Safeguarding Australian consumers from "debt vultures"

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


High levels of personal debt and the rising cost of living have increased the likelihood of Australian consumers engaging with businesses that promise to resolve their debt problems. Such businesses have been highlighted for the risks they pose to consumers, charging fees for services that are available at no cost and at times giving poor advice that exacerbates their financial difficulties. Drawing on a consumer survey, a focus group interview with professionals who assist vulnerable debtors, and experience in other countries, the article proposes reforms to strengthen safeguards against predatory conduct and harmful business practices. The proposals build on the recently introduced licensing regime for debt management firms to channel Australians towards suitable and affordable solutions that aid, rather than impede, their recovery from debilitating debt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-76
Number of pages32
JournalThe Sydney Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Debt
  • consumer protection
  • credit repair
  • harm
  • predatory

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