Struggling with debt?

Contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 for free, confidential advice, or find out more at: ndh.org.au

IT’S TIME TO HOLD ‘DEBT VULTURES’ ACCOUNTABLE

We’ve all seen the commercials: So-called ‘credit repair’ or ‘debt relief’ firms promising to take your financial woes away, ‘fix’ your credit rating and wrangle your debts so you don’t have to.

While these promises of a quick-fix sound like a saving grace, they are too often far from it.  Between conflicting advice, inappropriate debt solutions and high or hidden fees, many Aussie households are left in an even worse financial position and with more stress than before.

And our current laws allow it to happen.

The problem is these debt vultures operate in a regulatory black hole.  Unlike other financial services, debt relief companies aren’t required to hold a licence or meet even the most basic competency and ethical standards.

Not only does this enable these companies to prey on people doing it tough, it leaves people with little access to justice when things go pear-shaped.

It’s time to stop debt vultures mid-flight.

Australians have some of the world’s highest levels of household debt, but more can be done to help.  With a Senate Inquiry shining the spotlight on debt vultures’ dodgy practices, we have a glowing opportunity to make sure these debt ‘relief’ companies are held to higher standards.

The solution: Create a robust regulatory framework for all debt vulture companies that includes:

  1. Mandatory licensing by ASIC with a high bar for entry, and mandatory membership of AFCA to hold these services accountable and give people access to justice.
  2. Ban on upfront fees to stop fees-for-no-service rip-offs and prevent adding to the financial stress of people already struggling to make ends meet.
  3. Requirement to act in the client’s best interests, not the interests of the sales rep or company’s bottom line.
  4. Ban unsolicited selling to give Aussie households a fighting chance to make the best decision for their financial situation.
  5. Requirement to inform people about the free options available such as hardship programs from creditors and utility companies, ombudsman schemes and the National Debt Helpline.

We need your help to make it happen.  Use the form below to email your local MP and let them know you want these debt vultures held accountable for their actions.

Together, we can put the pressure on to make sure dodgy debt vulture practices don’t go unchecked.

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