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Nats stand up for loan sharks

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, July 22nd, 2010 - 86 comments
Categories: labour, loan sharks - Tags: , ,

Disgraceful to see that National and ACT have voted down Labour MP Carol Beaumont’s moderate and sensible bill to take action against loan sharks. This report captures the atmosphere of what was a pretty fierce debate in Parliament.

Holding back tears, Beaumont told the House she was sad the government’s not taking responsibility on the issue, and mad the voice of the community was not being listened to.

“Stories abound of people hurt by irresponsible lending and excessive interest rates,” she said.

“I know of a Tongan family who borrowed $3200 to repair their car…they ended up with no car and still owe almost $10,000.”

Charles Chauvel came out strongly too.

“Loan sharks target the most vulnerable people with obscene interest rates,” he said.

“They never expect to see their loans repaid in full…we have to take action now because there has never been a better time for loan sharks – 75% of people are earning less than $45,000 a year.”

The fact is these aren’t legitimate businesses operating in a free and fair environment. As Te Ururoa Flavell points out in the article, loan sharks’ interest rates can exceed 400% a year and compound to 1000%, and they frequently use threats, blackmail and bullying to get their money.

Putting this bill to select committee seems eminently reasonable. It was an extremely moderate bill and every party except National and its  psychos mates in ACT voted in support. But all we got from the Government was weak spin and misdirection, while they sat there and committed to doing nothing.

It’s a question of priorities I guess, and in National’s worldview stopping Kiwis getting ripped off by loan sharks is less important than allowing our bosses to sack us unfairly or force us get a medical certificate for one day off with a tummy bug.

Full credit to Carol Beaumont anyway. Let’s hope she keeps up the fight.

86 comments on “Nats stand up for loan sharks ”

  1. What do you expect from a government run by a bankster?

    Captcha: fight

    • jcuknz 1.1

      The point is that the bill could have passed its first reading and been sent to a select committee for further input and revision so that it was a worthwhile effort towards controlling the sharks. To dump on it completely is disgusting.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    I certainly don’t like seeing exploitation of people through unscrupulous loan sharks either. However, I don’t think a cap is the right way to go.

    The problem with a cap is it could lock a lot of people out of finance who may be considered too higher risk for a lender even at the capped rate. Also, a lot of the very dodgy lending would simply go underground. I think a better alternative would be to legislate for a seven day cooling down period for rates say above 30%. This would give people the opportunity to assess their options and get advice before proceeding with a loan.

    • Pete 2.1

      “I certainly don’t like seeing exploitation of people through unscrupulous loan sharks either. However, I don’t think a cap is the right way to go.”

      OK, so would you support it going to select committee to discuss the pros and cons, or do you think it should be voted down?

      • tsmithfield 2.1.1

        I would support a bill going to select committee to address the problem. Maybe not that particular bill if I didn’t think it could be fundamentally fixed through the select committe process.

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      7 day cooling down period? You know people are desperate when they go to loan sharks, where do you think the money will be after 7 days? Certainly not in their bank accounts.

      Clearly your well-meaning idea actually does squat in reality.

      • tsmithfield 2.2.1

        They wouldn’t be able to access the money for 7 days or whatever the cooling down period is.

        • Lanthanide 2.2.1.1

          That could easily do more harm than good. The cap on interest rates doesn’t stop people from borrowing money altogether (eg, for emergencies), just makes it much more affordable to do so.

          If instead you are keeping the same interest rates as now, but delaying people access to the money for 7 days, you’re only making the situation worse. Sure you might dissuade a few people who were using the money for impulse purchases, but not many, and you’ll be harming all of those who need the money for an emergency (while still charging them out the nose on interest).

    • Fisiani 2.3

      A Labour attempt to raise loan rates to a high and even level was voted down cos it doesn.t help people.

    • Fisiani 2.4

      A Labour attempt to raise shark loan rates to a high and even level was voted down cos it doesn’t help people. At least National is helping people get a well paying job so they dont need loan sharks.

      • Ryan 2.4.1

        What!?? National helping people into jobs? LOL ARE YOU PAID TO WRITE THESE COMMENTS ON LEFT WING SITES?

        • The Voice of Reason 2.4.1.1

          If he was, he wouldn’t have made past the 89th day; sacked for poor performance.

          • loota 2.4.1.1.1

            LOLz

            I know ‘lolz’ isn’t worthy of a comment in itself but you guys are just so funny.

