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Debt collecting and process serving breaches and penalties

Unlicensed work

Unlicensed debt collecting, repossession and process serving work are against the law.

OffenceMaximum penalty

Working unlicensed, or employing an unlicensed or unregistered person

$25,230

Selling, hiring out or lending a licence or registration

$25,230

Buying, borrowing or hiring a licence or registration

$25,230

Not having an individual licensee in charge of regulated business (corporate licensees)

$126,150

Dealing with licences

Serious offences

We will cancel your licence if you’re convicted of a serious offence. You will have 14 days to return your licence to us.

The maximum fine for failing to do so is $12,615.

Change of details

You must advise us in writing within 14 days about any changes to:

  • personal details
  • circumstances relating to your licence.

The maximum fine for failing to do so is $12,615.

You must also advise us within 14 days if you have:

  • changed principal place of business
  • opened or closed a place of business.

The maximum fine for failing to do so is $25,230.

Showing a licence on request

OffenceMaximum penalty

Not showing an inspector your licence, or a copy of any staff member’s licence or registration, on their request

$25,230

Not showing a client, debtor or other party (except an inspector) your licence, or a copy of any other staff member's licence or registration, on their request

$12,615

Substitute licensee

You must follow the rules when appointing a substitute licensee. If you do not, you risk being fined.

Offence Maximum penalty

Not having the consent and evidence of appointment at the office

$12,615

Not lodging extension of appointment substitute licence for more than 30 days

$25,230

Acting as licensee when a substitute appointed

$25,230

Person in charge

OffenceMaximum penalty

Not having a licensee to be in charge of place of business

$25,230

Being a person in charge at more than one place of business

$25,230

Employing an executive officer of the corporation to act as a subagent

$126,150

Documentation

You must make sure that you complete all of your documents correctly. For example, you must:

  • be appointed in writing to act as an agent
  • give a copy of the appointment to the client.

If you do not, you risk a maximum fine of $25,230.

Trust account offences

It is in an offence to steal or misuse trust monies. You risk a fine and imprisonment if you break the law.

Offence Maximum penalty

Wrongful conversion and false accounts

$126,150
or 5 years imprisonment

Unauthorised use of trust account

$25,230
or 3 years imprisonment

Trust monies are not banked immediately (to trust account)

$25,230
or 3 years imprisonment

Trust monies are not banked to a trust account

$25,230
or 1 year imprisonment

Licensee does not account to client

$25,230
or 3 years imprisonment

Audit reports

Offence Maximum penalty

Licensee doesn’t appoint an auditor

$25,230
or 1 year imprisonment

Licensee doesn’t lodge audit report within time limit

$25,230
or 2 years imprisonment

Licensee doesn’t lodge audit on ceasing to be licensee or within 2 months of carrying on business

$25,230
or 2 years imprisonment

Auditors

Offence Maximum penalty

Auditor does not file advice of irregularities to Chief Executive

$25,230
or 1 year imprisonment

Auditor fails to notify Chief Executive when denied access to other records

$25,230
or 1 year imprisonment

Auditor fails to supply report to licensee

$25,230
or 1 year imprisonment

Inspector's powers

Inspectors have the legal authority to make sure that you don’t break the law. You must follow their lawful directions, or you risk a fine.

Offence Maximum penalty

Failing to comply with warrant, produce documents or provide information to an inspector

$25,230

Failing to give name and address to an inspector

$2,523

Enforceable undertaking

An enforceable undertaking is:

  • a written promise by a business not to keep breaking the law
  • an alternative to court action.

Find out more about enforceable undertakings

Last updated
30 June 2017
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