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"Anti buy-back Bill" will halt housing scams

"Anti buy-back Bill" will halt housing buy-back scams

New laws before Parliament will help stamp out "buy-back" housing schemes which have cost many Auckland families their homes, Tamaki Makaurau MP John Tamihere says.

Mr Tamihere had raised concerns about the buy-back schemes, and in June the Government placed eight companies promoting the schemes under statutory management.

The schemes typically involve families in debt signing over their homes to a company, paying rent to continue living in the house, and being told they will have the opportunity to buy the property back in a few years.

In most cases, the families end up losing their homes and the equity they had built up in them.

Now amendments in the Consumer Credit Bill, currently before Parliament, will protect home owners from future losses through buy-back schemes, and provide remedies for those already involved in the schemes.

The amendments will require disclosure of information about buy-backs, and will require people entering into the schemes to have independent legal advice.

Transfer of properties will not be able to take place without a court's permission if disclosure of information has not been made or independent legal advice has not been given.

The bill's provision of remedies against "oppressive conduct" will apply to buy-back schemes.

For more information on housing buy-back scams, consumers can contact the Ministry of Consumer Affairs tollfree on 0508 468 732 (0508 HOUSEBUYBACK)

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