Unfair contract terms and the burden of knowledge…

On 28 May 2020, the first case on unfair contract terms for bank contracts was handed down by the Federal Court of Australia in Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited [2020] FCA 716 (ASIC v Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited). The court found certain clauses in the contract’s terms and […]

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ASIC’s guidance to mortgage brokers on their ‘best interests’ duty – time to act!

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has just released RG 273, which sets out its view on how mortgage brokers may comply with their ‘best interests’ obligations which commence in January 2021. The guidance follows the passing, on 6 February 2020, of the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Protecting Customers (2019 […]

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COVID-19 | Electronic signing and virtual meetings: New temporary relief for companies a significant step on a longer journey

In a significant development for companies, the Treasurer has utilised his new power to modify the Corporations Act 2001, the Corporations Regulations 2001, the Insolvency Practice rules, and the Passport Rules so that, for a period of six months effective from 6 May 2020: entities can hold virtual meetings without the need for a physical location; […]

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COVID-19 | Verification of identity – the need to go digital

All of the states (but not the territories) require mortgagees to undertake reasonable steps to verify the identities of mortgagors, commonly through a framework called the “Verification of Identity Standard” (VOI Standard) undertaken by specialised “Identity Agents” e.g. lawyers or other agents with professional indemnity insurance. Where they do not, and the mortgage instrument is […]

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Mortgagees and verifying mortgagors’ identities – a time of change

On 18 December 2019, the Australian Registrars National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC) released a consultation draft of version 6 of its Model Participation Rules. It pertains to Mortgagees’ “Verification of Identity” (VOI Draft) requirements when registering mortgage securities, which are separate to AML / CTF KYC requirements. The VOI Draft – which contains one very […]

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Mortgage Brokers – You could be up for $1.05M in fines from 1 July 2020

On 6 February 2020, the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Protecting Consumers (2019 Measures) Bill 2019 (Bill) passed in Parliament. The Bill gives effect to recommendations 4.7 and 4.2 of the Hayne Royal Commission by amending the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) (NCCP) and the National Consumer Credit Protection (Transitional […]

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Alignment with the National Mortgage Form

In the last 12 months there have been changes to the processes for each land registry across Australia (collectively referred to as the Land Registry) to accommodate e-settlements as we move towards an ‘alignment’ of forms and procedures across all jurisdictions. The process of aligning all jurisdictions to using a uniform set of forms and […]

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