Financial Assistance / Debt Recovery

Code of Practice for Debt Recovery

Objective

To outline how Wilton Recycled Water will respond to debt recovery.

Scope

This Code of Practice applies to all customers who are in financial debt to Wilton Recycled Water.

Debt Recovery Policy

Wilton Recycled Water is committed to Excellence in Debt Recovery Practices including ethical treatment of those suffering financial hardship in accordance with this Code of Practice.

Guiding Principles

This code of practice conforms to and takes from ACCC and ASIC Debt Collection Guideline: for collectors and creditors as published by the ACCC and ASIC in October 2005 and reprinted in April 2010. We reserve the right to transfer debt recovery to a third party debt collection company which company’s practices must also be in compliance with ACCC and ASIC debt Collection Guidelines.

Contact for a Reasonable Purpose Only

Communications with the debtor shall always be for a reasonable purpose, and should only occur to the extent necessary.

Making Contact with Debtor

Under privacy laws, we have an obligation to protect the privacy of debtors. When making direct contact, we shall always ensure the person we are dealing with is the debtor. This must be done every time we make contact before we divulge any information about the debt, the process for its recovery or other confidential information.

Hours of Contact

We shall only contact the debtor or a third party representative at reasonable hours, taking into account their circumstances and reasonable wishes. The following are considered reasonable.

Contact MethodPeriodsTimes
By Phone, emails and fax Monday to Friday
Weekends
Public Holidays
7.30am – 9.00pm
9.00am – 9.00pm
Nil
Phone 1300 110 238
Face-to-Face Monday to Friday
Weekends
Public Holidays
9.00am – 9.00pm
9.00am – 9.00pm
Nil
All workplace contact Debtor’s normal working hours if known, or 9.00am-5.00pm on weekdays

Frequency of Contact

Debtors are entitled to be free from excessive communications from collectors. Communications must always be for a reasonable purpose, and should only occur to the extent necessary.

Location of Contact

In most cases, the debtor’s home will be the appropriate place to contact a debtor, with contact by letter or telephone generally being the appropriate mode of contact. However, if a debtor provides a telephone (including mobile phone) contact number as the means of contact, contact using that number will be appropriate whatever the debtor’s location.

Privacy Obligations to the Debtor

A debtor’s personal information should always be treated with respect. The improper use of a debtor’s personal information may cause that person serious difficulties. There are legal obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 designed to protect the privacy of a debtor’s personal information.

When a Debtor is Represented

A debtor has a right to have an authorised representative (such as a financial counsellor, financial advisor, community worker, solicitor, guardian or carer) represent them or advocate on their behalf about a debt.

Customers Suffering Financial Hardship

Our commitment

This code of practice provides for the deferment, in whole or in part, of payments owed by retail customers suffering financial hardship. In such cases of financial hardship we shall not enforce disconnection of services in part or in whole.

Debtors

Debtors are legally responsible for paying the debts they legitimately owe, and they should not deliberately try to avoid their obligations. Whenever possible, debtors should take action before they get into difficulties. Debtors experiencing financial hardship should promptly contact us to negotiate a variation in payments or other arrangement. In seeking a variation, debtors should be candid about their financial position, including their other debts. We also recommend that debtors in financial difficulty consider seeking the assistance of a community-based financial counsellor, solicitor or other qualified adviser who may be able to help them with a debt negotiation.

Hardship

Proof of financial hardship shall be provided by the relevant customer. Examples of hardship may include but not be limited to:

  • Loss of employment,
  • Low income constraints,
  • Pensioner (age, disability or other) budget constraints,
  • Commercial difficulties (businesses),
  • other (undefined)

Assistance

Assistance that may include one or more of the following:

  • Deferment of payment for an agreed period of time,
  • Incremental instalments to recover the debt over time,
  • Regular smaller payments spread over time to assist budgeting by customers exposed to hardship.

Waiver

Notwithstanding the above commitment, and having taken all steps reasonably practicable in accordance with this code of practice and the customer contract to recover debt and that debt still not paid by the customer may take such further actions as allowable to it in law to recover such debt; but not including disconnection of services to residential and other small retail customers as addressed above in our commitment to customers suffering financial hardship.

Debtor Disputes and Complaints Handling

In the event a customer has a compliant regarding our handling of their debt, we shall direct the customer to our complaints handling system. In the event a customer is not satisfied with our handling of their complaint, we shall direct the customer to the Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW (EWON) should they wish to take further action.

Prohibited Substances Rules

Important Information

The following substances should NOT be put down the sink, toilets or drain

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