            • Tigger 2.4.1.1.1.1

              Fisi – last time I looked, encouraging people to leave for Australia wasn’t a good thing.

              • lukas

                Was that when Michael Cullen told someone to bugger off to Oz? Or have you looked since then?

      • jcuknz 2.4.2

        I think he is having you on 🙂
        It is a pity some think it is a matter for humour.

  3. Herodotus 3

    I was surprise to read that the private members bill did not cover costs associated to loans c.f TV 3 Cambell on Tuesday? a loan for $700 re clothing for school with a $400 costs added, break fees, early payment.
    Te Ururoa Flavell cited case would not be resolved by this law, no matter what laws are passed there will still be underground sharks operating that will no restraints.
    I agree that this should have progressed to the next stage for input and to greatly improve this. There was nothing relating to tech coy stuff like who can be a director, registering the coy and type of business, and having an authority to review and oversee the industry.
    The bill was a start but was shallow in its basis to solve this area.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “Te Ururoa Flavell cited case would not be resolved by this law, no matter what laws are passed there will still be underground sharks operating that will no restraints.”
      Yes, that is precisely the point – they will be underground. Go look in your free community newspaper for all the people offering ‘instant cash loans of $500 now!’, not to mention Cash Converters ads on the television.

      Forcing these things underground will greatly restrict access and visibility to them, which is the point. Help people to help themselves.

  4. nilats 4

    I reckon the Nats stand up for personal responsibility.
    About time Brotown took their life into their own hands and stop relying on us hard pressed tax payers bailing them out all of the time.

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.1

      The Nats stand up for greed and nothing else. This has nothing to do with personal responsibility its about poverty and desperation.
      Many in this world constantly make good decisions based on sound principles/morals but don’t get the results they deserve. If you honestly think that personal responsibility equals not being poor you are sadly mistaken are probably 11 years of age and believe life is fair. In case you haven’t worked it out, life is not fair the issue is about exploitation of people who find themselves desperate for money. By the way most people are actually only a accident away from financial poverty. No one was asking anyone to bail out any one, you stupid Tory, and if you don’t want to be called stupid take some personal responsibility and start posting thoughtful posts instead of stupid National Party lines.

      • nilats 4.1.1

        Westy boy, I made better decisions as I live in Greenhithe.
        I have been broke before but I made my own decisions on getting there (OE) and getting out (getting a job). You cannot make laws for stupidity. Taking on loans at 20% plus PM is just Homer Simpson material. Almost like taking a bet on hyper inflation. You know you must be stuffed if IF & Money Shop do not lend to you. Do without, it is not a right to have a cash positive situation, it is a need.
        Why NZ always thinks of looking after the lowest common denominator as a priority other countries try looking forward to get growth they need.
        Why did not Labour do this in their 9 years? After all, Brotown is their voter base after all? What happened to all the welfare given over the past years? Pissed up the wall and still broke.
        Make it an election issue, it won’t change voter sentiment at all.

        • fraser 4.1.1.1

          “I made better decisions as I live in Greenhithe.”
          “After all, Brotown is their voter base after all?”

          thats some thinly veiled racism youve got going on there. 🙂 (maybe not – but it looks that way)

          do you support a laws that enable predation? because thats the current situation.

          Your quite right that you cant legislate away stupidity – but theres more going on than people making stupid decisions. Most (IMO) of these outfits run a business model where they want the customer to default. That way they can add fees, make a bit more, then onsell the debt to someone else.

          And if we are talking personal responsibility – surely that applies to the business model aswell?

        • A Nonny Moose 4.1.1.2

          I suppose you believe that anyone who uses a loan such as this only get it for drugs, booze, ciggies, a playstation, and G-unit gear…

          Anti-Spam: “ignores” HAH!

        • Ryan 4.1.1.3

          Racist prick. Your daddy bailed you out of your OE and you inherited your house. It was paid for by privatisation of state owned assests that we paid for. My comment may get moderated but yours deserves it more. I hope the “white power” minority that have the backing of “old money” like yourself get a violent shit sandwhich for all their policies. How you going to feel if you get home invaded due to Paula Bennetts illegal directives to “end the dream”.. Hmm.?

          • nilats 4.1.1.3.1

            I pulled myself out of debt and I owe $68K still on my house, so pretty solid financially, thanks very much. Both my parents are still alive. I have yet to inherit, cannot wait though, all that money made by my dad of Samoan labour at Min Wage.

