Trade Commission legal battle with payday lender Ferratum delayed
Backlog of cases in Auckland High Court means the next hearing in the Commerce Commission’s lawsuit against online payday lender Ferratum New Zealand will not take place until June of next year .
The Commission said it was taking legal action against the company last year for alleged breaches of its responsibilities as a lender. But a backlog of cases in the Auckland High Court means the next hearing has been delayed until June 15, 2020.
“We expect the pre-trial processes to take some time and we are also at the mercy of the court’s availability for a three-week hearing,” a spokesperson for the Trade Commission said.
Commission alleges Ferratum failed to conduct reasonable investigations into borrowers’ requirements and goals, failed to exercise due diligence in advertising loans, and failed to assist borrowers in making informed decisions whether or not they should take out loans. He also alleges that this behavior, along with interest rates above 183%, is oppressive.
Ferratum did not respond to requests for comment. According to Ferratum’s website, clients can apply for a loan online between $ 100 and $ 1,000 with very fast approval times and repayment terms of up to 45 days. It is said:
“Borrow up to $ 1,000 from mouse click. Select the amount you want to borrow and go. Take life by the horns and complete an online application in minutes, 24/7. You can make a decision on your cash loan in minutes and, once approved, you will receive your money the same day! “
But a mouse click on the Terms and conditions included on the company’s website shows that if you miss a payment, you’ll be hit with default charges ranging from $ 20 to $ 70 and a credit default interest rate of 182.5%.
He indicates that the Ferratum group has been in New Zealand since 2005 and operates in 25 countries and is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland.
In a www.interest.co.nz article on payday lenders in April, a spokesperson for the trade commission said it continued to see too many lenders failing to adhere to responsible lending practices, leaving many borrowers in difficulty.
“The Commission is concerned about all irresponsible lending behavior, including on the part of payday lenders. We currently have other significant investigations underway involving high cost short term lenders (which include “payday lenders”), including violations of lender liability principles. The Commission is also currently heavily engaged in reforms to the Government’s Credit Contracts and Consumer Credit Law, as many of these reforms aim to curb unscrupulous lending behavior. “
He says it is important that all consumers know what to look for when getting a loan. The Commission says people need to know what it is going to cost them, if they can afford it, what repayments they will have to make and what interest rates or fees they will have to pay.
They will also need to know what will happen if they miss a repayment or if they cannot repay the loan and how long it will take them to repay the loan.