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Thursday 24 January 2013

13-008MR Former mortgage broker convicted

A former NSW-based mortgage broker was today convicted of 10 offences under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act).

In September 2012 Daniel Nguyen, of Panania, pleaded guilty to 10 offences including providing false information and documents to banks to secure approvals for home loans totalling more than $3 million over a five month period (refer: 12-237MR).

The loans Mr Nguyen was involved in attempting to secure ranged from $112,000 to $536,900.00, with the average being approximately $350,000. Only one loan of $532,000 was approved.

In convicting Mr Nguyen on the offences, the Sydney District Court imposed a 2-year good behaviour bond on Mr Nguyen. In making the order, the court, among other things, took into consideration Mr Nguyen’s level of cooperation with ASIC’s investigation, his good character and history and his remorse for acting dishonestly in this case.

The conviction of Mr Nguyen is the first under new national consumer credit protection legislation.

ASIC Commissioner Peter Kell said brokers must familiarise themselves with their obligations under the National Credit Act.

‘They should know the law, read our guidance and seek additional or external advice if they feel they need it,’ Mr Kell said.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions prosecuted the matter.

Background

The National Credit Act requires credit licensees to meet responsible lending conduct obligations.

The key responsible lending obligation is that credit licensees must not suggest, assist with or provide a credit product that is unsuitable for a consumer. Before a credit licensee suggests, assists with, or provides a new credit contract or lease to a consumer, the credit licensee must:

  • make reasonable inquiries of the consumer about their requirements and objectives in relation to the credit contract

  • take reasonable steps to verify the consumer’s financial situation

  • based upon these inquiries, assess whether the credit product is unsuitable for the consumer and only proceed if the credit product is not unsuitable, and

  • give the consumer a copy of the assessment if requested.

A contract will be unsuitable if the consumer would be unable to repay it without substantial hardship or it will not meet the consumer’s requirements or objectives. The requirements also apply where the credit limit on an existing contract is being increased.

Last updated: 24/01/2013 12:00