            I also own a shotgun so I invite Brotwn to my house at 2am if they wish. I only fire 2 shots, the first one at the invader and the second one into the ceiling which is actually the first shot when the police arrive 2 days later. ‘I fired a warning shot officer, honest I did’.

            Now go and curl your limp wrist arond another chardonnay in your Ponceonby eatery.

        • Craig Glen Eden 4.1.1.4

          So looking at your lack of response you are 11 years of age.

          “I made a better decision and live in Greenhithe.”

          You think because you live in Greenhithe that that makes you better than someone in Glen Eden you are a sad smuck, no wonder you vote National, dumb and elitist what a dangerous combination, thats just the qualities Hitler relied on to get him elected.

          • nilats 4.1.1.4.1

            Glen Eden is ok as a imtermediate suburb, I grew up in Avondale so I always thought GE was ok. Seems like a lot of people in GE voted National as well Glen since Paula Bennett is in, your neighbours must be sad smucks as well. IIRC Hitler got elected by a lot of Homoseauals, (look at the SA, Hitler had them killed off in 1934 though, the lucious Rohm etc), akin to Labour.

            Remember, at least Adolf Hitler signed his own paintings, did Helen Clark?

      • jcuknz 4.1.2

        The problem is lack of education. Shark says ‘I’ll lend you a dollar and next weeks pay you give me $1.10’ Doesn’t sound much but that’s 520%pa interest. Second problem is lack of money to safely build up a credit history so that you can borrow at more reasonable rates. Credit cards are bad enough and to be avoided but the sharks .. jeez!

        • felix 4.1.2.1

          Yep, that’s a huge part of the problem and education is clearly a huge part of the solution.

          The other huge part, surely, is stopping these predatory bastards from taking advantage of said lack of education.

    • Tigger 4.2

      Bailing out? What on earth are you talking about?

    • William Joyce 4.3

      Yes, people need to take responsibility for their choices but for the good of the greater society (to avoid crime-breeding poverty etc) we need to put limits on commercial greed.

      Capitalism without restrictions will see us still prescribing Thalidomide to pregnant mothers because it “maximised profits for the shareholder”. I am not against people making a tidy profit from loaning money to people who are of greater risk. It’s their money and they are putting it on the line for people who may not pay it back.
      However, this part of the market needs investigation to ensure that it is not creating a social ill for us as a whole and for those who are our weakest members (even if they are the making really bad choices).
      Why would you not want to send it to select committee? Because that would mean turning the light on this industry? To protect the interests of people who have something to hide?

      If we can have a “public debate” on the “I’m just floating the question” ideas of mining, then why could we not also have a debate over loans with excessive fees, inordinate interest rates and overly punitive consequences?

      Some people in the shadows behind the shiny cardboard cutouts in ACT & National must have said, “Johnnie, WE need you kill this bill at birth”.

      “Kill it – for God sake, kill it NOW!”

      • Bill 4.3.1

        “If we can have a “public debate’ on the “I’m just floating the question’ ideas of mining, then why could we not also have a debate over loans with excessive fees, inordinate interest rates and overly punitive consequences?”

        You really want the answer?

        Loan sharks do not generally effect the middle classes or the well to do. Mining, on the other hand does. It upsets their sensibilities and should therefore be debated. Questions around poor people and loan sharks will be gone by lunchtime. They belong to another world that is too unpleasant to sustain the voyeurism of well heeled liberals.

  5. Andrew 5

    for the first time in a while i am in 100% agreement with you. I am a staunch national voter but am saddened that this bill got voted down. It’s disgusting that these loan sharks are allowed to target these people and charge the interest that they do. Finance companies need to be regulated!

  6. Bored 6

    Great photo, shows a great white shark holding up a cardboard cut out.

  7. bbfloyd 7

    so people think a cap on interest rates won’t work.. they would rather play semantics to illustrate their weak grasp on reality. “a cooling off period”? that obviously comes from someone who doesn’t exist in the sane reality as the type of people who end up having to take up loans from the sharks in question. or otherwise, it’s a good start, but “shallow”. wouldn’t it be better to at least make a start on a serious problem for an, admittedly insignificant and politically powerless group of people. i’m pleased to have been able to teach mr H a new catchphrase, but i would have been more impressed if these new words were put into a meaningful form rather than “shallow” reactive negativism.

