Crack down on loan sharks 18 April 2013
Money lenders will have to practice responsible lending under new legislation introduced to Parliament today that aims to crack down on loan shark practices. Finance and loan companies would have to ensure individuals had the resources to pay back their loans and could be banned from the industry if they failed to comply. Repossession powers, which currently allowed items such as children’s beds and toys to be taken if loan repayments weren’t made, would be curbed. Repossession agents would also have to be licensed. Consumer Affairs Minister Craig Foss introduced the Consumer Credit and Financial Services Law Reform Bill to Parliament this afternoon, calling it “the biggest overhaul of consumer credit law in a decade”. “The changes introduced today represent a crackdown on unscrupulous lenders who prey on desperate people and leave them and their families trapped in a spiral of debt,” he said. Other measures in the bill put stricter controls on loan advertising and tighter requirements on the provision of finance terms and conditions.