People with overdue court fines may find it harder to get loans under credit-checking changes from next year.
Courts Minister Georgina te Heuheu announced today that the Government had approved an initiative allowing information about overdue fines and reparation to be released to credit agencies such as banks and hire purchase providers.
More than 240,000 people owe fines and reparation. Under the new process, lending organisations will be able to to use that information to assess lending liability.
The initiative is a key part of a Government push to strengthen the credibility of fines and reparation as a sanction.
Mrs te Heuheu said the change would come into force on February 13, leaving people owing money plenty of time to make arrangements.
A number of other changes aimed at improving court payments also begin on February 13, including aligning district and high court collection processes, simplifying fine payment methods, and extending the court’s vehicle seizure powers to all property.