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Are you in a buy-back scheme? Call the hotline

4 July 2003 Media Statement

Are you in a buy-back scheme? Call the hotline

After a week of operation the 0508 HOUSEBUYBACK (0508-468-732) hotline has had 44 calls from consumers.

“I am concerned that many people are not aware of the hotline and over the next week we will be working hard to promote it in provincial areas and to get our message out in Pacific and Maori media” says Consumer Affairs Minister Judith Tizard.

Calls to the hotline show that people from many areas throughout New Zealand have been hit by home buy back schemes, with calls from Mt Maunganui, Palmerston North, Christchurch and Dunedin to name a few. As was suspected, it appears that Pacific and Maori people were targeted by many schemes.

”As well as the eight companies placed under statutory management, we have become aware of a number of other companies who appear to be operating buyback schemes,” says Judith Tizard.

“We would like to hear from anybody who believes that they have signed up to one of these schemes. Particularly if they have signed documents such as an ‘option to purchase’ or a ‘licence to occupy’ for their home.

“We are considering legislative options that would ensure that such schemes operate fairly, and that consumers are fully aware of what they are getting into. But to do that effectively, we need information about all the different types of buy back schemes that are operating.”

Hotline number 0508 HOUSEBUYBACK (0508-468-732)

ENDS

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