In June 2017, Charlie* arranged a $43,000 loan, and payment protection insurance for $3,700, to buy a Ford Ranger ute. Two years later, after Charlie was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was unable to work, the payment protection insurance payments for Charlie’s loan stopped, and he fell into arrears. Charlie’s car was repossessed by the lender. A representative complained on Charlie’s behalf and said Charlie’s hardship application had not been considered.
The Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 (CCCFA) sets out lender responsibilities for consumer protection. The case manager reviewed the correspondence and found Charlie’s hardship application had been reasonably considered. However, a couple of mistakes had been made, which displayed unfortunate conduct, particularly given Charlie’s vulnerability. The post-repossession notice for Charlie did not contain all the necessary information, as required by the CCCFA. On this basis, the lender agreed to waive the repossession costs and fees for Charlie.
The case manager also discovered the decision to stop Charlie’s payment protection insurance claim was made according to a different (wrong) version of the insurance policy to the version Charlie signed. The difference had a material impact on the length of time claim payments would be made. The insurer agreed to extend the insurance payments for 7 additional months, to the end date of the policy (June 2020), and the ute was returned to Charlie.
*Names have been changed.