New research shows welfare recipients are using payday lenders to meet regular living expenses and are then trapped in a debt spiral, continuously indebted to one or more loan companies for considerable periods according to Caught Short an Interim Report by RMIT University and the University of Queensland and funded by National Australia Bank and…

Read More RMIT & UQ research: Payday loans a debt trap for welfare recipients

As long ago as 2006 CFA member Choice called attention to the huge losses suffered by consumers through fees and administrative costs on lost and multiple superannuation accounts. With input from data from Rice Walker actuaries Choice estimated consumers lost between $1.2 and $2 billion per annum in unnecessary fees and charges At that time…

Read More Welcome action on billion dollar multiple super fund problem

AAP The Federal Government has taken significant steps in recent years to protect consumers from predatory lending practices, such as very high-interest “payday loans”. An unfortunate, though surely unintentional, consequence of lending regulation is that people on low incomes or with poor credit records may find it difficult to secure loans. Under our National Consumer…

Read More Responsible lending doesn’t have to be restrictive

A coalition of consumer and financial counselling organisations has launched a new website to ensure the hard truths are heard in the debate about the future of short term high cost loans – www.debttrap.org.au. The new website delivers the confronting facts about payday loans, busts myths currently being spread by payday lenders, and outlines safer…

Read More Consumer groups launch ‘debt trap’ web site

Eleanor Sumner has been the CFA representative on Standards Australia Technical Committee ME-064 Access for People with a Disability for approximately 10 years. Her work as a consumer advocate extends beyond her work with the Consumers Federation of Australia. Eleanor has had a life long commitment to women’s issues. After serving in the Women’s Royal…

Read More Introducing CFA Standards Project representative Eleanor Sumner

ACCC mandatory product safety reporting triggers recalls Issued 16th August 2011 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released figures for the first six months of the mandatory reporting product safety requirement under the Australian Consumer Law. http://www.productsafety.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/988537   ACCC institutes proceedings against Trade Quip over labelling of hydraulic trolley jacks Issued 25 July 2011…

Read More August product safety news

The Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs is holding an inquiry into the insurance industry with specific reference to extreme weather and disaster events. Submissions will be accepted until Friday 12 August 2011, with the exception of submissions from Western Australia, which are requested by Friday 22 July 2011, as the Committee will…

Read More Operation of the insurance industry during disaster events – Commonwealth inquiry

Denis Nelthorpe photo Denis Nelthorpe photo

Former CFA President Denis Nelthorpe and consumer advocate Elaine Attwood were both made Members of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queens Birthday honours list in June 2011. Denis has played many roles in the Australia consumer movement. He was  Director of the Consumer Credit Legal Service in the 1980s when it successfully took…

Read More CFA advocates recognised with Queens Birthday honours

New unfair contract terms legislation came into effect fully across Australia on 1 July 2010, following a concerted campaign by CFA and its members. These laws make unfair terms in consumer contacts void. Many industries use standard-form consumer contracts, including telecommunications, finance, motor traders, gyms, travel and utilities. A term will be unfair where it…

Read More Unfair contracts