    • Herodotus 7.1

      bbf if the cap was all that was required what an easy fix and that our 2 Mp Beaumount and Chavael have seen thru all the smoke and mirrors to find the fix. Their fix was shallow and a headline capture. But as I and many others have said that this bill should have proceeded to at least the next stage, as perhaps a better bill could have been constructed out of this, and one that would have come closer to a fix, or at least fitted into the 80:20 rule of making live less of a hassle for 80% who have been captured into this savage industry.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    I have to wonder how come Jones and Inga are not in the media on this because they both care so much about “their” people and Inga has told me face to face that he is not interested in Politics he just wants to help the people and I would have thought this would have been the perfect issue for them to media prostitute themselves with, if they really cared.

    • Roger 8.1

      That’s not fair. After National’s inexplicable and disgusting decision they have probably gone into hiding because of the shame they feel at being publicly involved with such a party.

  9. Bill 9

    A pile of socio-paths have, like scum floated to the upper reaches of the National Party.

    So why would you expect the party to act conscientiously? Would you expect it of any individual sociopath out here in society? No, of course not. So why expect different from a group that rewards and elevates those who express socio-pathic tendencies to positions of power; our current governing party.

    Here’s the upshot, if communities or neighbourhoods band together to hound, beat and burn the loan sharks ‘out of town’, there’ll be legislation getting drafted in double quick time. If neighbours turned up to defend one another’s property from repossession, there’d be legislation getting drafted in double quick time.

    Of course, the media would spin desperate, and finally organised, people as dangerous enemies of the rule of law and as a threat to civilised norms.

    Em, did I mention that the legislation that would be rushed through would have nothing to do with loan sharks? That it would be to prevent people getting together to look after their own?

  10. prism 10

    I have listened to solicitor Catriona MacLennan on 9to Noon for years about the low income areas and who ‘help’ them obtain their needs and wants. Link – one about clothing trucks which is a gateway for getting into debt for unwary people.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/manukau-courier/3158283/Clothes-trucks-a-trap

    These clever sharks know all the buttons to press when they are operating on the poor. One of the favourite traps is when people want to buy something like whiteware for their house, get them to use the house as collateral for the loan. When the monthly payment falls behind before long action, that is perfectly legal, is taken to obtain the possession of the house. This can be repeated with a number of buying scenarios I imagine. There are always predators waiting to catch the innocent and unwary.
    Crocodiles, tigers and sharks are seeking needed food, doing what they must and all they know. Loan sharks hold out their credit and the victims go to them, a very cunning predator. And colder-blooded and more calculating than any other animal predator.

  11. burt 11

    We spend a few billion a year on WFF, another few billion on unemployment and sickness benefits, accommodation allowances and special hardship entitlements.

    The fact that some people need to borrow money at 200% to buy clothes and food tells us the welfare state has become nothing more than a political football kicked around to create popularity at election times.

    If people need to borrow money at such high rates to survive the welfare system is useless. If people need to borrow money at such high rates because they have spent their low incomes on pokies, beer and cigarettes then why oh why are we even wasting our time working out how we can protect them from their own stupidity?

    If they borrow $1,000 at 200% then reducing the interest rates to say 40% will only end up with them borrowing more and more as they gear their lending around their ability to meet repayments. How big a hole do you want to trap people in?

    Loan sharks only survive because there are people who don’t understand the cost of money and because they make poor choices with what they have.

    Imagine how much less the lower earners would use loan sharks if the money paid to upper and middle income WFF/other benefit recipients (circa 5% of $3b each year) was actually directed at the needy rather than used to buy the middle class vote.

    Shame on Labour for creating a culture of entitlement and dependency based on expectations of ‘free money’. Shame on National for not making the changes to ensure that welfare is only paid to people who need it rather than continuing the vote buying lolly scramble Labour needed to keep H.C. looking popular and competent for 3 terms.

    • Craig Glen Eden 11.1

      Labour didnt create that environment Burt thats why unemployment went down under Labour thats why child poverty went down under labour. Shit reality must be a bitch for you.

      Under National we have fallen further behind Australia , NZers continue to move across the ditch and Bill English continues to steal from us hard working Tax Payers.

    • Roger 11.2

      Wow, nice one. Defend the indefensible by making stuff up and trying to throw it back on Labour with tenuous links to welfare and the use of loan sharks.

