Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > Budget 2013: How NOT to deal with Student loan defaulters

Budget 2013: How NOT to deal with Student loan defaulters

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barbed_wire_fence_by_archaeopteryx_stocks1

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1. Prelude

In my parent’s home nation in Eastern Europe, during the era of the Soviet Bloc, the citizens of Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovalia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, and Albania were denied the right to travel freely to the West. (Mainly because 90% would not have returned.)

Travel outside of the Eastern bloc was severely curtailed. Those trying to cross borders to the West, without appropriate documentation, if caught, faced lengthy prison sentences.

Such was life under authoritarian regimes that used extreme measures to control their citizens.

In 1989, those regimes fell, and freedom returned to Eastern Europe. People were permitted to travel freely without fear of hindrance or arrest.

2. Welcome to the People’s Republic of New Zealand, Inc.

In 2013, New Zealand’s National government announced plans to adopt similar extreme measures. Powers of hindrance and arrest are to be issued to our Border security. Travel will be curtailed for a few.

During Bill English’s Budget speech today (16 May), the Finance Minister made one of the most extraordinary revelations that I have ever heard from a New Zealand politician;

Introducing the ability to arrest non-compliant borrowers who are about to leave New Zealand

Making it a criminal offence to knowingly default on an overseas-based repayment obligation will allow Inland Revenue to request an arrest warrant to prevent the most non-compliant borrowers from leaving New Zealand. Similar provisions already exist under the Child Support Act. This will be included in a bill later this year.

Acknowledgment:  IRD – Budget 2013 announcements

It is extraordinary because a loan defaulter is not a matter under the Crimes Act. It is what is known as a Civil matter.

If, for example, you, the reader, default on your mortgage, rent, or hire purchase, the Lender does not involve the Police. Instead, they apply to the Courts for a remedy.

The Tenancy Tribunal and Small Claims Court are examples where litigants can take their cases before a Court, and make their claims. Police are not involved. In the Tenancy Tribunal, there aren’t even any lawyers (generally).

For National to intend issuing arrest warrants, for student loan defaulters, takes the matter of a civil contract into the realm of the Crimes Act.

One wonder if  banks, finance companies,  and landlords will eventually apply for similar powers?

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"Open up please, Mrs Jones. Your rent is two weeks in arrears!"

“Open up please, Mrs Jones. Your rent is two weeks in arrears!”

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The worst aspect – indeed, the dumbest aspect – of this new measure is that it appears no one in  National has thought through the consequences of such a harsh,  autocratic policy.

This law – if enacted – will not stop people leaving New Zealand. It will stop people returning to New Zealand.

Because the law involves ex-students with loans  who have moved overseas; who have defaulted on their loan repayments whilst overseas; return to New Zealand (perhaps for a funeral, holiday, or visit family) – and only then are arrested at an airport as they try to board a plane to fly out of the country again.

Under such circumstances; what loan-defaulting New Zealander will bother coming back to this country? Ever?

Well done, National. You have just provided a further reason (if any was really required) for expat Kiwis to remain – expat. In terms of economic policy, this wasn’t an exercise in rationality – it was an exile in perpetuity.

The message that Key and English have sent to every New Zealander, who owes money to the State, is: don’t come home. The police will  be waiting.

So not only have we lost any chance that ex-pat loan defaulters might one day return and pay back their debt – but we’ve lost their expertise and any fortune they might bring back with them.

The sheer lunacy of such an ill-conconceived policy beggars belief.

But then again, maybe not. This was the government that was so cash-strapped last year, that they raided the meagre earnings of paper boys and girls;

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'Paper boy tax' on small earnings stuns Labour

Acknowledgment: NZ Herald – Budget 2012: ‘Paper boy tax’ on small earnings stuns Labour

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This is a mean, desperate government we have, folks.

Make no mistake, they will do whatever it takes to get back into some form of  surplus by new year’s election. Because if they don’t – they are dog tucker  for sure.

Which is why I’m not holding my breath for Bill English’s “Big Announcement” in two weeks regarding the problem of hungry kids, and initiating a food-in-schools programme. Expect a massive disappointment on this matter.

