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Debts, Woman with overdue bills

Consumer leases will continue to make the poor pay more: Consumer Groups

Consumer Action Law Centre and Financial Rights Legal Centre say changes to Centrepay (Centrelink’s service that allows third parties deduct from payments) announced today by the Federal Government are a step in the right direction, but will achieve very little in protecting vulnerable Australians from the unfair costs and questionable behaviour of consumer leasing and rent-to-buy businesses.

Debt collection industry can still do more

Consumer Action Law Centre welcomes the release of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Debt Collection Industry Research Report released today, but says the industry can still do much more when it comes to respectfully engaging with vulnerable Australians.

Australians should be compensated for poor financial advice: Consumer groups

Australia’s leading consumer groups have made a joint submission to the Senate Economics Committee’s Scrutiny of Financial Advice Inquiry calling for a last resort compensation scheme for consumers with otherwise uncompensated losses as a result of poor financial advice and other financial misconduct. These losses can severely impact affected consumers and their families, the community generally and the reputation of the financial services and credit industries.

Energy consumers to get “even more information” under national rule change

Today marks the start of new national rules for energy retailers, which are intended to provide more clarity on fixed term contracts, but instead do little to protect Australians from unexpected price rises.

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Too many Australians have suffered at the hands of financial advisers

Consumer Action Law Centre welcomes reports that independent Senator Nick Xenophon MP and Labor Senator Sam Dastyari have called for a last resort compensation scheme for financial services consumers.

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Media Release: WANTED – Households who have been disconnected from electricity

Have you been disconnected from your electricity supply because you couldn’t afford to pay your bills? If so, we want to hear from you.

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Media Release: Credit Wash “cleans up” vulnerable consumer

A former customer of Malouf Group Enterprises has issued proceedings in VCAT seeking damages after allegedly being told by the company that they could “clean” his credit file.

Media Release: Consumer voices must be at heart of competition policy reform: Consumer Action

Consumer Action Law Centre welcomes the release of the Harper Review into Competition Policy and particular the finding that purpose of competition is to make the market economy better serve the long-term interests of Australian consumers.

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Media Release: Trowbridge final report a step in the right direction, but fixation with commissions remains

Consumer Action Law Centre, Financial Rights Legal Centre, CHOICE and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers have welcomed John Trowbridge’s final report into retail life insurance but believe that the industry has still failed to demonstrated that removing commission-based selling from the industry is not feasible.

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Media Release: Payday lending report questions compliance with the law

Consumer Action Law Centre welcomed a new report from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) which questions whether payday lenders are complying with the law. The report found that some lenders’ files do not sufficiently demonstrate that a payday loan has been lent responsibly when an applicant is in default on another loan, has an existing loan, or has had a loan within the last 90 days.