      “If people need to borrow money at such high rates to survive the welfare system is useless. If people need to borrow money at such high rates because they have spent their low incomes on pokies, beer and cigarettes then why oh why are we even wasting our time working out how we can protect them from their own stupidity?”

      I agree that there is a clear lack of intelligent thought when people decide that going to a loan shark that is exacerbated by their desperation. Your analysis of the reason for they are put in that position is not something you are qualified to make and you probably wouldn’t have a clue anyway. But your argument that some people are stupid suggests that obviously you, like National and Act fully condone predatory behavior to capitalize on those that make somewhat irrational decisions. Perhaps the Loan Sharks could take personal responsibility by finding a morally palatable source of income.

      “Imagine how much less the lower earners would use loan sharks if the money paid to upper and middle income WFF/other benefit recipients (circa 5% of $3b each year) was actually directed at the needy rather than used to buy the middle class vote.”

      But according to your argument above, the needy would spend their money on more beer, pokies and cigarettes if more was directed to them, so what is it? Are they stupid and irrational or are they calculating and rational?

      • burt 11.2.1

        Roger

        Spend a few days doing volunteer work at a city mission yourself if you really want to jump out of your own class circle and see how the other side go about their business. Go through peoples supermarket dockets and discuss with them yourself what they purchased and how they could better prioritise their limited funds for their family. Then come back to me and discuss what was made up and what wasn’t.

        • Roger 11.2.1.1

          I have a hell of a lot more experience with this than a few days work at a city mission sunshine. Clearly you have misinterpreted my own class circle. I’ve spent a large chunk of my life pulling myself out of my own class circle which incidentally was the one that is more likely to be the people Carol Beaumont was trying to help.

      • Ryan 11.2.2

        Cmon guy’s it’s SOOOOO obvious that comments here are generated via the National Parties media office. Even the Labour government spied on any “left” wing group that proported to exist!! They get as much spin as they can into a comment on an article and claim there taxpayer funded wage for their efforts in the “war against the poor”.

        WOW %75 of us earning UNDER $45,000 a year.

        UNEMPLOYMENT IS ACTUALLY WORSE UNDER NATIONAL POLICY.

        And its not really the National Parties policy is it? Its the same ol’ cabinet ministers writing in the same laws that got pissed all over last time. Its legislation for the sake of vindictive vendetta. It has no bearing on public opinion or reality for that matter. Its just what got thrown out ten years ago.

        Stick your $9b stimulus “package: where the sun don’t shine Bill, National is only responsible for 1.65 of it. And while most of us are only an accident away from poverty, whats the hospital going to treat us with? Newspaper bandages?

        ACC wont pay. “Care Advatage”, what a joke, and every PHO has stood up and said the funding they get is not enough to care for their districts, so apart from the accident, we get disabled into the bargin.

        If National get in again on a second term on the back of taxpayer funded lies and spin I will seriously look at going bush, or staying urban with a good russian rifle. I’m going to need it.

    • ak 11.3

      Well pickle my tit. burt comes out in favour of increased wealth redistribution in favour of the worst-off in an impressive retrospective validation of Labour principles. Nice one burt, you’re getting there slowly.

  12. uroskin 12

    The Standard earlier asked what National’s policies are now? Well, here you have one of then: No Loan Shark Left Behind.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Capping rates simply won’t work. All it will do is cut off funding to people who are deemed to greater financial risk at the capped level.

    Several suggestions.

    1. Greater education and advertising to inform people about the true cost of funds and what to look for.
    2. A cooling down period above a certain rate as I mentioned earlier (3 days, 7 days or whatever). People can’t access the funds until the end of the cooling down period and can cancel the loan during this time.
    3. A requirement for the lender to give full and easy to understand disclosure about the cost of funding. This would include a sheet with a number of sample scenarios showing amounts that would be owing at different time periods depending on whether payments were made or not.
    4. ALL financiers should be appropriately registered and comply with proper financial rules and requirement. If they don’t do this then they forfeit the loaned money in the case of a default.

    • burt 13.1

      I think all that will achieve is better profits from black market lenders who are neither registered or monitored. When people need money fast they need money fast. The real question is why in a country like NZ, where some people gets thousands of dollars a month in benefits, do people still need to borrow at such high rates. I suspect the problem is not a lack of money per-sae, rather poor choices made by people who have never understood the value/cost of money because we give it too them rather than make them work for it.

      disclaimer: I undrstand there is a percentage of welfare reciepents that absolutely need welfare, I’m not suggesting we restrict this rather we increase it for these people by decreasing it for people who’s vote the govt want but who do not genuinely need the latest iPhone or iPad, My-Sky HD etc.

