Managing Solicitor Gemma Mitchell & Office Manager Allison Sampson were delighted to attend the 2018 WACOSS New Year sector breakfast at Mount Eliza house in Kings Park. On a beautiful Perth morning in the company of the Community Services Sector, the Honourable Minister Simone McGurk MLA spoke about how the sector needed to work collaboratively and explore new approaches, while building on its strengths.
She said 'Shaping our future happens TOGETHER’. She urged the attendees to share in a collective commitment to building a better place for everyone across the Western Australian community. The theme of collaboration in Simone’s speech was echoed by the President of WACOSS Debra Zanella and Deputy CEO of WACOSS Dr Jennie Gray.
This month we also welcomed Sara Pearson to the team at CCLSWA. Sara spent four years working at commercial law firms in Perth. Sara is committed to reducing inequality through access to justice and is a welcome addition to the team.
This month we are focusing on Hardship Variations, this is a very useful process to follow if anyone is having short term financial difficulties.
Financial hardship is a situation in which a person may be unable to pay their bills, for example being unable to make repayments on their home or car loan. This is often due to circumstances that are beyond their control, such as illness, unemployment or injury. Financial hardship can happen to anyone, often at very short notice and can put people in a very unpleasant situation. Some of the most common ways we see this situation arise is through divorce or separation from a partner, becoming ill and unable to work, or taking time off work to care for a sick family member. This may result in a reduced income, or no income at all. People can then apply for what is called a Hardship Variation. A Hardship Variation is a way to change the terms and conditions of a loan contract for a set period of time, until their situation improves.
The law encourages banks and credit providers to be flexible and to try and work out manageable arrangements, that meet the needs of the person applying for the hardship variation. If someone finds him or herself in a position of financial hardship, they can make an application for a hardship variation to their bank or credit provider. In this application, people can explain what has caused their hardship, what changes they would like made to their loan contract and how they believe their financial situation will improve in the future. It is important that people outline how their situation may improve in the future as credit providers may not approve an application if future difficulties are inevitable. If you would like further information or are experiencing financial hardship, you can contact CCLSWA for advice on 9221 7066. Or look at the Hardship Variation factsheet on the CCLSWA website.
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.