Overview of changes to Consumer Credit Law

This guide put out by the Commerce Commission provides an overview of the key changes to consumer credit law, that took effect from 6 June 2015.

New Zealand’s consumer credit law has changed. Almost all changes took effect from 6 June 2015 and will only apply to contracts entered into after that date.

The changes are set out in the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Amendment Act 2014 (the Amendment Act). The courts will be able to impose much higher penalties than they do at present, so there will be tougher consequences for breaking the law. The Commission will also have a broader range of enforcement tools, such as the power to issue infringement notices for some minor offences.

The key changes include:

1) Lender responsibility principles, supported by guidance in a responsible lending code.

2) New rules about the repossession of consumer goods.

3) Amendments to some of the rules about disclosure.

4) A range of other measures to strengthen consumer protection have also been introduced.

Note that the unamended Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003, (CCCF Act (unamended)) will continue to apply to most consumer credit contracts entered into before 6 June 2015.

Download the guide here.