Meanwhile, our Border Security will no longer be focused on searching for contraband, dangerous goods, or potential weapons being carried onboard airport. They will now be Border Guards tasked with keeping New Zealanders from travelling. Or escaping any other way…

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Our New Border Guards in New Zealand

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One wonders who will  next  be barred from travelling to and from New Zealand?

Consider also,  when we take this insane proposal and place it alongside  other laws, and proposed law-changes,

  •  the so-called Terrorism Suppression Act,
  • the Search and Surveillance Act,
  • the Crown Minerals Amendment Act which suppresses protest at sea and threatens protesters with large fines and terms of imprisonment,
  • the IRD sharing sensitive information with other government departments,
  • illegal spying by the GCSB – with no legal consequences for those in authority,
  • and instead,  extension of the surveillance powers of that same GCSB,

– we can see that our country has taken a path that we hoped, and feared, would never happen to us.

Well, it has happened and it is happening.

We are slowly but surely drifting ever closer to a police state.

3. An Open Letter to Labour, The Greens, Mana, and New Zealand First

As a citizen of this country, it is my deepest, sincerest hope that an incoming Labour-Green-Mana(-New Zealand First?)
coalition government will, upon taking office, make an urgent review of the spying powers of our “intelligence community”.

I submit that we have drifted from an open, free society, to one that is highly surveilled; copious data files kept on us;  and where police and  intelligence groups are straying far beyond their lawful mandates.

I also submit the following,

  1. We do not need the so-called “Terrorism Suppression Act” or “Search and Surveillance Act”.  The Police, with their normal powers, are quite adequate to deal with crimes.   They serve no useful purpose and instead give powers to the State which serve only as a prelude to even more Orwellian laws. It is time to take  several, big, steps back. These laws should be repealed forthwith.
  2. The Crown Minerals Amendment Act must be repealed forthwith. It is draconian legislation which serves the interests of corporations and threatens the right of New Zealand citizens to protest activity that is counter to the welfare of our nation and environment. This is a brazen attack of democracy and would be perfectly at home in a Third World dictatorship.
  3. Do not permit the IRD to share information with other government departments. There is no need to create a vast monolithic State apparatus that collects information on us and in the process, invades our privacy.  Allowing the IRD to share information with, say, the Police, will simply serve to drive certain activities further underground.
  4. Any extension of the GCSB’s surveillance powers should be undone and returned to it’s original purpose. (Or even get rid of it altogether. Precisely why are we spying for the Americans anyway?)
  5. We desperately need a more effective, well-resourced, oversight mechanism for the SIS, GCSB, and Police. Our Australian neighbours are more serious in the way they over-see their spy agencies and we need to look to them for guidance. If there is one thing that the current Prime Minister has illustrated with crystal clarity – we can no longer trust one person to hold the responsibility for these agencies. At some time in the future, we could have a worse Prime Minister, with even more incompetant or nefarious intent. We must prepare for that day.

Some might say, “if you have nothing to fear, you won’t mind being watched by the State”. If true, my fellow New Zealanders, we might as well put cameras into every home and workplace in the country. After all, if we have nothing to fear…

I would turn it around and say, “if the State has no cause to believe we are about to rob a bank or sell heroin to schoolkids, then it won’t mind keeping out of our private lives”.

Previous governments (including this current one) have gradually extended the power and surveillance capabilities of the State.

It is time to wind back that Orwellian clock and re-set the values which we used to hold for personal privacy, and allow State intrusion only for real (not imagined) criminal activities.

We don’t need to be monitored. We don’t need files kept on us all.

We are not a nation of 4.4 million criminals.

You don’t need to fear us.

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No more anarchy

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= fs =

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  1. 17 May 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Great blog, Frank! Thank goodness i don’t have a student loan. Can you imagine it? The goverment won’t fund my life saving medication, so have to fly out of the country to save my own life, and then they arrest me on my way back in! Fabulous!! I detest this government!

