BSB 806 015

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BSB 806 015

Frequently Asked Questions

Financial Hardship

Questions...

  • What happens if I get sick, have an accident or lose my job and I can't pay my loan?

    When you took out your loan or credit card with us, you would have been offered optional insurance to cover unforeseen events like accidents and unemployment. 

    Please call 13 25 77 or visit your local branch so we can check whether you have insurance on your loan.

    In the instance that you do not have the appropriate level of cover, please contact us to discuss your situation further.

    Further reading on Financial Hardship.

  • What can I do if I'm having financial difficulties?

    If you are having trouble meeting your loan repayments please call us on 13 25 77 and one of our friendly team will put you thought to the right person to help. 

    We’ll do our best to work with you and may be able to offer you Financial Hardship Assistance.

    Further reading on Financial Hardship

  • What type of Financial Hardship assistance is available?

    The type of assistance offered will be dependent on individual’s circumstances and what type of financial difficulty the individual is experiencing. Assistance may be offered in the form or combination of, but not limited to:

    • Postponed or deferred payments (moratorium)
    • Reduced repayments
    • Interest-only repayments
    • Capitalizing Arrears (adding arrears to balance of the loan)
    • Loan restructure
    • Fee waivers

    P&N Bank will assess each case on its merits and offer the type of assistance it feels most appropriate to the individuals situation.

  • Is Hardship Assistance covered by legislation?

    Yes. Further information about how banks and financial institutions must manage hardship and your rights can be found in:

    • The National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (NCCP Act) which includes the National Credit Code as a schedule to the Act
    • The Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice
    • The Australian Government’s hardship principles “A common approach for assisting borrowers facing financial hardship”

    Individuals that have concerns or are unsure about their legal rights should always seek independent legal advice.

  • Will collections and recovery action continue?

    Recovery action will be held whilst an application for hardship is being considered and will be suspended if the request for financial assistance is approved and the terms of your assistance are maintained.

  • What if I am not satisfied with P&N Bank's assessment or response?

    If you are not satisfied with the response or assistance provided by P&N Bank, you have the right to make a complaint to either P&N Bank or an external party.

    Mutual banks are required by the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice and the National Credit Code to have an internal dispute resolution procedure (IDR) and hold a membership to an external dispute resolution scheme, such as the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

    P&N Bank’s internal dispute resolution (IDR) department can be contacted on telephone 13 25 77 (between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am and 5pm on Saturday). Please ask for the Member Advocate or email [email protected]

    AFCA is an independent complaints scheme that is free to customers of financial institutions. Please note that it is important to attempt to resolve your dispute with P&N bank prior to contacting or lodging a dispute or complaint with AFCA.

    For more information visit afca.org.au or call 1800 931 678.

  • What are the types of Financial Difficulty?

    To distinguish between the different types of financial difficulty, advocates and the industry use three categories:

    1. Members who CAN pay at some stage and there is a definite time-frame in which their financial circumstance are expected to recover. Assistance in the form of simpler repayment arrangements or moratoriums may be suitable in these instances.
    2. Members that MAY be able to pay at some stage. Assistance in this area may need to be more flexible and tailored to individual circumstances.
    3. Members who CAN’T pay, in that they have no income or realizable assets. Resolution in this category will be more complex and hardship assistance may not be the appropriate strategy.
  • What does Financial Hardship or Financial Difficulty mean?

    Financial hardship or difficulty occurs when someone is faced with unexpected difficulties in meeting their financial (repayments) obligations. This can be due to a number of reasons including accident or serious illness, relationship breakdown, death of a family member, unexpected medical expenses, or a change in employment circumstances such as reduction in hours, redundancy or other involuntary unemployment.

  • How long do I have to wait to find out if I will be offered assistance?

    P&N Bank will, in general, acknowledge receipt of a hardship application or notification within 48 hours of receipt and then provide notification of the result of the assessment within 21 days. 

    Please be aware that if we request further information to support an assessment, we are entitled to a further 21 days to provide that response or 28 days from the initial application if the requested information is not provided.

  • Will financial hardship assistance affect my credit rating?

    Providing that you contact us as soon as possible, it is not likely that financial assistance will impact your credit rating. If you however default on that arrangement or otherwise contravene the terms of the assistance offered, we do reserve our rights to continue recovery action which may include notifying the relevant credit reporting agency.

  • What happens if P&N Bank decides not to provide hardship assistance?

    We will genuinely attempt to assist borrowers where possible unless a borrower does not provide a reasonable explanation of their hardship or adequately support their request, or we have a reasonable belief that the borrower could not meet their repayments in future even if the credit contract was changed.

    If we decide not to provide hardship assistance, we will advise in-writing why we made this decision.

    If we decline hardship assistance, we may help you consider other approaches, including:

    • potential early release of superannuation
    • providing other options, including time to sell a property or debt waiver
    • discussing other relevant support measures that might be available (including government programs, such as mortgage assistance schemes) or
    • seeking other assistance (including from a professional financial counsellor, financial adviser, legal aid officer or legal practitioner)

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