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Issue 31 - October 2017

Key determination

Key determination: Harassment by personal visit
The dispute was about car finance provided by the FSP to the applicant’s company. However, the applicant’s company was recently deregistered and no longer operating. 

Although this would usually be outside our Terms of Reference, we considered a set-off claim (a reduction of the amount owing under the guarantee). This was because the applicant was likely to be pursued by the FSP as guarantor for the debt. 

The outcome 
We found that the FSP failed to act within the requirements of the Debt Collection Guideline (the Guideline). The FSP’s actions were equivalent to harassment due to the excessive visits it made to the applicant, and doing so on a number of occasions outside of the recommended hours.

We awarded the applicant $6,000 non-financial loss compensation. However, as the applicant had no interest in the security vehicle, it was determined that he would need to return it to the FSP to sell.

The FSP breached section 4(a) of the Guideline 
We found that the FSP had breached section 4(a) of the Guideline when it attempted to make house calls on two occasions one hour prior to the recommended times and on one occasion 15 minutes after the recommended times.

The applicant was awarded $3,000 non-financial loss for this breach.

The FSP breached section 7(a) of the Guideline Section 7(a) of the Guideline states that house calls should be considered as an option of last resort. 

The FSP’s six attempted house calls in a 13 day period combined with the actual visits went too far. The Guideline states that no more than one face to face house call should be made per month. 

The applicant was awarded $3,000 non-financial loss for this breach.