Crackdown on loan sharks ‘step in the right direction’

Manager of Gisborne Budget Service Lynda Markie says the Government crackdown on loan sharks is something that is well needed and should have a positive impact on her clients.

“We at Gisborne Budget are happy to see this announcement as a step in the right direction,” she says.

The Government is introducing tough new measures to protect people from loan sharks and truck shops, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi announced on Wednesday.

This will include a cap on total interest and fees charged, stiff penalties for loan sharks who break rules, and a ‘fit and proper person’ test for lenders, door-to-door salespeople and truck shops.

Mrs Markie said GBS sees up to 400 client families each year and many have problematic high-interest credit contracts with third-tier lenders.

Minister Kris Faafoi visited the service in May as part of his review and they were able to contribute examples where people had developed extremely complex situations after seeking quick-fix solutions without proper information on consequences.

“We’ve heard stories from clients where mobile traders have bullied people into signing contracts with dodgy tactics that ignore people’s rejections and privacy.

“We want people to feel safe in their own homes and for them to be able to feel confident to stand up for themselves against mobile traders and any other predatory lenders.”

GBS recognises there is a place for entering into credit contracts and taking out loans but encourage people to make a solid plan to ensure they repay the debt without going without basics needs like groceries, Mrs Markie says.

“We have ordered more ‘do not knock’ stickers for anyone to collect from the service, and we would like to see the strengthening of the legal status around these stickers be brought in without delay.”

Mr Faafoi said the law would also be strengthened to give consumers clearer powers when asking uninvited salespeople to leave their premises, including by strengthening the legal status of ‘‘do not knock’’ stickers.

The new measures will come into effect from 2020, subject to Parliamentary timeframes.

Manager of Gisborne Budget Service Lynda Markie says the Government crackdown on loan sharks is something that is well needed and should have a positive impact on her clients.

“We at Gisborne Budget are happy to see this announcement as a step in the right direction,” she says.

The Government is introducing tough new measures to protect people from loan sharks and truck shops, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi announced on Wednesday.

This will include a cap on total interest and fees charged, stiff penalties for loan sharks who break rules, and a ‘fit and proper person’ test for lenders, door-to-door salespeople and truck shops.

Mrs Markie said GBS sees up to 400 client families each year and many have problematic high-interest credit contracts with third-tier lenders.

Minister Kris Faafoi visited the service in May as part of his review and they were able to contribute examples where people had developed extremely complex situations after seeking quick-fix solutions without proper information on consequences.

“We’ve heard stories from clients where mobile traders have bullied people into signing contracts with dodgy tactics that ignore people’s rejections and privacy.

“We want people to feel safe in their own homes and for them to be able to feel confident to stand up for themselves against mobile traders and any other predatory lenders.”

GBS recognises there is a place for entering into credit contracts and taking out loans but encourage people to make a solid plan to ensure they repay the debt without going without basics needs like groceries, Mrs Markie says.

“We have ordered more ‘do not knock’ stickers for anyone to collect from the service, and we would like to see the strengthening of the legal status around these stickers be brought in without delay.”

Mr Faafoi said the law would also be strengthened to give consumers clearer powers when asking uninvited salespeople to leave their premises, including by strengthening the legal status of ‘‘do not knock’’ stickers.

The new measures will come into effect from 2020, subject to Parliamentary timeframes.

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