As previously advised, The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has released an exposure draft of a Bill amending the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003. While the draft Bill has been referred to as tightening the requirements for loan sharks, it applies to all consumer credit contracts and will therefore affect a much wider range of lenders. Submissions on the draft are due on 11 May 2012.

Key aspects of the draft Bill are summarised in our earlier update, available here. Among other things, the draft creates new "responsible lending" principles (non-compliance with which may be an indication of an oppressive credit contract); posits new, and distinct, tests of "unreasonableness" in relation to credit fees and default fees; requires disclosure of loan terms up-front and increases the cooling-off period; and requires lenders to make their standard terms and conditions and cost of borrowing (including credit fees, default fees and interest) information available at their premises and on their website (if they have one).

Remember that you can have a say by presenting a full submission or by making a "quick submission" using the form available on the Ministry of Consumer Affairs' website. Details are available in our earlier update.