Last updated 14 January 2019

Money restriction on repossession

Repossession cannot take place without a court order if less than 25% of the initial debt or $10 000 (whichever is the lesser) remains owing. For example, if the original debt was $10 000 and the borrower now only owes $1500, the credit provider would need to obtain a court order before it could repossess the goods. If more than $2500 was owing of that debt, the lender can move to repossess the goods 30 days after delivery of the default notice.

Goods to be seized

Lenders or their agents cannot enter residential premises (a person’s home) without a court order or written consent of the occupier of the property. This means that repossession cannot take place from a person’s home without this consent or a court order even if the lender has served the notice.

What happens after repossession?

The lender must give a notice within 14 days of repossession detailing the amount outstanding. The goods can be sold after 21 days from the date of this notice. The borrower can recover the goods if they pay the lender’s reasonable enforcement expenses and the arrears.

If the borrower does not retrieve the goods, the goods must then be sold as soon as reasonably practicable and for the best price obtainable. The borrower will be responsible for any shortfall in the amount payable.

If a lender or agent does not repossess in compliance with the National Credit Code, the borrower can apply for a court order for the return of the goods (s 108) and for compensation (s 106).