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Credit law toolkit

credit law toolkit image About this toolkit

This latest version of the Credit Law Toolkit covers the law as at December 2015. This toolkit is not meant to cover every technical aspect of the Credit Law. The intention is to cover in detail those parts of the Credit Law that caseworkers regularly use when advising consumers.

Different parts of the Credit Law commenced operation at different times. This is explained in more detail in the section When the Credit Laws apply?

This toolkit is aimed at both financial counsellors and lawyers, particularly those lawyers in legal aid offices and generalist community legal centres who do a range of civil law work, but do not necessarily specialise in credit law. This toolkit is intended to assist financial counsellors to assist  their clients more effectively, but not to replace timely legal advice. Generalist lawyers should also consider consulting a specialist credit lawyer if they are unsure about the application of the law to a client’s particular circumstances, or the best strategy to pursue. All caseworkers should  pay particular attention to the relevant time limits for taking action noted throughout this kit.

An important part of the work of a caseworker is solving the consumer’s problem. The Credit Law requires that all credit providers and those arranging credit must be a member of an approved External Dispute Resolution Scheme (EDR). For this reason, this toolkit concentrates on using EDR to resolve  consumer disputes/problems and not court. Court is a last resort and it is recommended that legal advice from a lawyer with appropriate expertise be obtained before going to court.

We have tried to cover the most common client situations in this toolkit. In reality, clients present to caseworkers with an endless variety of circumstances and questions.

Remember: If you have a tricky consumer credit problem - get legal advice.

The toolkit is divided into three sections

Section 1: The Credit Law

This is the reference section. It contains an overview of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act and Regulations (the Credit Law). It will be useful as a starting point to understand the Law. The Credit Law has two main parts:

  1. The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (NCCP)  
  2. The National Credit Code (at Schedule 1 of the NCCP) (NCC)  

Section 2: How to guides & sample letters

This is the problem solving part of the toolkit. This section include how to guides, sample letters and EDR Guides covering the following topics:

  1. Financial hardship  
  2. Unsuitable lending  
  3. Requesting information  
  4. Debt Collection and enforcement  
  5. Requesting a debt release  
  6. High cost small loans  
  7. Consumer leases  
  8. Complaining to ASIC  

Section 3: Other useful stuff

This section includes useful reference material:

  1. Credit Law forms  
  2. Relevant financial hardship provisions of relevant Codes of Practice