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CAB welcomes new consumer credit law

CAB welcomes new consumer credit law

The New Zealand Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux welcomes the Consumer Finance and Credit Contracts Act, saying it gives overdue protection to borrowers, especially from loan sharks.

The Association’s Chief Executive Officer, Nick Toonen, says the Act adopted two specific amendments which the Association recommended in its submission to the Commerce Committee.

Toonen says, “Borrowers should be extremely pleased to see a hardship provision included in the law. This will mean that if they unexpectedly find themselves in financial difficulty the creditor will be obliged to be lenient in the short term in order to assist the borrower to fulfill their obligations in the longer term.

“Also, people who guarantee credit contracts for their family or friends are given the same protections and are provided with the same information as borrowers.

“Citizens Advice Bureaux experience is that people who go to ‘lenders of last resort’ often become financially stretched with credit payments and high interest rates. This new law will ensure that consumers are better informed by lenders about the full cost of credit. We look forward to March 2005 when the law takes effect.”

The network of 87 Citizens Advice Bureaux throughout New Zealand means the Association is well placed to comment on issues of social justice which affect people throughout the country. CAB plays an important role in feeding back this evidence to government and a range of agencies through submissions, reports and media commentary. By doing this, CAB can have a positive effect on the laws and policies which affect the people of New Zealand.

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