Released every month our debt collection blog contains news, stories and tips to keep you informed.
We have again received notification from the Credit and Investments Ombudsman ("COSL") that this practice seems to be ongoing. From their March 2018 edition of CIO News we came across this reminder -
We have recently received a number of complaints against consumer lease providers, where the FSPs have reported their customers to the police. They were reported on the basis that the goods associated with the lease, were stolen as these customers had defaulted on payments.
We would like to remind our FSP members that they have enforcement rights under the National Credit Code. We would consider these as more appropriate when enforcing their rights due to non-payment. We note that this is despite a number of states have broad definitions of stealing and fraud under their criminal codes.
A decision to report goods as stolen, rather than pursue standard collections or enforcement action, does not demonstrate good industry practice.
In our November 2016 edition of Debt Collection News we reported about this very issue in Financial Service Providers Argue Criminal Proceedings Outside Ombudsman Jurisdiction.
As we indicated in our previous article it still remains unclear as to the final outcome of the investigation by COSL however as they noted in their reminder enforcement of the debt should be undertaken via the NCC and not by the police.
Source: CIO News - March 2018