WHAT TO DO
If you receive a default notice, act immediately.
Pay the arrears within 30 days if you can.
If you can’t, contact the credit provider and ask to speak to a ‘hardship officer’ or to ‘customer service’ (see 'At the end of your tether' for more information).
If the lender won’t agree to a repayment arrangement, lodge a dispute in writing to the lender’s External Dispute Resolution Scheme (All lenders must be a member of an EDR scheme.) EDR is free and will stop all legal action, including repossession, until the EDR Scheme has considered your dispute.
HAVE YOU RECEIVED A SUMMONS, A STATEMENT OF CLAIM OR A LIQUIDATED CLAIM?
If you’re being taken to court, don’t ignore it or judgment may be entered against you in your absence.
Seek legal advice immediately. If you can’t afford a solicitor, get free legal advice.
BEWARE THE EQUITY STRIPPERS
A small but dangerous minority of finance businesses has been found to churn clients from one loan to another, often exaggerating the threat of repossession.
Each time, large fees (sometimes tens of thousands of dollars) reduce the owners’ equity in the home, leaving them worse off and ultimately more likely to lose their home.
If you are contemplating refinancing, read this first.