Relief available for quake-stricken residents

Wellington, Nov 15 NZPA - The Commerce Commission says quake-stricken Cantabrians struggling with debt can apply for financial relief because of unforeseen hardship.

Under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act, in certain circumstances debtors had the right to ask for a variation of their credit repayment obligations on the grounds of hardship, commission enforcement branch manager Graham Gill said today.

It could provide temporary financial relief to debtors struggling to make personal loan, mortgage, credit card or other credit repayments as a result of unforeseen events, such as reduced income through reduction or loss of employment.

It could also be used by people paying rent for temporary accommodation while still keeping up mortgage repayments on earthquake-damaged homes, made uninhabitable by September 4's magnitude 7.1 quake.

Mr Gill said debtors must be up-to-date with repayments at the time the application was made.

He said more information about hardship was available on the commission's website.

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