  2. 18 May 2013 at 12:39 am

    The fascists are coming out of the woodwork. I heard a guy on ZBTalkback this afternoon suggesting that any information about people defaulting on their student loans should be linked automatically to passports, so that the people can not use them to travel ANYWHERE and they become “non people”, no matter where in the world they are, not just to catch them as they come back to or try to leave NZ.
    I am horrified by how bloody stupid so many people are, and how willing they are to submit themselves this sort of law. They parrot “if you don’t break the law you’ve got nothing to fear” and don’t realise this is EXACTLY the rationale that the Nazis used. It’s just incredible, and terrifying at the same time.
    I’m disabled and although most of these “good citizens” would not accept that their attitudes form a threat to people like me, I have NEVER forgotten hearing that some people (good upstanding citizens & National voters all) in our small rural community expressed the opinion that I shouldn’t be allowed to breed (their words) when they found out I was pregnant. And I only have rheumatoid arthritis, not a genetic disability. I look at locals now (20 years later) having raised an intelligent, hard working, relatively clean living son, and I still wonder “Were you one of those hateful people?”.
    The ghosts of all those Jews, gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, cripples, intellectually handicapped and otherwise “imperfect” human beings get in my head. It was appallingly easy for Hitler to impose his madness in 1930s Europe. Imagine how much easier it would be for the corporate fascists who seem to be getting the upper hand in NZ to do the same these days.

  3. 18 May 2013 at 9:06 am

    Welcome to the police state, slowly, slowly, law by law, bit by bit until we wake up one day to a Urewera experience being the norm. My whole adult life has been one of protest, dissent against one government edict or another…..even as a child my mother would never stand for the Queen and her anthem at either the beginning or end of a film in those early days, dragging me down with her as she sat firmly in her seat, ready for a verbal punch up if anyone objected 🙂 Start ’em young eh 🙂
    It is going to take vast numbers going out on a protest march or other forms of dissentif we are going to sabotage these laws. Time to write to the opposition parties, they sure as hell need some policies that will help them return to the treasury benches. The trouble is the MSM are ignoring some good ones that are starting to emerge from the Greens and Labour. Tired of turning on the TV only to have Key in our faces….the one man band government.
    Great post Frank and a timely reminder we can’t let them get away with these laws.

    • 18 May 2013 at 11:03 am

      We need a mass party, one that communicates directly with the people. One that bypasses the MSM and lets people know that they’re heard and that their decisions are being acted upon.

  4. 18 May 2013 at 9:27 am

    Wise words from all three of you…

  5. 18 May 2013 at 10:59 am

    One wonder if banks, finance companies, and landlords will eventually apply for similar powers?

    I’m sure that you’ll find that they’re upset that defaulting on a loan isn’t a crime already.

    that it appears no one in National has thought through the consequences of such a harsh, autocratic policy.
    It will stop people returning to New Zealand.

    And thus help keep unemployment down? Yep, I’d say that they’ve thought of it.

    …we can see that our country has taken a path that we hoped, and feared, would never happen to us.

    That’s what happens when government thinks it rules us and thinks of us as their and their rich mates serfs.

    Do not permit the IRD to share information with other government departments. There is no need to create a vast monolithic State apparatus that collects information on us and in the process, invades our privacy.

    Actually, there is. The loss of $1b to $6b dollars in tax fraud by a few selfish arseholes. Laws shouldn’t be about hurting the many but restricting the actions of the few who think that rules don’t apply to them. Of course, such sharing would have to be under strict control and warrants.

    And why is it that everyone complains about the government having this information and not the private businesses? It is, after all, the private businesses that are the real threat as the LIBOR scandal and other price fixing shows.

    Sure, we need to work to ensure that government is our servant rather than our master but that has always been the case. This government is proving that yet again by acting in its authoritarian and dictatorial ways.

    I would turn it around and say, “if the State has no cause to believe we are about to rob a bank or sell heroin to schoolkids, then it won’t mind keeping out of our private lives”.

    They shouldn’t be in our private lives but they do need to watch how actions affect others. We don’t have the right, despite what the Libertarians and National seem to think, to affect others without their permission and we do need to be able to identify the free-loaders such as those rich pricks that are avoiding paying the taxes that they should be.

