Federal Court Grants Injunction to Protect Pawned Goods in Class Action against Pawnbroker, Taylors Business

The Federal Court has granted an injunction against pawnbroker, Taylors Business Pty Ltd (ACN 107 445 723) (Taylors Business) in class action proceedings filed by Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) on 26 October 2023 (Proceeding).

As explained in our media release of 9 November 2023 Consumer Action acts for the lead plaintiff in the Proceeding. The lead plaintiff and Group Members entered into Pawn Contracts with Taylors between 15 November 2022 and 26 October 2023.

The injunction applies until further order or determination of the Proceeding, and:

  • restrains Taylors Business from dealing with any of the pawned goods that are subject to the class action; and
  • includes an exception that Taylors Business can return the pawned goods at its own expense, without requiring the payment of any charges under the Pawn Contracts.

“We wish to bring to light our concerns about the pawnbroking industry and its regulation, including the eye-boggling rates of interest charged by pawnbrokers and the consequences for consumers who pawn goods which are often of very high sentimental value,” said Consumer Action CEO, Stephanie Tonkin.

The Applicant in the Proceeding, seeks orders that Taylors Business return any pawned goods that it continues to hold, despite shutting its store in July 2023 and compensation.

The Proceeding alleges that from 15 November 2022 to 26 October 2023, Taylors Business, amongst other things:

  • Charged prohibited interest at an equivalent rate of 480% per annum, being 432% higher than the highest permitted rate of 48% as provided for in the National Credit Code and the Consumer Credit (Victoria) Act 1995;
  • Entered into pawnbroking contracts that contained unfair contract terms in the nature of the interest charged;
  • Engaged in unconscionable conduct and entered into unjust transactions; and
  • Engaged in unlicensed credit activity in that it engaged in credit activities without holding an Australian Credit Licence.

On 10 November 2023, Consumer Action became aware that the Victorian Business Licensing Authority has reinstated Taylors Business pawnbroking registration to operate as a pawnbroker effective 8 November 2023. The re-licensing conditions relate to a former director of Taylors (who ceased acting as a director prior to 15 November 2022) but do not include any other conditions.

Register for updates about the class action:

If you have entered into a pawnbroking contract with Taylors Business after 15 November 2022 and would like to provide your contact details so we can provide updates about the matter, then please complete this webform: https://au.bot.joseflegal.com/1kaKO9eO/taylors-business-class-action-sign-up-for-updates

Alternatively, please contact Consumer Action on 1800 466 477 or the dedicated Koorie Helpline for First Nations People on 1800 574 457


Media Contact: Mark Pearce, Media and Communications Adviser, 0413 299 567, media@consumeraction.org.au

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