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Home Equity Code of Practice Approved

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Senior Citizens

2 September 2008 Media Statement

Home Equity Code of Practice Approved

The Code of Practice for home equity release schemes was approved by Cabinet today said Ruth Dyson, Minister for Senior Citizens.

Home equity release schemes, often called reverse mortgages, enable older people to draw on the equity in their homes to help meet essential and lifestyle needs during their later years.

"The approval of the Code of Practice is a significant step towards ensuring the financial safety of older people," said Ruth Dyson.

"The vast majority of older New Zealanders own their own homes and reverse mortgage schemes should offer a safe method of borrowing against the bricks and mortar of our own homes.

"The government must ensure these schemes are safe, secure and that there are no hidden dangers for our seniors. To ensure this, a code of conduct has been approved, that while voluntary now, will eventually be established in legislation.

"This code will provide confidence to those older New Zealanders who wish to raise a loan after investing most of their life savings in brick and mortar. It will help to ensure that in retirement, funds for such things as new cars and home improvements will be available through a safe self help process," said Ruth Dyson.

The Office for Senior Citizens will produce the Code of Practice in booklet form by the end of September 2008. It will also be available on www.osc.govt.nz by the end of September 2008.

ENDS

code_of_practice.doc

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