Debt collection and credit default listings

Issue

Debt collection and credit default listings

If you have a debt that you don't pay, your energy or water company might list a default on your credit file. It can also sell your debt to a debt collector.

Credit default listings

Once a debt is 60 days overdue, the company can report it to a credit reporting body like Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet or Experian. The credit reporting body puts information about the default on your credit file. If you apply for credit later on, your application might be rejected.

There are steps your company must follow when it reports a default, like warning you in writing beforehand.

Debt collectors

Energy and water companies sometimes sell debts to a debt collector. Often, this happens after a customer has moved out of a property and their account has been closed.

Debt collectors are allowed to collect debt, but they have to obey the law. They can only contact you at certain times, and they must not:

  • use physical force or coercion
  • harass you
  • mislead or deceive you
  • take unfair advantage of any vulnerability (such as a disability).

What to do about a default listing or debt collection activity

If you think there has been a mistake, call your company and explain the issue. They must discuss what has happened, even if they’ve already sold or default listed the debt. You can also contact the credit reporting body to get a free copy of your credit report, which can have useful information on it.

If you can’t sort the problem out with your company, contact EWOV. We will investigate what happened and check if any credit default was listed correctly. If there was a mistake, we will ask the company to fix or remove the listing.

Read, download and print: simple fact sheets about debt collection and credit default listings

Fact Sheet 29

Credit default listings and debt collection

Trouble paying a bill, Debt collection and credit default listings
Information about energy and water credit default listings, the default listing process and debt collection activity

How we've helped others: case studies about debt collection and credit default listings

Hot topic articles about debt collection and credit default listings

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Translated fact sheets

Getting connected and changing energy company, Energy disconnection and water restriction, Debt collection and credit default listings, Billing mistakes, Delayed and catch-up bills
We’ve been getting six of our existing factsheets translated into five more languages.
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Having trouble paying your energy or water bill? Help is available (April 2017)

Energy disconnection and water restriction, Trouble paying a bill, Debt collection and credit default listings, High bills
In Victoria, all energy and water companies must have a hardship program to assist people who are struggling to pay their bills. Find out how they can help you.