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Keep up to date with news that informs your practice and expands awareness of your client's rights.

Category: Consumer

Monday 25 Jun 2018

Responsible Lending Roadshow - Canberra

By: Eleanor Mason

Financial Counsellor for Salvation Army Geelong, Eleanor Mason, was one of 32 delegates from across Australia that converged on Canberra this month to meet with the decision-makers and lobby for fair finance and responsible lending reforms. Eleanor has shared her experience and her hopes of seeing positive changes as a result.

Monday 31 Jul 2017

Bankruptcy Advice: Untrustworthy Advisors

The Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA) has developed a video for consumers about the importance of obtaining bankruptcy and debt management advice from reputable sources. The video, entitled Bankruptcy Advice: Untrustworthy Advisors, is narrated by Money Magazine editor Effie Zahos. The video explains in simple terms how easy it is for consumers to be tricked into taking untrustworthy advice from unregulated, unlicensed advisers who may target vulnerable people in times of financial crisis and pressure.

Continue via the link below to watch the video.

Friday 16 Jun 2017

FCRC & CALC Submission to the Essential Services Commission

In response to the ESC's new draft decision for its Payment Difficulties Framework, FCRC and Consumer Action Law Centre have submitted their comments to the Commission.

Recognising many of the new measures the ESC has proposed in the revised framework, we are positive the ESC can achieve its objective of ensuring customers are disconnected as a last resort. We also make recommendations to ensure the framework can do more to support and protect vulnerable customers.

Thursday 27 Apr 2017

Rank the Telco report launch

"Rare in its directness," FCRC launches their first report examining the hardship practices of Australian telcos.

FCRC launched its first report to examine the hardship policies and practices of Australian telcos on Thursday 27 April in Melbourne, which was attended by representatives from both the financial counselling and telecommunications sectors.

Peter Gartlan, FCRC Executive Officer, acknowledged the involvement of the Victorian financial counsellors in responding to the survey. Overall, 534 comments were submitted, including 66 recommendations for improvements. The survey results were conclusive that the current performance in the telecommunications sector is less than acceptable. All three of the first-tier providers ranked poorly, and none met the basic performance benchmarks set in other industries.

Tuesday 21 Feb 2017

Concerns with Centrelink’s Private Debt Collectors’ Accountability

By: Srikaran Nadador

Since the introduction of the government’s new automated debt recovery system in July 2016, there has been severe public backlash against the inaccurate system of data-matching which has affected over 170 000 people to date.

Financial Counsellors may be interested to know that Centrelink has enlisted private debt collectors, including Dun & Bradstreet and Recoveries Corp, to recover the alleged overpayments.

Wednesday 08 Feb 2017

Afterpay: what you need to know

By: James Degenhardt

In an age of convenience, where getting credit can be easier than getting paid, consumers need to pay close attention to what they can afford and how they spend their money. A relatively new “buy now, pay later” facility has emerged that is enticing young shoppers to get the things they want now, and pay for it over time. Sound too good to be true? Read more to see whether there is an aftermath from Afterpay.

Tuesday 07 Feb 2017

Mis-selling of Debt Agreements

Financial counsellors and consumer lawyers are reporting cases where debt agreement administrators are signing consumers to debt agreements who have have limited income and no seizable assets. In these cases it is clear and unambiguous that this type of miss-selling should be banned. Read our case studies here.

Tuesday 07 Feb 2017

New VCOSS/RMIT research project - Energy Under-Use

By: Tom McIntosh

VCOSS is conducting research on energy under-consumption and the use of trade-off strategies (e.g. cutting back on food) in order to afford energy bills. These household strategies can adversely affect health, wellbeing and quality of life. We are hoping you can help us identify people who are interested in participating in this research and sharing their experiences. NOTE: Member-only content. For assistance, contact admin@fcrc.org.au.

Monday 19 Dec 2016

Debt vultures are preying on our clients

By: Kai Zauner-De Ville

Paid financial services can have a detrimental impact on those who are seeking a financial lifeline. Financial counsellor, Kai Zauner-De Ville, calls for regulations for debt vultures that prey on the financially vulnerable.

Thursday 24 Nov 2016

Submission to the Essential Services Commission

Read our joint submission on the proposed safety net for energy consumers facing payment difficulty.

Monday 21 Nov 2016

What are the hardship practices of the telcos?

The Ranking Survey is back. This time FCRC would like you to rank the hardship practices of telecommunications retailers, through Rank the Telco.