Print

Work as a collection agent

A collection agent is a type of debt collector. It has more limitations than a field agent. However, you don’t need a licence or registration to be a collection agent.

You must still obey the following rules to work as a collection agent.

Be a suitable person

You must meet certain requirements to work as a collection agent, even though you don’t need a licence. You must not work as a collection agent unless you meet all the criteria.

Individual requirements

You must not work as a collection agent if you:

  • are under 18 years old
  • are an insolvent under administration
  • have been disqualified from working in the debt collection industry
  • are currently suspended as a field agent or subagent.

Corporation requirements

For a corporation, you must not work as a collection agent if you:

  • or any director or executive officer fails the individual requirements (as listed above)
  • have been disqualified from working in the debt collection industry
  • are currently suspended as a corporate field agent
  • have had your licence cancelled (including the former commercial agent licence).

Serious offences (all persons)

You must not work as a collection agent if you have been convicted in the past 5 years of a serious offence.

A serious offence is anything that is punishable by 3 or more years in prison, including:

  • violent offences (including threats to use violence)
  • fraud and dishonesty
  • drug trafficking
  • extortion
  • arson
  • unlawful stalking
  • an offence of a sexual nature.

For corporations, this requirement applies to:

  • the corporation itself
  • all directors and executive officers.

Work as a collection agent

Authorised activities

As a collection agent, you are able to contact a debtor in writing or over the phone to:

  • collect debts
  • request payment of debts.

Collection agents:

  • usually work in high-volume call centres
  • do not have face-to-face contact with a debtor.

For these reasons, debtors have more control in these kinds of communication. This means that we can reduce your red tape without having a negative impact on consumers.

Prohibited activities

You must not:

  • contact a debtor in person
  • visit their property
  • repossess goods
  • work as a process server.

You must be a field agent or subagent to do any of these activities.

Apply for a licence or registration

Rules of operating

You must follow many of the same rules of operating as other debt collectors.

You must:

  • be appointed by a client
  • not represent more than one party in any matter
  • only recover your costs from your client, and not from the debtor
  • take reasonable steps to find out the facts of a case and avoid acting in error
  • not misrepresent your lawful activities as a collection agent
  • follow the law when dealing with inspections.

Have a trust account

You must always use a trust account to hold money for another party.

Find out about holding trust money

Certain rules apply for setting up and closing down a trust account.

Apply to us for approval

You will need to fill out an application form to have a trust account.

Collection agent application for authority to open a trust account (PDF, 239KB)

Identification

When you lodge the form, you will need to attach formal identification. These documents must be original (if you lodge the form in person) or certified copies.

Your identification can be any of the following documents:

  • Birth certificate or extract
  • Driver licence
  • Passport
  • Citizenship certificate

You will need to give us certain details about yourself, your directors and executive officers.

Criminal history check

To confirm your suitability, we will submit your application for a criminal history check. This will be thorough and may be time consuming.

You will need to include a criminal history check fee of $38.60.

Our decision

We will consider your application and give you written notice of our decision. If we decide against you, you can lodge an appeal with the Queensland Claims and Administrative Tribunal.

Open your account

Once you have our approval, you may open an account with an approved financial institution. You must:

  • use a Queensland branch
  • give a copy of our written approval to the institution.

Your account name must contain the words ‘trust account’.

We have approved the following institutions:

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (trading as ANZ Bank)

Bank of Queensland Limited

Bank of Western Australia Ltd

Bendigo Bank Limited

Capricornia Credit Union

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Heritage Building Society

HSBC Bank Australia Limited

Macquarie Bank Limited

National Australia Bank Limited

Queensland Country Credit Union

The Rock Building Society Limited

St. George Bank Limited

Suncorp-Metway Ltd

Westpac Banking Corporation

Notify us that your account is active

You must write to us within 2 months to tell us that your account is open.

When you write to us you must tell us:

  • the account’s status (a general trust account)
  • the name and BSB number of your financial institution
  • the account name and number.

Complete regular audits

You must submit an audit report to us every year. An approved auditor will need to do the report, but you are responsible for lodging it with us.

Please use the information below to see when your audit report is due.

Audit report due Audit period start Audit period end

31 October

1 July

30 June

Your audit report must be:

  • an original copy of the document
  • signed by the auditor.

You are responsible for lodging the audit report—not the auditor.

Find out more about trust account audits

Close a trust account

You must tell us if you close a trust account. Within 2 months, you must:

  • notify us that you have closed the account
  • lodge a final audit (if you stop being a principal licensee).

When you write to us you must tell us:

  • the account’s status (a general trust account or special trust account)
  • the name and BSB number of your financial institution
  • the account name and number.