    • Roger 13.2

      The problem with the action taken by National and Act is that your suggestions could have been brought to a select committee and made a difference rather than just on a blog thread.

      • burt 13.2.1

        Roger

        I agree, shame on National for shooting it down without robust debate, shame on Labour for creating the culture of live for today becasue the gummit gives you another cheque next week.

        • troll e racer 13.2.1.1

          This comment was so stupid I had to comment.

          The percentage of people on benefits under Labour were the lowest in years.

    • jcuknz 13.3

      TS —Point One is right on and what is needed however Point Two is pointless when having spent all your money on beer and pokies, or school clothing that the school insists on and there is nothing in the larder, or fridge, to feed your hubby and the kids. Or you can’t get to work because your beat-up old car has broken down.
      Previously it was suggested that people scale their borrowing to what they can afford in interest payments … I’m sure like many I have done that in the past … we get back to point one …. I have learnt and after sixty years looking after myself and a family I’ve got it fairly right. Credit limits a sky high which I know I couldn’t service so they are all rather academic, but it takes time to get to that point if you didn’t receive any education about finance.
      The problem might be solved if children were given some financial education and perhaps more to the point immigrants brought in to do the jobs we don’t want to do and tithe themselves to a church or family ‘back home’.
      I noticed a young boy with a credit card in the dairy a few days ago and thought ‘Jeez!’ … but maybe it was good and sensible parents teaching him early on how to manage his money … I hope so.

  14. tsmithfield 14

    I realise that there will be a black market for finance, Burt. However, I think this probably already exists to one extent or another. The points you make are probably valid, but there is no quick fix in that respect. We do need to do something to ensure that people are properly informed and that financiers are properly regulated, and that people have adequate time to take advice and think about the consequences before tying themselves into a draconian loan. If, despite the best efforts to do this, people still go and borrow money at 500% or whatever, then its a case of not being able to legislate for stupidity.

  15. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 15

    Why not use the perfectly good legislation we already have?:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2003/0052/latest/DLM213510.html?search=ts_act_consumer_resel&p=1

    This was passed by the last government, widely acknowledged to have been brilliant in every respect. I hope you are not suggesting they didn’t know what they were doing?

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    It would, of course, be better just to raise wages enough so that these people didn’t need to take out loans so that they can eat. Probably a good idea to have adult education classes as well so that people could go and learn budgeting and other important stuff but…

    NACT want wages lowered and they think education is misspending.

    Still need to have laws that get rid of these loan sharks though.

    • loota 16.1

      New Zealand is a low wage, high cost economy.

      • burt 16.1.1

        You have nailed it.

        Are you keen to discuss how harsh abatement rates act as a suppressor of wage inflation while generous middle income welfare creates price inflation. Associated with this is the sneaky backhander of fiscal drag reducing the spending power of people who weren’t sucker punched by the abatement rates.

      • jcuknz 16.1.2

        I would put it Low Wage High Expectations ecconomy with the masses not content to live within their means like I and my family did four decades or so ago, bombarded as they are by advertising.

        Though I believe conditions are tougher for the young now and I hesitate to criticise them from my current position of being reasonably well placed … but that again is an attitude of mind … to be content with what you have..

  17. ak 17

    Tim Ellis: ….its a case of not being able to legislate for stupidity.

    True. But it is also the case that NAMP could legislate to curb the outright rapacity and usury that revolts any reasonable person. To fail to do so is to condone it: a view shared, in fact, by many in the National caucus – not to mention the public.

    Another uncharacteristic stumble by NACT: something in the breeze putting the wind up ’em? Internal Supercity polls perchance?

    • loota 17.1

      Wait until South Auckland community leaders start making this into a big issue nationally.

  18. Green Tea 18

    Meanwhile Labour is quite happy with the economic conditions that create the need for people to use loan sharks.

  19. Sookie 19

    What a stupid, knee jerk ideological reaction by the government. Supporting this bill would have earned them a lot of brownie points with the public for minimal cost. Even if middle class swing voters are not using loan sharks, they know they’re complete bastards. In any case, a middle class voter with a maxed out Visa and 5 different HP agreements is only one sacking away from a visit to Mr Shark. It’s not just those on benefits who are vulnerable.

