Hardship

Borrowers who are unable to meet their obligations under a consumer credit contract have the rights to some remedy under certain circumstances. The National Credit Code imposes obligations on credit providers to assist clients who are suffering from hardship.

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Hardship

Hardship Obligations

Borrowers who are unable to meet their obligations under a consumer credit contract have some redress in certain circumstances. The National Credit Code imposes obligations on credit providers to assist clients who are suffering from hardship.

Hardship Notices

If a consumer is unable to meet their obligations under a consumer credit contract then the consumer may notify us, verbally or in writing, of their inability (hardship notice).

Requesting Further Information

If we require further information, then within 21 days of receiving a hardship notice, we will contact the debtor in writing, requesting that the debtor supply to us additional specified information within 21 days of receipt of our request. We will only request additional information that it is relevant to:

  • Whether the consumer is (or will be) unable to meet their obligations under the credit contract;
  • How to change the contract, if the consumer is (or will be) unable to meet their obligations.

If the consumer contacts us to advise they are having difficulty providing all the required information within the timeframe and, in our reasonable opinion, the consumer demonstrates a genuine willingness to comply, we may, at our discretion, choose to extend the timeframes for response.

We will not extend the timeframe for the consumer to respond to us where it would cause unreasonable delay, such as where we do not reasonably believe any further information is forthcoming, or where the consumer is accruing an excessive amount of fees due to the further delays.

Making A Decision

We will send the consumer a notice, stating that we and the consumer have, or have not, agreed to vary the contract. This notice will be provided:

  • If we do not request further information from the debtor – within 21 days after receipt of the hardship notice;
  • If we request further information, and the consumer does not provide the requested information within 21 days of our request – within 28 days after the date of our notice requesting further information;
  • If we request further information, and the consumer provides a response – 21 days after the date on which we receive the information from the consumer.

Varying the Contract

If we agree to change the contract then we will, within 30 days of the date of the agreement between us and the consumer, send the consumer a written notice setting out the details of the changes.

Where We Do Not Vary the Contract

If we have not agreed to vary the contract, we will provide reasons for the change and tell the consumer the name of our external dispute provider AFCA (Australian Financial Complaints Authority) and the consumer’s rights under that scheme.

The consumer can also apply to a Court to have the change made and the Court can change the contract if it thinks it appropriate. The Court can also make other orders, including a stay of any enforcement proceedings by us .

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