    If you take away the governments ability to watch then those free-loading rich pricks won’t get caught.

    It is time to wind back that Orwellian clock and re-set the values which we used to hold for personal privacy, and allow State intrusion only for real (not imagined) criminal activities.

    Yep, eight centuries of government of the rich, for the rich pretty much demands that.

  6. Jo
    19 May 2013 at 3:34 pm

    OK I borrowed money and crazy me paid it back, It’s the government paying these (interest free) loans I see no problem with enforcing reoayments with consequences for thise that default. It already applies to fine defaulters.

    • 20 May 2013 at 10:38 am

      Jo, what do you think of politicians such as John Key, Steven Joyce, Peter Dunne, Judith Collins, Bill English, Nick Smith, et al, who all gained a free, tax-payer funded education, and paid nothing toward their education?

    • Wendy
      11 July 2013 at 3:37 pm

      Jo, it sounds like you probably had quite a small loan? Many people, like myself, weren’t so lucky. I have never had an interest free period as I was overseas when that was bought in and even now that I’ve paid back sum I initially borrowed (plus $10K more), I still owe $70K – which is what I have been charged in interest. My loan was large because my courses were expensive (medical sciences) and I wasn’t eligible for allowance so had to borrow living costs. I have always made my overseas repayments on time, but I have to double it to cover the interest so my loan doesn’t grow exponentially. I don’t earn much and I my NZ student loan is crippling – I really regret signing up for one! If I move back to NZ I will earn even less and will be worse off. For those NZ’ers overseas who lose their jobs, or stop working to have a family, making the repayments can be impossible. The only option for them would be to never visit NZ again.

  7. Priss
    19 May 2013 at 6:00 pm

    In the meantime Jo, our bestest and brightest stay overseas and never come home again. Tell us, please, how that benefits us an a country and economy? Because I haven’t a clue how your simple world-view benefits us at all.

    You might as well put up a big sign, KEEP OUT!.

    It’s what’s called economic refugees.

    In the meantime we lose our most productive people and the taxes they’d pay and the social services we all expect. That’s the consequences of your “lock’em up” mentality.

  8. alex
    9 June 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Well I am a defaulter….and I’m not proud of it, or the fact I had to sell everything and leave NZ in a search for a job (since NZ had very little when i graduated). So now I’m a criminal?…..so does that make the government one too…because they increased course fees year on year when i was at uni, to the point where we all had to get loans…..there was no choice in the matter…..so does that make the government complicit in loan-sharking or extortion….
    I suppose one day i’ll have to come home for a wedding, funeral etc, only to be welcomed by a pair of hand-cuffs……cheers New Zealand…

  9. 15 August 2013 at 12:44 am

    They can’t enforce it…it’s a human rights issue. Defaulting on a loan is not a criminal offence. there’s too many overseas defaulters, wouldn’t it be great if we all got together and arranged a trip to NZ en masse…50,000 or so strong, arrest us we ain’t paying…that would be beautiful…the prison system would collapse. On a serious note, the loan system of the early 90s was a scam designed to generate TAX revenue, it failed and this is the fallout of that failure.

  10. Cheezels
    26 September 2013 at 4:14 am

    I took in total around $7000 during my studies at a time where the interest while you were still studying was around 11% ish. Fast forward 5 years when I finished and started working (as a teacher so not a lot of money) and I diligently paid a % of my monthly pay towards it. I got it down to around $15 000 before I headed off to the UK (that was after 3 years of payments).
    Stupidly I was married and we decided to pay off my husbands loan completely with my/our savings, then planning on paying mine off together on our return.
    Well we were divorced not even a year later- who is the stupid one now? I paid off someone elses loan!!! I think I made one more overseas payment and then stopped. I just could not afford it.
    My last payment was in 2001. I don’t have my IRD number anymore so I can’t even check what horrendous amount it is now.
    What I do know is that I have paid off the $7000 and more, the rest is now interest and penalties.Which spanning over 10 years must be a heck of a lot.

