Consumer Credit Legal Service (WA) Inc. is a statewide service providing free legal advice and/or representation in the areas of banking, finance, credit; and consumer goods and services. The organisation provides free assistance through the telephone advice line (08 9221 7066), casework and community legal education.
On 17 February 2016 CCLSWA will officially launch our updated website at an invitation-only event, at Parliament House. This launch culminates many months of hard work. As always, we aim to promote financial literacy and empower consumers and advocates alike. Our updated website is a significant step towards that goal.
Our updated website enables visitors to browse selectively based on their needs. One exciting new feature is our automated letters. These automated letters make it more convenient for consumers and their consumer advocates to write to the other parties concerning their debt issues. We plan to keep our website content fresh and relevant with helpful information, articles, newsletters and case studies.
Our solicitor Curtis Ward is currently on secondment at Cleveland & Co Lawyers, a boutique private practice in Joondalup. The firm works closely with the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre and Legal Aid (WA) to provide legal services in family, criminal and children's matters. Curtis is revelling in the opportunities of attending court and is learning about court processes and procedure. Curtis will bring his new knowledge and experiences to CCLSWA when he resumes in February 2016.
Department of Commerce Consultation:
The motor vehicle industry
CCLSWA recently provided a submission to the Department of Commerce for the Department's review of laws that regulate motor vehicle dealers and repairers in Western Australia.
Our submission focuses on a better means for redress for consumers. We highlight the dire need for a mandatory cooling-off period for motor vehicle purchase contracts. We draw upon our practice experience when we say that the ordinary consumer will benefit from a cooling-off period. Many clients ring us to lament that they succumb to dealers' high pressure sales tactics and sign up for car contracts without really knowing what they sign up for. Often, they sign up for more debt and more extras for the cars, than they intended. Read the full submission here.
Jaffar speaks and reads very limited English. He goes to a car dealership to buy a car. As Jaffar does not understand the language, process or documents, he puts his trust on the salesperson to do the right thing. The next day the dealer rings Jaffar and tells him finance for the car will cost $62 000, being $40 000 principal and $22 000 interest. He asks Jaffar to turn up to sign the contract.
Jaffar thinks $62 000 is too much for him to afford. He tells the dealer that he does not wish to go through with the contract. The dealer refuses to accept Jaffar''s reasons and continues to harass Jaffar for two weeks. Finally, Jaffar feels pressured into signing the finance contract.
Jaffar discovers the car costs $62 000 but the loan will actually cost him $91 000. He cannot afford the repayment amounts.
On Jaffar's behalf, CCLSWA pursues the finance provider and eventually negotiates a happy outcome for Jaffar: He keeps the car but makes reduced repayments.
Recently CCLSWA successfully negotiated for a client to help her recover funds after a mistaken internet bank transfer.
"I would like to thank all the staff who assisted me with the help of recovering money, which without your help, I am sure I would still have no result. I had tried myself to resolve this matter for six months to no avail. Throughout my time in speaking to the staff, I received sympathy and assurance that they would do their utmost to help me. The end result being that nearly nine months to the date of my error, they were able to take over all the legal paperwork, with a great result. I finally got my money back.
It was great to know that there are people such as yourselves to achieve this result, as without your help, I was at my wits' end. Once again, a job well done, with compassionate and friendly people.