New law to bite hard on er­rant loan sharks

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Loan sharks will be harshly pun­ished for tar­get­ing vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple un­der a pro­posed law change.

A re­form of loan laws was launched in Porirua last week by con­sumer af­fairs min­is­ter Chris Tre­main, who has since been re­placed in the role by Si­mon Bridges.

It would make it il­le­gal for money lenders to give loans to peo­ple who would clearly strug­gle to pay it back. Fines for tak­ing ad­van­tage of the needy would be $100,000 for an in­di­vid­ual or $300,000 for a com­pany.

Lenders will need to be more clear about the terms of a loan and will not be able to re­pos­sess es­sen­tial house­hold items if the bor­rower de­faults.

‘‘ We don’t think lenders should be able to knock on your door and take any­thing they want be­cause you de­faulted on a $200 loan,’’ Mr Tre­main said.

Huge amounts of peo­ple strug­gle to pay back loans is­sued by ‘‘un­scrupu­lous and ir­re­spon­si­ble’’ lenders, Mr Tre­main said.

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