    What really pisses me off was that they bought in interest free loans for students while you were studying just when I had finished. I am one student from the first generation of “loaners” that got pissed on by the government. Don’t they realise that we wanted to pay and were paying? Now I can never return to NZ.

    Anyone know if you are a citizen of another country and you enter the country on that passport whether they have the info to sting you? My other passport is for a country that does not require a visa for NZ.

    So fuck you NZ government. I have paid so much already and then some. You are not getting one more cent out of me.

    • Bob
      26 October 2013 at 12:55 am

      I’m in exactly the same boat as you. I had to take out student loans to pay my rent and food bills as well as my course fees (even though I was also working when I could). The money I got for living expenses was the same amount that a number of my better off uni friends got in benefits – that they will never have to pay back. I was the first year of students that had to take out loans and I feel like every change they have made to the system since then has just screwed me over more. If I were to do it again I wouldn’t even go to university – I’d just learn on the job.

      All the time I was at university I was paying interest on the loan I was still clocking up and then went overseas to earn some money. I tried to start paying it back about 10 years ago and gave up after a couple of payments when the loan just kept going up even though I was paying everything I could afford.

      10 years later I’m finally in a position to start paying it back but with interest and penalty fees it’s at the point where it’s too frightening to even consider contacting Inland Revenue. I’d rather just pretend it doesn’t exist in case they decide to try and bankrupt me or something when I contact them.

      Instead of threatening to arrest me if I ever go back to NZ they should dump the interest (which people in NZ don’t pay anyway – how is it fair I should?) and reset whatever I owe to the amount borrowed plus inflation. I’d be more than happy to pay that back as it’s completely fair. If they want to wreck the economy by forcing their young to pay for an education that benefits the entire country then fine, but make them pay plus inflation – don’t try and make a profit from them. And yes – before anyone says it, obviously my education is not currently benefiting NZ but then you’ll have a large number of British educated citizens that got their education free in the UK so it all balances out.

      As it stands I’ll just never visit New Zealand again so instead of getting all the money I’d bring back into the economy on a holiday and potentially having me stay and work (I normally get offered jobs when I come back) they get nothing.

      Amusingly the most vociferous of my uni friends when it came to discussion of paying back the student loan was the one who had all his fees paid by his parents, as well as all his living costs. He then spent the student benefit he got (parents owned a company so they had low incomes as far as IRD were concerned) on booze while constantly telling me I should be out working to earn money instead of getting a loan. The only work he ever did while at uni was chores for his parents (who paid him to do them).

      New Zealand needs to wake up and realise it has quite a pool of talent overseas who already struggle to find a reason to come back to NZ. Threatening to arrest them wont help. For myself, I gave up and decided I’d just accept a higher tax rate when I got back to NZ until I retired. As the years overseas stretched on I could see less and less point in coming back at all and now I doubt I ever will. Because of this I started to look into paying back my student loan again as I’m never going to pay tax in NZ again and I believe I should pay back my loan, but I’m not going to when it’s probably gone from $25000 to $60000 or something stupid with interest and fees.

      • Overseas based Criminal
        26 May 2014 at 4:54 am

        Here, here!!

        I’m in a similar position, I have a loan (Only I have no actual education to show for it.. I dropped out of my courses)

        I live in the UK and have been contacted by IRD a few years back when I renewed my NZ passport, I ignored the letter and they continue to send post to my last known NZ address.

        Anyway, my loan has almost quadrupled, since I left NZ near 13 years ago, Initially I was not aware of an obligation to make repayments when I left the country, nor of the crazy interest I would be expected to pay.

        Now as others have said; I too would happily start paying my loan back if the Interest and penalties where written off but at present if I begin repayments I’ll be paying until the day I die.

        Notwithstanding actually finding the cash, the general consensus seems to be if you live overseas it’s going to be so easy for you because of exchange rates….

        I think the thing that offends me the most is the threat of being arrested if I return to NZ for a funeral, etc.. I have dependants out here and they are obviously insignificant in this case.

        I won’t be renewing my Kiwi passport (Five year rip-off anyway) and if I travel.. I’ll be on a Foreign passport.

