ASIC is suing the group for “misleading, threatening and coercive conduct” against debtors who missed payments following a referral by the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA).
A&M Group, which trades as debt negotiators, is alleged to have sent text messages and emails to six separate debtors, including to have threatened them with fraud charges and imprisonment if they failed to make payments and threatened to contact, family, friends, co-workers and landlords if the debtors did not contact the group.
A&M Group also allegedly falsely claimed creditors were in the process of terminating debt agreements and considering legal action against debtors, as well as claimed that creditors would take an 80 per cent cut of the debtor’s income if a garnishee order was obtained.
ASIC has further alleged that the administrator contacted family, friends and co-workers of debtors with the intention to embarrass or intimidate debtors into contacting them.
“Threatening or otherwise unduly harassing or coercing debtors is against the law,” ASIC said on Wednesday.
“ASIC is concerned that this alleged conduct may cause harm to consumers already experiencing financial difficulties and under significant stress.”
The corporate regulator is seeking civil penalties and declarations. A court date is yet to be determined.