The Credit and Debt Hotline operated by the Consumer Credit Legal Centre is the NSW answer point for the national 1800 007 007 number for accessing financial counselling. The line is staffed by financial counsellors and solicitors. Callers are given information and advice to assist with resolving their financial difficulties and disputes over the phone. Where appropriate we will also provide referrals to face-to-face financial counselling services, free dispute resolution schemes for financial services and many other community and government services. In some cases we encourage callers to stay in contact with us as they take each step in resolving their problem or dispute. In a very small number of cases callers may qualify for case work assistance.
Financial Counselling assistance is only available to clients who:
- Cannot access face-to-face financial counselling services in their local area; or
- Are also receiving legal assistance from Consumer Credit Legal Centre (NSW); or
- Are dealing with problems that are relevant to a current issue of relevance to the research, policy and law reform work of Consumer Credit Legal Centre (NSW);
Financial counselling casework assistance may consist of any or all of the following depending on the circumstances of the client:
- Assessing the client’s financial situation
- Negotiating with creditors
- Pursuing insurance claims
- Developing a money plan
- Advising about rights, including eligibility for payments and other assistance
- Advising clients about their options in relation to debt collection, legal debt recovery action and bankruptcy
- Assisting clients to dispute the actions of a credit or financial service provider in an external dispute resolution scheme.
- Assisting the client to make strategic decisions about managing their finances