Commission files proceedings against Real Finance over unreasonable fees
Published28 Jun 2019
The Commerce Commission has filed civil proceedings in the High Court at Wellington against finance company Real Finance Limited.
The Commission alleges that from 1 April 2013 until 26 June 2019 Real Finance has breached the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act 2003 (CCCFA) by charging borrowers unreasonable establishment, monthly administration, and default fees on personal loans.
The CCCFA prohibits lenders from charging consumers unreasonable credit and default fees, and the Commission is seeking a declaration that the company has breached the Act, as well as orders to compensate affected borrowers.
As the matter is before the Court, the Commission will make no further comment at this time.
Real Finance Limited is a Wellington based lending company established in 2008 (previously known as Real Finance Group Limited). Operating from branches in Wellington and Christchurch as well as online, the company provides short term as well as long term consumer loans up to 36 months in duration.
In May 2016 the Supreme Court ruled that fees under consumer credit contracts cannot be used to generate profits or to recover business costs that are not closely connected to the matter giving rise to the fee. Lenders must recover their profit and any costs not allowed by the fees provisions from interest charges or charges for optional services.