two years’ imprisonment, and one-year imprisonment for section 30.

Black Collections’ director, Louise Medley from NSW, has been charged with two counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception, and contravening section 192E(1)(b) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

The maximum penalty for this contravention is 10 years’ imprisonment.

It is alleged that between 16 December 2016 and 17 August 2017, and between 18 August 2017 and 13 March 2018, Ms Medley dishonestly obtained funds by collecting consumer credit debts while knowing Black Collections was not licensed to act as a debt collector.

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ASIC alleges that Ms Medley dishonestly obtained over $28,000.

The matter was heard on 20 October 2020 at the Downing Centre Local Court in NSW and has been adjourned to 8 December 2020 for further mention.

The matter is being prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

[Related: NAB stops dealing with unlicensed debt management providers]

Debt collector charged with credit, deception offences
Debt collector charged with credit, deception offences
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

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