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New Zealand to introduce licensing for repossession agents

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - Posted by Philip Harvey

In New Zealand, the repossession agents have historically been self-regulated, with agents being able to seize passports, medical equipment, bedding etc. The Government will be laws to change this and bring in a licensing regime.

Credit providers have been able to include "drag net" clauses in credit contracts allowing repossession of all personal property. The new laws will restrict this to items that are itemised in the credit contract. Certain property will not allowed be repossessed unless the loan was specifically to buy them, including medical equipment, bedding, portable heaters, stoves, washing machines, cooking equipment, refrigerators, passports, identity documents and credit and eftpos cards.

Repossession agents have had almost no sanctions against them in the past. The new laws will introduce criminal offences, civil remedies and statutory damages.

Once the laws are introduce, repossession agents will have to be licensed, of suitable character and have no serious criminal convictions.

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