Consumer Action will

  • Help people to identify fair and safe options to address credit, debt and other financial problems
  • Ensure industry compliance with requirements not to charge for debt collection
  • Advocate for reform and strong, fair protections in credit reporting, debt agreements and bankruptcy
  • Expose the community harm arising from debt management businesses and pursue efficient and effective regulation to protect people
  • Provide, promote and support access to free and confidential financial counselling

Contact

Policy Officer - Cat Newton

cat@consumeraction.org.au

(03) 8554 6943

Financial inclusion and difficulty projects

Debt Vultures - business is booming for those seeking to profit from those in financial difficulty, including so-called “debt management” and “credit repair” services. People struggling to balance their budgets must have the necessary protections, advocacy and support to ensure that they don’t end up worse off, have confidence in service providers through licencing, and have access to effective dispute resolution. We are campaigning for legislative reform and strong regulatory powers to make sure people experiencing financial difficulty can access the assistance they need and there are best practice industry standards in place to ensure they will be treated fairly.

 

Lawyers and Collectors – some debt collectors and lawyers are charging Victorians for their debt collections costs and expenses - we think that’s a breach of the law, and we want to test the law to enforce it, or expose the need for legal reform if the law is insufficient.

 

Debt Agreements – people struggling with debt are being signed up to debt agreements in increasing numbers.  For many of them, it’s the wrong choice.  They think that this is a way to avoid being labelled bankrupt, but being in a debt agreement is a form of bankruptcy and affects them in many of the same ways.  If debt agreements are to be used as an alternative to bankruptcy, then they need to be a genuine safe alternative.

Projects