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Released every month our debt collection blog contains news, stories and tips to keep you informed.

Finance Broker Pleads Guilty to Loan Fraud

Friday, April 27, 2018 - Posted by Michael McCulloch

A former finance broker has appeared before the Perth Magistrates' Court following charges being laid over giving false information and fraud.

ASIC allege that between January 2013 and April 2013 that Peter Lachlan McDonald of "Get Approved Finance" provided Esanda information that falsely represented consumers. In a statement to the media ASIC said, "...between January 2013 and April 2013, Mr McDonald, in the course of brokering four motor vehicle finance contracts, provided the lender Esanda with information that falsely represented that persons, who had in fact only agreed to be loan guarantors, were the applicant borrowers who would ultimately own the vehicle to be financed."

ASIC went on to say that in 1 case Mr McDonald inserted what he "purported" to be a consumers signature on an extended warranty policy and submitted the documents to Esanda.

Following an investigation by ASIC Mr McDonald was permanently banned in July 2015 from engaging in credit activities and providing financial services with a number of Get Approved Finance Brokers also being banned by ASIC for similar actions. 

We had previously reported ANZ had been found to have breached responsible lending laws with ANZ, the former owner of Esanda, agreeing to compensate more than 70 borrowers a total of $1.38 million for car loans organised by Get Approved Finance.

Mr McDonald has pleaded guilty to the charges and and was bailed to appear on Thursday, 10 May 2018 for sentencing.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald - April 2018


Debtors Named and Shamed on Public Website

Friday, April 27, 2018 - Posted by Michael McCulloch

A public State Government website has named and shamed 4,000 Tasmanians who have outstanding parking, Court fines and infringement notices.

Section 65 (1) of the Monetary Penalties Enforcement Act 2005 allows the State of Tasmania to publish the name, address and details of persons who have an unpaid debt where payment has not been received in full, entered into an approved repayment arrangement or satisifed the debt by other means. The site contains a link to download an Excel spreadsheet which is updated weekly.

With $61 million owing to the State of Tasmania drastic steps are being taken to obtain payment. The highest unpaid debt is $1.2 million owed by David Wei Meng Lee, convicted in 2016 of abalone trafficking. More than 7,225 Australian are currently listed with other enforcement action being taken to recover funds such as suspension of drivers' licences, suspension of car registration, Redirection of Money Owed Orders and Seizure and Sale of Assets.

The Monetary Penalties Enforcement Service ("MPES"), who is responsible for debt recovery for the Courts, Police, Local Government and Public Sector, issued 27,387 sanctions in the last year, an incease of 5,252 more than the last year.

Source: Illawarra Mercury - April 2018


ABA Announces New Banking Code of Practice

Friday, April 27, 2018 - Posted by Michael McCulloch

The Australian Banking Association ("ABA") has recently announced the retail banks wishing to become members will now be required to sign up for the new Banking Code of Practice ("The Code").

The Code, which is currently awaiting approval by ASIC will be binding, enforceable by law and will be monitored by an independent body. The Code, which was originally introduced in 1993, requires retail banks to provide plain English contracts, stop unsolicited offers to raise credit limits, give customers the ability to end credit cards online and inform customers about service fees before they are incurred.

Regulating the Code will be the responsibility of the Banking Code of Compliance Committee ("BCCC") which will have the power to investigate breaches and apply sanctions. The move comes as the financial services industry tries to regain customer trust with the Financial Services Institute of Australasia ("FINSIA") calling for an industry-wide code to restore professionalism among its members as a way of winning back customer trust.

The ABA is looking to implement The Code within 12 months of approval being received from ASIC.

Source: Financial Standard - March 2018


Mortgage Arrears Stable

Friday, April 27, 2018 - Posted by Michael McCulloch

Moody's Investor Services are reporting that home loan arrears tracked by credit rating agencies declined during the June 2017 to September 2017 quarter with half a dozen suburbs across Australia being 30 days or less behind on repayments.

The sample size, which covered $125 billion of mortgages across 2,400 postcodes, showed that Australians on top of their mortgage reside in Carlingford, Crows Nest and Mosman in New South Wales, Bentleigh and Glen Iris in Victoria and Ormiston in Queensland. Darlinghurst, NSW also reported an arrears rate of below 0.1%

Meanwhile Gladstone in Queensland is reporting that nations highest delinquency rate of 4.95% meaning that 1 in every 20 households with a mortgage is in danger of defaulting. Gladstone saw a large population increase owing to the construction of several LNG export terminals however as these projects were finalised unemployment rose substantially. Gladstone wasn't the only town impacted with Alpurrurulam, in the Northern Territory, also being impacted by the mining slowdown with a 30 plus day delinquency rate of 4.95% The sample indicated that properties in Queensland and Western Australia were the hardest hit owing directly to the resource investment downturn and the subsequent fall in housing prices.

Moody's have reported that they believe there will be an increase in delinquency this year (1.45% national average) with a pattern emerging that as property prices fall there is a close correlation with higher mortgage arrears. A spokeperson said, "Softening housing market conditions, particularly in the key states of NSW and Victoria, will drive delinquencies moderately higher. Less favourable income dynamics and ongoing volatility in the resources sector will also weigh on mortgage performance."

Source: ABC News - April 2018



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