  20. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 20

    Can no-one hear me?

    Why not use the existing legislation passed during the term of the last government to deal with this exact problem?

    Why pass more legislation aimed at the same problem?

    • Roger 20.1

      Sorry, just reading more of the act. I agree that it is a brilliant piece of legislation. I’m speculating that the reason for this action is that by putting a number on what is oppressive, it can be much more easily regulated rather than having oppressed parties having to take the other to court even if they do understand the power relations of statute and contract law.

    • The Voice of Reason 20.2

      OOBB: I think the silence may be because the Act, and specific clause, you refer to above, doesn’t cover cash loans of the type Beaument’s bill and this post refer to.

      • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 20.2.1

        Only, you are wrong and it does.

        • The Voice of Reason 20.2.1.1

          Prove it.

          • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 20.2.1.1.1

            Section 120 of the Act provides:

            The court may reopen a credit contract, a consumer lease, or a buy-back transaction if, in any proceedings (whether or not brought under this Act), it considers that—
            (a) the contract, lease, or transaction is oppressive; or
            (b) a party has exercised, or intends to exercise, a right or power conferred by the contract, lease, or transaction in an oppressive manner; or
            (c) a party has induced another party to enter into the contract, lease, or transaction by oppressive means.

            Section 7 provides:

            In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, credit contract means a contract under which credit is or may be provided.

            Section 118 provides:

            In this Act, oppressive means oppressive, harsh, unjustly burdensome, unconscionable, or in breach of reasonable standards of commercial practice.

            So, in summary, the Court can reopen (meaning change the terms of) a contract where someone provides credit if its terms are oppressive, harsh, unjustly burdensome, unconscionable, or in breach of reasonable standards of commercial practice.

            So just use that if someone is charging 400% interest.

            • The Voice of Reason 20.2.1.1.1.1

              The problem, as I see it, is that it’s not just ‘someone’ charging 400%, it’s a lot of people charging 400%.

              There is a market rate, willing seller, willing buyer etc. The CC&CF Act is silent on actual rates charged, so there is no clause that specifically says that making out like a bandit is oppressive. As long as the lender follows the disclosure requirements of the Act, no offence is committed.

              Look, OOBB, if a couple of amateurs like you and I can make a reasonable fist of analysing the Act, despite our different perspectives, I’d have thought Carol Beaumont would have done the same before writing up her proposal. And I would have thought the Government would have told her don’t bother, we’ve got that covered under the Credit Contracts Act. But they didn’t, they said they were looking at other options to sort out the problem. So clearly, both sides in parliament don’t think the CC&CF Act does what you think it can.

              The real reason the Nats voted it down was that it would have required regulation and control of interests rates, instead of relying on the market to sort out the problem. So not a moral or practical objection, but a philosophical one.

              • OleOlebiscuitBarrell

                Who are you calling an amateur?

                A politician sees a problem and immediately tries to legislate to resolve it. It is their first instinct.

                The problem is more likely with people not having the resources to use the existing perfectly good legislation. But passing more legislation will suffer from the same problem.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Well, if you’re a professional, God help your clients. This is not an area of the law I am paid to be familiar with, but I do know how to read legislation. First rule; read every clause. Second rule; don’t rely on a clause in isolation.

                  I’ve already pointed out why this Act does not work the way you think it does and I see Bill has come to the same conclusion. If it did, OOBB, it would have been used already and Beaumont wouldn’t have had to write a new bill.

                  • OleOlebiscuitBarrell

                    What are you on about? If you are an amateur, how come you get to make up your own banal rules of statutory interpretation?

                    Have a look at the claims made for the legislation when it was introduced by Judith Tizard:

                    First reading

                    I like this bit:

                    The bill also aims to prevent oppressive conduct by creditors and lessors. It retains the reopening provision in the Credit Contracts Act for that purpose.

                    I really hope you are not alleging that Judith Tizard (of all people) is incompetent.

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      You’re not getting it, are you? The Act that you and you alone think can be used to overturn loan shark contracts is not used for that purpose by anyone with the power to do so. If you want to waste more time on this, dig up a case that successfully prosecuted a loan shark and had a contract reopened under this legislation.

                      Just one would do.

                      In fact, I’d be pleased to look at a judgement under the Act that helped knock one of these parasites off even if it meant I’d be on the wrong end of this argument. So more power to you. Find us that case and let’s see what the strength of the Consumer Credits Act really is.

