The Law Commission has worked closely with the Ministry of Economic Development in a project to rewrite the Credit (Repossession) Act 1997, which has been found to have many practical difficulties with it.
On 18 July 2011 an issues paper on the review was released. On 30 April 2012, the Commission's final report, Consumers and Repossession: A Review of the Credit (Repossession) Act 1997 (NZLC R124, 2012) was tabled in Parliament.
References to the review in the media
Stuff 'Your rights if the repo man calls' 7 May 2012
TV3 News 'Changes recommended for repossession laws' 1 May 2012
Beehive.govt.nz 'Minister welcomes Law Commission report' 30 April 2012
Radio New Zealand 'Commission wants some items banned from repossession' 30 April 2012
Stuff 'Repossession laws need overhaul: Law Commission' 30 April 2012
Scoop Independent News 'Law Commission Final Report on Credit (Repossession) Act' 30 April 2012
NZ Herald 'Consumer Watchdog: 'Bullied' by the repo men' 21 August 2011
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Published 30 Apr 2012
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The Law Commission is recommending wide-ranging changes to New Zealand’s credit repossession laws, with a view to establishing a fairer, more transparent and efficient regime for all parties. The paper is available for download below or you can view the online version.
Under the proposed changes, consumers entering credit contracts would have to be told explicitly when repossession could occur, and which goods could be repossessed.
The Commission is also recommending that some goods, such as bedding, washing machines, portable heaters, passports and identity documents, should not be subject to repossession at all.
If the Commission’s recommendations are accepted by the Government, in the future repossession agents will need to be licensed and could lose their licence for breaching the new laws.
The recommendations arise from the Commission’s review of the Credit (Repossession) Act 1997. This forms part of the Government’s wider review of consumer credit law, led by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
The Commission is recommending that the 1997 Act be repealed and that provisions covering the repossession and sale of goods be incorporated into the Government’s proposed amendments to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act.
Corrigendum: Please note that, due to an error in the preparation of the list of submitters, the list unfortunately omitted a submission made by Alan Liddell on behalf of the following: Admiral Finance Limited | Burbank Finance Ltd | Crester Credit Ltd | Cynotech Holdings Ltd | Dolbak Finance Ltd |Eastbay Finance Ltd | EB Loans Ltd | Fair City Finance Ltd | Fast Track Finance HB Ltd | Just Finance Ltd | Kiwi Personal Finance Ltd | Maree Finance Ltd | Metro Finance Ltd | Moneypoint Finance Ltd | Moneyshop Group Ltd | Personal Finance Ltd | Pioneer Finance Ltd | Rent to Own 2003 Ltd (Lo TV rentals) | RW Finance Ltd | SCL Finance Ltd | Treanne Holdings Ltd | VFL Ltd | Zak Finance Ltd | One anonymous finance company The Law Commission regrets that error.
Obtain a Hard CopyAvailable online only.Published 18 Jul 2011
The Law Commission is seeking public feedback on New Zealand’s credit repossession laws – the rules that apply when consumers default on a credit contract.
Among the questions the Commission is asking the public to consider is whether there should be a ban on the repossession of certain basic items, such as children’s belongings and medical necessities; and whether the law should more clearly state that the taking of other items is prohibited, such as passports and eftpos cards.
The Commission is working alongside the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, reviewing the Credit (Repossession) Act 1997. This is part of the wider review of consumer credit law announced by Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Hon Simon Power last month.
Issues on which feedback is sought include whether:
-household items or tools of trade up to a certain value should be protected from repossession;
-consent of a court should be required for repossession in all cases, as in both Australia and England, or in cases where a certain amount of equity has been built up in the goods;
-whether rights of entry on to private property should be contractually conferred, or dealt with in the Act;
- the fitness of a credit provider should be assessed, or their financial services registration affected, by misconduct when they repossess goods;
- there should be oversight and enforcement by the Commerce Commission or another body;
-the Credit (Repossession) Act should be incorporated into the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, which is being reviewed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
Submissions closed on 31 August 2011.
The Commissioner responsible for the project is Professor Geoff McLay.
Press Release - NZLC R124 Consumers and Repossession: A Review of the Credit (Repossession) Act 1997Published 30 Apr 2012
The Law Commission is recommending wide-ranging changes to New Zealand’s consumer credit repossession laws, with a view to establishing a fairer, more transparent and efficient regime for all parties.