ASIC updates guidance for new hardship obligations

[box border=”full”]ASIC has updated Information Sheet 105 Dealing with consumers and credit (INFO 105) to assist industry meet new hardship obligations under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act).[/box]

Under the new obligations, credit providers have set time frames in which to respond to a hardship notice from a consumer, based on whether they request further information from a consumer or not. 

The update clarifies for credit providers when they are required to make a decision about whether a hardship variation is granted, particularly if there is a delay by the consumer in providing the information required to make a decision. 

‘Access to proper and timely consideration of the need for hardship relief when in financial difficulty is an important consumer right, and ASIC is keen to ensure that the obligations on lenders in this area are clear and well understood’, ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said. 

The hardship obligations under the Consumer Credit Legislation Amendment (Enhancements) Act 2012 apply to new credit contracts from 1 March 2013.

Some minor editorial clarifications have also been included to INFO 105.

See ASIC’s credit page for more information about the consumer credit regime, including relevant policy announcements and regulatory guidance.

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