This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit legalaid.vic.gov.au, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Services and info for clients about debt collectors

Services and info for clients about Debt collectors.

VLA produces information on the website for clients about this topic.

See VLA resources for clients

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)

Consumer Affairs publish the following easy English publication:

See also CAV—Debt collectors(opens in a new window)

ASIC Money smart

This site, established by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has plain language information to help people to understand and manage money issues.

See:

ASIC—Money smart—Money management kit

ASIC's 'Money smart' site for consumers has a kit designed for community settlement workers to help new arrivals with credit, debt and bills related issues.

The resource includes fact sheets, audio stories and video stories as well as a kit for community workers. Information is available in English and the following community languages:

Arabic | Assyrian | Burmese | Chin Hakka | Dari| Dinka | Farsi | Hazaragi | Karen | Kirundi | Nepalese | Nuer | Sudanese Arabic | Swahili | Tamil |

See 'Money management kit' in ASIC—Money smart—Publications.(opens in a new window)

Consumer Action Law Centre (CALC)

The Consumer Action Law Centre is a specialist community legal service centre that may provide legal assistance and information about a consumer's rights when buying goods and services. The centre has a worker advice line where community workers can speak with a lawyer about their clients' legal issues. In some cases, CALC may provide legal assistance for disadvantaged clients, particularly if there is a strong public interest in doing this.

Self help kit about debt by CALC

The CALC site includes the following fact sheets:

  • What if I have been sued for a debt?
  • What Can I Do If a Debt Collector Calls?
  • I’m Being Hassled by a Debt Collector
  • Debt Collection - seeking compensation in VCAT
  • Debt Collection - seeking compensation in relation to consumer credit leases or contracts
  • Debt collection - keeping a record of debt collector contact
  • Debt Collection - your right to stop contact
  • Do I have to pay an old debt?
  • Electricity and gas debt

See Debt collectors' in Consumer Action Law Centre—Fact sheets(opens in a new window).

Rules for energy companies if a person owes money

The website also has a factsheet for community workers to inform them about the changes to rules about how energy companies must conduct themselves in relation to customers who have difficulty paying electricity bills.

See Consumer Action Law Centre—New rules to support households who have difficulty with the cost of their electricity bills.

CALC also has information about legal assistance:

Financial First Aid

A site developed by Medication and Counselling Victoria. This site provides information for people who are experiencing financial difficulty. It has information about: repossession of vehicles, unemployment and financial difficulties, credit card debt, mobile phone bill shock and debt collectors.

See Family mediation and counselling Victoria—Financial first aid(opens in a new window).

Good Shepherd loan scheme

This agency provides no interest loans for people on low incomes if they need money to by necessary whitegoods, furniture, health or dental expenses, education essentials (like textbooks) computers or electrical goods. It cannot be used for paying bills, holidays, rent or cash.

To be eligible, a person needs a pension card or health care card, to have lived for more than 3 months in their current home and to show some capacity to repay the loan.

See Good Shepherd—No interest loan scheme (NILS)(opens in a new window).

National Debt Helpline

This not-for-profit service helps people tackle their debt problems. The lines are staffed by professional financial counsellors. The website has information to support people with particular debt problems, such as: electricity, gas or water, phone or internet bills, housing or cars.

The helpline operates from 9.30 until 4.30 Monday to Friday.

See National Debt Helpline(opens in a new window).

Women's Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE)

This free phone service provides information, referral and support to all Victorian women. They claim to welcome calls about anything. Their lines are open between 9 am and 5 pm weekdays. The service also provides support via live chat or by email.

See Women's Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE)(opens in a new window).

Law Institute Victoria

The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) Legal Referral Service provides client referrals to lawyers across Victoria. The referral service operates a telephone service during business hours and an online service through the LIV website.

Referrals are tailored to meet client needs and provide a listing of up to three law firms practising in a particular area of law. All law firms participating in the referral service undertake to see clients for the first 30 minutes free of charge. This interview can be used to determine the nature of the legal issue and discuss the available options. Normal fees are charged after the first 30 minutes or if work needs to be prepared on the client’s behalf.

Phone (03) 9607 9550.

See Law Institute Victoria—Legal Referral Service(opens in a new window).

This is VLA's online referral booking and information tool.

See Legal Help Online (Orbit(opens in a new window)).

Court, CLC, FRC and VLA panels locator

Use Toby's maps to locate community legal centres, courts and private lawyers on the Victoria Legal Aid panel. Search for a list of services near where the caller lives. Search by postcode, name of organisation, phone number or suburb. Tick/untick the boxes to select the search categories.

Do not hit enter to avoid searching globally. Hit F5 to undo this global search.

See Google maps link for CLCs and 29A panellists(opens in a new window).

For Generalist CLCs and Local Government Agencies see Google maps link for General CLCs(opens in a new window).

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