Sector News (Page 11)

17 February 2016

Payday Lender Faces Penalties for Overcharging

Source: asic.gov.au/about-asic/media-centre/find-a-media-release/2016-releases/16-027mr-payday-lender-penalised-for-overcharging-consumers/

, Fair Go Finance Pty Ltd has paid $34,000 in infringement notices for overcharging interest and establishment fees on payday loans. Fair Go Finance will also refund approximately 550 consumers around $34,500 for the interest and fees it collected from consumers in excess of the maximum amount allowed under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act).

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15 February 2016

Media Release: National Hardship Register launched to protect vulnerable consumers

The Australian Collectors and Debt Buyers Association (ACDBA), in a joint initiative with the financial counselling sector, has launched the National Hardship Register (NHR) to help address the issue of long-term and severe financial hardship faced by a number of vulnerable consumers.

Fiona Guthrie, Chief Executive Officer of Financial Counselling Australia welcomed the launch of the NHR stating, “Financial counsellors are pleased to be working constructively with the debt collection industry through the ACDBA around the National Hardship Register.  This is a sensible response to assisting people who are in such dire circumstances they simply can’t pay their debts.”

Read more on the link below

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12 February 2016

SAFCA Special General Meeting March 2

SAFCA will hold a Special general Meeting to change the Constitution to allow application to become a PBI / DGR

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12 February 2016

Australians losing millions $$ to dating scams!!

Source: www.theage.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/valentines-day-warning-australians-lost-nearly-23-million-to-dating-scams-in-2015-says-accc-20160211-gmrif3.html

In the lead up to Valentine’s Day, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has revealed 2620 Australians reported losing $22.7 million to romance scams to the watchdog in 2015.

But the ACCC’s deputy chair, Delia Rickard, said the figure most likely represented one-tenth of the true loss and did not show the level of ongoing financial losses

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11 February 2016

Thousands of student caught up in major college collapse

Source: www.theage.com.au/business/thousands-of-students-caught-up-in-major-college-collapse-20160210-gmqt8x.html

All of the colleges are owned by Global Intellectual Holdings, which is also in administration with debt owing to ANZ Bank.

The fallout follows a federal government crackdown on the scandal-plagued vocational education sector, which included bans on inducements like free laptops and freezing funds to private colleges accessing VET FEE-HELP to 2015 levels.

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10 February 2016

What people learn from going bankrupt

Source: www.theage.com.au/money/her-money/what-people-learn-from-going-bankrupt-20160208-gmovqy.html

Domestic discord or relationship breakdown is one of the most common causes of personal insolvencies. The others are unemployment or loss of income and excessive use of credit, while for personal insolvencies connected to a business, it’s economic conditions.

In the 2014-2015 financial year, there were 28,288 personal insolvencies in Australia, including 17,163 bankruptcies, according to Australian Financial Security Authority data. A personal insolvency agreement is a stop short of bankruptcy – it lets a person settle debts with creditors without actually going bankrupt.

Author Julie Ann Cairns also had a life-changing learning experience with money, though her lesson came from teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

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5 February 2016

Class Action Over Banks Charging Credit Card Late Fees

Source: www.theage.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/anz-class-action-begins-final-appeal-in-high-court-20160204-gmliat.html

Hundreds of thousands of ANZ customers have launched their final appeal against the bank over credit card late fees in the High Court.

The long-running class action is focused on the question of whether ANZ unfairly charged its customers up to $35 for running late in paying credit card bills.

Lawyers for about 200,000 customers argued on Thursday that the fees, which were charged on top of interest, were illegal penalties.

The Federal Court initially accepted this argument in 2014.

The outcome of the current two-day hearing will affect class actions against seven banks

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3 February 2016

Car Finance Provider Found Guilty by ASIC of Breaching the Responsible Lending Laws

Source: www.asic.gov.au/about-asic/media-centre/find-a-media-release/2016-releases/16-019mr-bmw-finance-pays-391-000-penalty-for-breaching-responsible-lending-and-repossession-laws/

Car finance provider, BMW Australia Finance Ltd (BMW Finance), has paid penalties totalling $391,000 and had a condition placed on its Australian credit licence following concerns raised by ASIC.

The licence condition requires BMW Finance to appoint a compliance consultant after ASIC found it breached important consumer protection provisions relating to responsible lending and the repossession of motor vehicles.

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2 February 2016

Credit card ‘reforms’ trap Aussies in debt longer

Source: www.theage.com.au/money/borrowing/credit-card-reforms-trap-aussies-in-debt-longer-20160128-gmftxv.html

The average bad marriage lasts 12 long years, says the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The average bad debt – we’re talking credit cards here – endures for a painful 15 years longer.

Yes, few people consider taking out a bigger credit-card commitment than tying the knot but just putting in the minimum can mean double the pledge on the former.

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1 February 2016

Free Legal Advice via Online Text from SA ‘s Legal Services Commission

http://www.lsc.sa.gov.au/cb_pages/direct_message_us.php

You can now contact the Legal Services Commission with your legal concern by online text message. 

The assistance provided by the Commission via our Legal Chat facility is intended as general legal information only between Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

The Commission also provides a free Telephone Advice Line via 1300 366 424 –  as well as providing free face-to-face legal appointments and legal education and training sessions.  Telephone legal advice is available for preliminary information, advice and referrals. Advice is usually restricted to a client’s basic legal rights and obligations about a particular situation.

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