Section 40 of the act provides that a person commits an offence if, with the object of coercing another person to pay money claimed from the other as a debt due under contract, he or she:
- harasses the other with demands for payment which by their frequency, or the manner or occasion of their making, or any accompanying threat or publicity are calculated to subject him or his family or household to alarm, distress or humiliation;
- falsely represents, in relation to the money claimed, that criminal proceedings lie for failure to pay it;
- falsely represent themselves to be authorised in some official capacity to claim or enforce payment;
- utters a document falsely represented by him to have some official character or purporting to have some official character which he knows it has not.
Paragraph (1) above does not apply to anything done by a person which is reasonable (and otherwise legal) for the purpose of:
- of securing the discharge of an obligation due, or believed by him to be due, to himself or to persons for whom he acts, or protecting himself or them from future loss; or
- of the enforcement of any liability by legal process.
It is also provided that a person may be guilty of an offence under paragraph (1) above if he concerts with others in the taking of such action as is described in that paragraph, notwithstanding that his own course of conduct does not by itself amount to harassment.