Credit Reporting Code Variation Consultation

The Australian Retail Credit Association (ARCA) is consulting on variations to the Privacy (Credit Reporting) Code 2014 (Version 2.3) (CR Code) in response to the proposals contained in the Final Report of the 2021 Independent Review of the CR Code. Background.

The proposed variations include:

  • a varied definition of ‘maximum amount of credit’ for revolving credit contracts that ensures the previous non-zero limit of a closed revolving contract where the maximum amount of credit available was only set to zero as part of the closure process.
  • a specific definition of ‘maximum amount of credit’ for a reverse mortgage.
  • a requirement for Credit Providers to provide their customers with additional information before they can rely on the notification mechanism currently set out in the CR Code. For these purposes, ARCA will prepare a short statement which advises consumers about a small number of key matters, including that their consent is not generally required in order for their information to be disclosed to a Credit Reporting Body. CPs would need to provide a copy of this statement to consumers in hard copy or electronic form.
  • variations which specify how CRBs should determine whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that an individual has, or may be, the victim of identity theft or fraud.
  • variations to require CRBs and CPs to consider, when deciding what evidence to ask for to form a view on a correction request relating to unsuccessful enquiries, the burden on the individual and the existence of other evidence.
  • variations to include domestic abuse as an example of a circumstance beyond the individual’s control for the purposes of corrections of credit information and allow this type of correction request to be made to CPs as well as CRBs; and include default information, Repayment History Information and Financial Hardship Information as categories of information that can be corrected.
  • a variation to the definition of ‘capacity information’ to include information about whether an individual is acting as a trustee.

ARCA is not consulting on amendments to require:
• CRBs to remove statute barred debts from individuals’ credit reports where it is reasonable for them to have been aware of the statute of limitations
• CPs to take reasonable steps to inform CRBs when a debt has or will become statute barred
when disclosing default information, CPs to provide CRBs with the date that the debt became overdue.

ARCA considers that amendments to the Privacy Act are needed to address the issues.

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David Jacobson

Author: David Jacobson
Principal, Bright Corporate Law
About David Jacobson
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. It is not to be relied upon as a full statement of the law. You should seek professional advice for your specific needs and circumstances before acting or relying on any of the content.

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