Direct Appliance Rentals (DAR) have put together the following Hardship Policy for our customers experiencing hardship.
National Consumer Credit Protection Act
This policy has been developed to ensure that DAR are complying with the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) (NCCP Act) and the National Credit Code being Schedule 1 of the NCCP Act (NCC), relevantly, sections 177B and 177C of the NCC. These sections govern the obligations of a financial service provider when a consumer requests change or assistance on the grounds of hardship.
ASIC administers the law concerning protections afforded to consumers who are in financial hardship.
Who can apply for hardship assistance?
Customers of DAR can apply for hardship assistance if they believe that they are unable to meet their financial obligations under their lease agreement with DAR.
There must be reasonable cause for the hardship that impacts on the consumer’s income or financial position in some way.
Examples of reasonable causes are:
- illness (which includes mental illness)
- family breakdown
- business failure
- caring for an ill relative; or
- funeral expenses
What is our obligation in respect of hardship?
DAR obligation under the NCCP Act is to consider hardship requests from its customers. DAR is not obligated to accept the hardship request and as will be explained further below, if DAR declines a hardship request, it will inform the customer of its decision and what rights the customer has.
As a general guide, if DAR approves the hardship request, DAR may provide a number of remedies such as;
(a) Postponing repayments during a specified period;
(b) Extending the term of the lease agreement and reducing the amount of each payment under the lease agreement accordingly;
(c) Extending the term of the lease agreement and postponing repayments during a specified period; or
(d) Agreeing to add arrears to the credit balance and extending the lease agreement term.
DAR commitment is that we will diligently assist customers with a request for hardship assistance in the gathering of information and making a decision efficiently.
How to apply for hardship assistance
To make a hardship claim, please fill in the Hardship Application Form, and we will be in contact with you within 5 business days to discuss your application.
To discuss your circumstance further prior to submitting a hardship application, you can contact us on 1300 339 415 (press 3).
How can we assist you under a hardship arrangement?
After assessing your hardship claim, along with any evidence we require to confirm your circumstances, we may be able to assist you by reviewing your payment terms with us. This may include any of the options stated above.
While we will do everything in our power to assist you, it’s important to remember that the hardship arrangement must be reasonable, achievable and doesn’t disadvantage either party.
It is also important to understand that DAR will rely on the information supplied by the customer to assess the application and therefore, the more information supplied and the more accurate the information supplied is, the easier it is for DAR to consider the application.
How do we assess your hardship application?
Step 1: Confirming the reason for your application
When we review your application, we will confirm that you are experiencing hardship which may be due to any of the reasonable causes outlined above. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and your personal circumstances may still qualify for hardship.
Step 2: We may ask for evidence of the reasons for the hardship claim
All documentary evidence we request is strictly for the purpose of validating the information you have provided to us as part of your hardship claim, and to assist us in determining what new arrangement will best suit you in your circumstances. We will keep the information we ask for to the minimum required.
If only a short-term arrangement is required, we may not request any evidence/minimal evidence and simply agree to an arrangement.
If a longer-term arrangement is required, we may request documentary evidence to assist with your application. This may include (but not limited to):
- Statement of financial position
- Evidence of loss of employment
- Bank statement
- Medical certificate
- Evidence of sudden unforeseen financial commitments
If DAR request additional information, you must, by law, provide that information. Failure to provide information will result in the application for hardship being denied.
Step 3: Assessing your application
We will assess your hardship application along with any requested evidence that you have provided to us. The following timeframes apply:
|IF…||Review and response by…|
|DAR does not require further information||21 days after receiving the hardship notice|
|DAR requests information and the customer provides the information||21 days after the date of receiving the information|
|DAR requests information and the customer does not provide that information||28 days after the date of the notice given by the credit provider requesting further information|
Step 4: If we accept your application for hardship assistance, we will discuss possible changes to the lease agreement with you
If we approve your application for hardship, we will discuss with you the options that we can offer in an endeavour to resolve the hardship. Towards this end, we will work with you to come to an arrangement that takes your personal circumstances into account.
The arrangement must be one that you are able to comply with, is workable and agreed to by both parties.
We will provide you with a Notice of Variation in writing within 30 days after the date of the agreement setting out the particulars of the change in terms under the lease agreement.
When deciding on the specifics of your hardship arrangement, we will consider factors such as if:
- the proposed repayments are affordable
- the arrangement is realistic for the customer for the entire term or any extended term
- is the new arrangement going to put the customer in a worse off financial position
If both parties are unable to come to an agreement for the particulars of the change, we will be unable to offer you a hardship agreement.
Step 5: If we have declined your application for hardship, you have the following recourse
DAR may decline your application for hardship consideration for a number of reasons including if we are of the view that reasonable cause does not exist or that despite the lease variation, it is unlikely that you will be able to meet your financial obligations under the lease agreement, or that your financial hardship may worsen.
If we have declined your application for change, we will notify you in writing of:
- our reasons for refusing the hardship application
- the contact details for our internal dispute resolution scheme (IDR)
- the contact details of AFCA
- your rights under AFCA
If we decline your hardship application for change, you can apply to AFCA for the requested change. If you are unsuccessful at AFCA, then you may apply to the court to change the terms of the lease.
Our contact information
You can contact us to discuss potential hardship issues or enquiries as follows:
Phone: 1300 339 415 (Press 3) (Mon – Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm AEST)
Fax: (03) 8256 0122
PO BOX 6223
St. Kilda Road Central