This fact sheet provides information about AFCA’s jurisdiction in relation to complaints lodged against debt agreement administrators (DAAs)


DAAs are now required to be AFCA members

From 1 January 2021 all registered DAAs are required to be members of AFCA in accordance with the Bankruptcy (Registered Debt Agreement Administrator Conditions) Determination 2020.

DAAs are regulated by the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA). The Attorney-General’s Determination introduces the new DAAs’ registration condition to ensure consumers have access to an external dispute resolution service.

AFCA membership applications can be completed online

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What is AFCA’s role?

AFCA helps individuals, small businesses and their financial firms to resolve complaints about financial products and services.

We are impartial and independent. We do not act for either party to advocate their position. If a complaint is not resolved between the parties, we can decide an appropriate outcome.

Decisions we make can be binding on the financial firm involved in a complaint. We can award compensation for losses suffered because of a financial firm’s error or inappropriate conduct. We do not, however, award compensation to punish financial firms or impose fines.

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What type of debt administration complaints can AFCA consider?

AFCA can consider certain complaints lodged by an individual against a DAA who is an AFCA member.

AFCA can consider debt administration complaints that raise the following issues:

  • misleading and deceptive conduct
  • unconscionable conduct
  • inappropriate advice
  • non-disclosure
  • credit reporting
  • financial difficulty.

We can also consider any other issues raised by complainants that otherwise fall within our jurisdiction.

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Are there debt administration complaints AFCA cannot consider?

AFCA will always consider a complaint unless there are strong compelling reasons not to do so.

AFCA may not be able to consider a complaint if it has been lodged outside our time limits or is excluded for one of the mandatory exclusion reasons in the AFCA Rules.

AFCA also has discretion to exclude complaints that have already been dealt with by a court.

For more information, read our Rules and Operational Guidelines

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How does AFCA resolve debt administration complaints?

AFCA uses a range of methods to resolve a complaint. We will select the method, or a combination of methods, that we think is most likely to resolve the complaint fairly and efficiently.

Some of the complaint resolution methods we may use are:

  • negotiation
  • telephone conciliation conference
  • preliminary assessment
  • determination.

For more information, read about AFCA’s complaint resolution process

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