        I love NZ, I might as well work for the Tourism board for how much I have bigged it up over the years whilst being away, now I feel like I have been betrayed by my own country.

  11. Marion Ouseley
    19 October 2013 at 12:10 pm

    We have a family member who was unfortunate enough to take out a student loan in Wellington in October 1999.for a Carich I.T.course. Carich proved to be a totally dysfunctional provider and failed to deliver the programme. After about 3 weeks the students all rebelled, engaged a solicitor in an attempt to get their fees back.
    Our relative got some some money back but that was only about enough to pay the legal fees. After that Carich placed a gagging order on the class and as the atmosphere by then had turned quite toxic some of the students including our relative, left the course out of pocket and unable to speak out but still with an unpaid student loan.
    We would like anyone who was part of that Carich October 1999 I.T.course to please contact us on this email address.
    Thank you.

    [Email address; marbri@xtra.co.nz – Ed.]

  12. KM
    14 November 2013 at 9:47 am

    Bob et al, I feel your pain.
    I have a very similar story to yours dating from 1992, with diligent payments made until leaving NZ in 1999. Given a number of changes in policy, lack of information when leaving the country, inability to make payments online and other “my fault” reasons for not making payments the loan escalated from c $14K to c. $45K. As you say any payments made from here once I could afford to make them just seemed to disappear into a black hole of compounding interest and penalties – so no incentive to continue on that path.

    Like you I am more than happy to pay back the original sum borrowed all in one go, inflation adjusted (but not compounded), but there is no current mechanism for this or political will to do so…. even though I expect the debt recovery of long standing loans would be significantly increased if they offered this solution.

    There are many stories like ours that we know of from various blogs and I am sure many more who feel ashamed of their situation that have remained silent and want to fix their loan predicaments, but have been scared off by the compounding interest and penalties….I feel like someone who has ill-advisedly taken out a Wonga Loan…..which brings me to my point.

    With the payday lenders in the UK being hauled in front of a Select Committee last week and all appearing to make verbal commitments to stop loans from escalating out of control once in default, shouldn’t the NZ Government be held to the same level of scrutiny.

  13. 15 November 2013 at 2:02 am

    The root cause of the problem is the fundamentally flawed, immoral and frankly insane decision to make Kiwi youngsters pay for their education. You only have to look at say Germany to see how well an economy can do if it publicly funds students costs through University. As for the rate of interest on NZ Student loans it is usury. I think a learned German economist once calculated that a Roman gold coin invested then at a modest compound interest would be worth more than the weight of the planet in gold now. The same applies to NZ student loan debt – the system can’t work and won’t work, no matter how punitive of innocent Kiwis.

    The other questions are where does NZ get its policy wonks who dreamt up this ludicrous scheme from and why do the major parties support a policy that is beggaring and now criminalising so many citizens? Since when is failure to pay a debt a criminal matter? Not since the worst excess of Victorian England “debtors prisons” have we seen such draconian state powers misused over a debt.

    Its a shameful day for New Zealand. And perhaps some form of mild fascism is what awaits for those Kiwis unlucky enough not to be able to abandon ship to more civilised climes, such as the EU or Australia.

  14. KM
    1 December 2013 at 2:06 am

    Just spotted this article and survey by NZUSA which appears to point towards wiser heads suggesting a scheme for real debt recovery that isn’t based on a culture of fear. If this scheme seeks actively to remove the punitive interest and charges of our loans together with an online payment system that works then I think this may address most of our concerns and grievances. Will have to wait and see but take a look.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/ED1310/S00119/select-committee-interested-in-amnesty-period-for-borrowers.htm

    • 1 December 2013 at 7:32 pm

      Interesting, KM.

      As matters now stand, the proposed punitive approach serves only to force expats to stay away from NZ. We’ll lose their expertise and accumulated wealth by forcing them to remain offshore.

      Truly, this has to be the most bizarre and pointless exercise ever undertaken by the Nats – and they’ve done some real stupid things in the past!

