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FCA Welcomes Consultation on Consumer Leases

26th February 2014 - Financial Counselling Australia has welcomed today’s announcement by the Assistant Treasurer, Senator Sinodinos about options to address problems with short-term leases of less than four months and indefinite leases with no fixed end date. Currently these leases are not regulated by the national credit laws. As…

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Advocates object to new fee for entering bankruptcy

12th February 2014 -  A coalition of consumer advocates and financial counselling agencies has expressed dismay at a plan to charge Australians filing for bankruptcy. The Australian Financial Security Authority (ASFA) has proposed to impose a new fee of $120 from 1 April 2014. Financial Counselling Australia, Consumer Action Law Centre,…

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Pre-Budget Submission Calls for Ongoing Funding for Financial Counselling

3rd February 2014 - Financial Counselling Australia’s pre-budget submission calls for the ongoing funding of Commonwealth-funded financial counselling services. The Federal Government currently invests around $20 million per annum into financial counselling services. All of this funding expires at 30th June 2014. The financial counselling sector is uncertain about the…

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FCA Releases Funding Snapshot of the Sector

29th January 2014 -  Financial Counselling Australia has today released a “Funding Snapshot”, documenting total funding for financial counselling from State, Territory and the Federal Governments. The document is in “draft” form. It was very difficult to obtain accurate figures about funding levels. Publicly available data is often hard to…

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FCA Releases 2012-13 Annual Report

28th January 2014 - Financial Counselling Australia has today released its 2012-13 Annual Report. “It was a big year for FCA with significant milestones”, said FCA’s Executive Director Fiona Guthrie. “We all like to think we’re making a difference, but in writing this annual report we’ve tried to step back…

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Avoid a financial hangover this Christmas

18th December 2013 - Financial Counselling Australia: Avoid a financial hangover this Christmas. The real price of an expensive Christmas gift can be financial stress, says Financial Counselling Australia. Technology transcends income levels and with iPads, play stations, electronic games and other technology-driven items at the top of many Christmas “wish…

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Financial Ombudsman Service Provides Access to Justice

23rd October 2013 - The release of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) annual report today highlights just how important this service is for consumers.  Over 30,000 people accessed the free and independent dispute resolution services of FOS during 2012-13. “When it comes to access to justice, the existence of external dispute…

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Anti-Poverty Week: Five Poverty Traps

13th October 2013 - To mark Anti-Poverty Week, Financial Counselling Australia has highlighted five for-profit business models that target people struggling with debts  – but instead of solving financial difficulty, can actually increase it. These businesses – budgeting services, credit repair companies, debt negotiators, bankruptcy services and debt agreement administrators –…

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