Was issued a recovery notice in November 2017 for Austudy payments in 2011-2012.
After I lodge my tax for that year, I discarded documents older than 5 years (2011-2012). Issued recovery notice a few months later.
Received threatening text messages via a debt recovery company, ARL, I initially ignored it as I assumed it was a scam. I called Centerlink several times during the working hours and was placed on hold for 20mins+. Eventually spoke with someone that confirmed that ARL was recovering debt on behalf of Centerlink. Asked how to dispute debt. Customer service advisor advised to get bank statements and highlight/calculate all payments received in period and email to Centrelink. Payment revised is lower but I dispute the whole amount as I believed I was following the rules and was reporting all part time income in 2011-2012.
Issuing recovery notices more than 5 years after the debt is really sneaky - particularly as I found that the government made a special loophole that Centrelink can recover debt in an indefinite time period.
Debt calculation itself was flawed - should have been assessed before sending out threatening letters.
Inconvenient to sit on hold for more than 20 minutes each time I called to ask for more information or to dispute the debt. Information should be readily available as attachments to avoid the annoyingly frustrating wait times on the phone.