  15. dave
    5 March 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I have a loan from 20 years ago. I was contacted by the IRD to make arrangements to pay. I agreed to discuss payment arrangements on the condition that they supply me with copies of the signed loan agreements, to which they replied they do not have!!! I would suggest to anyone that is facing potential arrest to do the same as you are within your rights to refuse to pay the money until they can supply proof that you signed for it. Most of these loans should be wiped as, although there was a clause that “they were not subject to statute of limitations”, I doubt in a court of law that these loans are longer valid. I for one am not going to pay a 20 year loan for a worthless degree, where most of the money was borrowed was for rent and food at interest. I personally would be very surprised if anyone gets arrested at the boarder over this farce

    • 6 March 2014 at 10:00 am

      Interesting points, Dave. Hopefully a decent lawyer will be able to challenge this new law and show it up as the garbage that it really is.

      • dave
        6 March 2014 at 1:23 pm

        Also interesting to note all new clauses in amendment act 3 come into affect 1 April. However if you check the IRD website you will notice the arrest at boarder clause is not yet dated. I have a feeling this has not passed and may never pass. Fear mongering seems to be the intention. Turning what is essentially a civil issue into a criminal one could open a whole new can of worms in regards to debt and crime. They backed down on the refusing to renew passports because it is essentially illegal so I have a feeling the same applies here.

    • John- of the family: Kiwa
      11 August 2014 at 8:03 pm

      You Dave are absolutely correct.re Mar 5 posting. Anyone with a student loan debt should carry out a lawful rebellion.
      Asking these bottom feeding entities proof of their claim against one, by way of Conditional Acceptance ie; that I would be happy to pay this so-called debt on the condition that you show me the loan agreement with my wet ink signature and that of the person representing the lender displayed on said agreement.
      Also please send me a detailed invoice signed by a person representing the lender. I give you 5 working days to comply to both my requests.
      Failure to provide proof of your claim within the specified timeframe will be deemed a tacit agreement by acquiescence that the debt is null and void.

  16. Tim
    3 April 2014 at 2:44 am

    Can’t believe New Zealand is leading the world in violation of human rights. What a shame!

  17. Herbie de Lewin
    30 September 2014 at 8:36 pm

    My husband is in the same position as many of you, I even paid $5k to an accountant specialist who tried to plead his case to IRD, we said we would get a loan and pay back the original $40k loan plus a penalty if we could wipe the loan, absolutely no budging from the IRD. I do not understand how they can provide a $40k loan to a 17yr old and have his parents cosign it and then never contact him for 14 years and then here’s the fun part – contact MY mother (when we returned to NZ to introduce him to my mum, fabulous way for her to meet the future son in law and in fact almost led to her saying she would not support the marriage as it would affect my financial future). My mum received a letter from IRD in 2012 saying he owed over $120k.
    IRD have had his mother and fathers address as they continue to pay tax there and they were cosigners on the loan – were is the statue of limitations in play that says they have 6 years to reclaim debt? why is there not duty of care that they did not contact or communicate with him once during this time period even though the repayment total had tripled from the original loan value.
    I took $20,000 of all my savings to try and at least get some of the loan amount down, and he’s been diligently paying $1,000 for 18 months and seeing the overall loan value not really budge as it only just covers the interest and fees.
    We can’t afford to have a family, we can’t afford to even think of buying a house – he is literally handcuffed to his NZ student loan debt for life.
    The last straw came 6 weeks ago when my husband was taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack and is now under coronary care and needing surgery.
    Thank you New Zealand for almost killing my husband.

    There is enough of us here and I’m sure around the world that should get together and force the issue.

    Does anyone have the name of a lawyer who has successfully dealt with IRD on a student loan issue?

    Does anyone know of people who live in Australia who have claimed bankruptcy to clear student loan debt?

    Please feel free to get in touch at herbie.delewin@outlook.com

  1. 19 May 2013 at 3:47 pm
  2. 20 May 2013 at 11:53 am
  3. 16 June 2013 at 8:00 am
  4. 7 March 2014 at 1:55 pm
  5. 6 August 2015 at 8:01 am
  6. 11 February 2016 at 8:03 am

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