            • Bill 20.2.1.1.1.2

              But by merely showing a couple of instances or examples where others had charged 400% interest, a defendant could show that their terms simply constitute what is regarded by the industry to be ‘reasonable standards of commercial practice’…not ‘unjustly burdensome’. Not ‘unconscionable’. And neither ‘harsh’ nor ‘oppressive’

  21. Sybil 21

    Surprised ? With the President of the NZ National Party, Peter Goodfellow,
    “currently Executive Chairman of two finance companies, Lock Finance and Easy Factors”
    , and John Key a former currency trader,
    it is currently controlled by representatives of financial capital .. as opposed to traditional
    National Party representation of enterprises which actually make things.

    The same people whose disconnect with reality brought us the ongoing global fnancial crisis

    It is not over..

  22. Sybil 22

    Surprised ? With the President of the NZ National Party, Peter Goodfellow,
    “currently Executive Chairman of two finance companies, Lock Finance and Easy Factors”
    , and John Key a former currency trader,
    it is currently controlled by representatives of financial capital .. as opposed to traditional
    National Party representation of enterprises which actually make things.

    The same people whose disconnect with reality brought us the ongoing global fnancial crisis

    It is not over.

  23. prism 23

    Apiece from the herald
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-debt/news/article.cfm?c_id=54&objectid=10631474

    Ms Beaumont told the Herald that should her bill fail to gain sufficient support next month she would continue her campaign against predatory lending practices, primarily by publicising the most egregious examples of exploitation.
    Like Mrs Roy, she said improving financial literacy was a key issue.

    PREDATORY LENDING?
    Actual case studies provided by Mangere Budgeting and Family Support Services.
    * A 21-year-old Samoan woman was considering suicide after incurring $43,000 in debts to a fringe lender. The money was effectively borrowed by her family but she signed the documentation which she did not fully understand, which made her liable. Her family has since moved to Brisbane.
    * A loan for a $3000 car saw a large Tongan family end up with no car and a $10,000 debt.
    * A Tongan mother with four children lost all her furniture and other possessions which were security on a $13,000 loan to go to Tonga to bury her father. She now owes nearly $24,000.

    Here is a comprehensive report on it from Catriona MacLennan via Werewolf.
    http://werewolf.co.nz/2009/11/license-to-prey/

  24. Tiger Mountain 24

    “Natz stand up for Loan Sharks’ No surprise. Loan Sharks are Nat voters and supporters thats why. They may have a few polynesian front men and office staff (not to mention knee capping debt recoverers) but the owners are whiteys on the Northern slopes.

    • Carol 24.1

      Loan Sharks are Nat voters and supporters thats why. They may have a few polynesian front men and office staff (not to mention knee capping debt recoverers) but the owners are whiteys on the Northern slopes.

      As opposed to the “financial exchange business” that is part of the enterprises with links to “Asian crime rings running methamphetamine networks” currently being targetted by police?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3946024/Police-swoop-on-Auckland-firm

      The head of the Organised and Financial Crime Agency (OFCANZ) which lead today’s raid had a blunt message for criminals – “We are coming after you and we are not done until we have taken the money, assets and any other benefit you derive from crime,” Malcolm Burgess said today.

      Officers from the agency raided what they call “a financial exchange business”, seizing large amounts of cash, freezing the operating accounts of the business and restraining a property owned by the company director.

      The raid is another phase of the ongoing Operation Acacia – targeting Asian crime rings running methamphetamine networks – and follows the $5 million dollar methamphetamine seizure on Friday last week.

  25. ZakC 25

    gee, has this thread blown out some..

    I feel for the MP putting her case, but I don’t see any kind of government agreement to pursue her coarse until the one thing – at least – in commonality with them is established. That is that gouging IS the point of predatory lending.

    To financiers etc money is the means to an end. Interest, charges, whatever, is/are operational goals.

    That said, I’d rightaway suggest that the member and her supporters get correctly aligned to the behavioral component of why should some lenders be enabled unjustifiable excesses with folks when others – in the main, banks and established institutions – must comply within the rules and rule of law?

    And no, I am not here alluding to the kinds of banking/lending practices evident in the 1980s when free market hawks wanted growth for themselves on top of others.. for they too had to make rules and look good in self-compliance

    ps: uroskin was aptly funny with his No loan shark left behind assertion of the government coalition’s policy. Which is to enjoy the wit whilst disagreeing with this.

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