Alert
Information For Social Service Providers

Unsustainable debt may be an issue with many of the people you work with.

Many of the clients that you work with may be dealing with multiple issues such as poverty, mental health issues, addictions, family violence and debt that make it difficult for them to manage. 

Sometimes, helping people to get on top of their finances can reduce stress, so they are able to address some of their other issues.

There is a lot of pressure placed on vulnerable people to take out new loans, especially when they don’t understand what they are signing, or what their responsibilities are.

There may also be pressure on family members to take out (or guarantor) loans for other people.

It can be frustrating when you know that people want to sort their life out, but when things get difficult are likely to get credit they can’t afford, and undo all the work they have done.  

Debt Blocker is a tool to help people take responsibility for their finances.

Debt Blocker will cost your agency and your client nothing.

You can help your clients sign up for Debt Blocker online, or you can print a form for them to sign.

We ask that you check photo ID to establish that they are not signing up someone else.

Your agency can help your clients to sign-up for Debt Blocker by becoming a registered user.  

You are then able to sign people up online, or you can print out a form to sign, and upload or post it to us.

 

Social Services Agent Registration

 

Join Debt Blocker

 

Come off Debt Blocker

About Debt Blocker

 

What is Debt Blocker?

Debt blocker is a voluntary list where people can indicate to lending companies that they don’t want to be given credit.  

This will be useful for people with risky spending habits, or are concerned they may take out loans they can’t afford when things are difficult.

When they sign-up, their name and DOB go onto a secure list, that can be searched by lenders if they apply for credit.  This search will only give a “Yes” or “No” whether a person is on the list.

Debt Blocker Ltd. is a New Zealand company that exists solely to manage the database, and does not provide credit or financial services or advice to anyone.  Profits from the company will be given back to the community to help people avoid unsustainable debt.

How can my agency use Debt Blocker?

Once an agency is registered with Debt Blocker, you are able to help individuals sign up for Debt Blocker.  You can do this online, or print out a copy of the form and send it to us. Your role is to ensure that the person is:

  1. Not signing up someone else,
  2. Understands what they are signing, and
  3. Not being forced into signing up by someone else

What information is held by Debt Blocker?

Only their full name, date of birth, and the town you live in are recorded.  We ask for the your town in case there is someone with exactly the same name and date of birth as them.

Debt Blocker  will never record why someone  signed up, anything about their financial record, or for any other personal information.

Why would someone sign up for Debt Blocker?

There are several reasons why they might want to sign up:

  1. They might have risky spending habits.
  2. They might have a problem with gambling, drugs or alcohol.
  3. They are worried they might be pressured into loans (or guarantoring loans) they don’t want, or can’t pay for.
  4. They might have a mental illness that affects their ability to make good decisions when they are unwell.
  5. They are worried that your friends or family members could put pressure on them to borrow money for them.
  6. They know that paying back a new loan will really stress them out.

What happens if they apply for a loan?

The lending company will search to see if they are on the list when they apply for a loan, and they will only get a Yes or No response.  

Although Debt Blocker cannot legally stop a company from giving the person credit, but if they do then they do so at their own risk.  If they give credit to someone on the list, then they will be in breach of the Responsible Lending Code and may be prosecuted.

Who can access Debt Blocker?

Only Registered Lending Companies can search Debt Blocker as part of a credit application for a fee, and they will only get a Yes or No response.  

They may not tell anyone else that someone is on Debt Blocker.

No organisation or individual can access the list of people on the Debt Blocker list.

How will being on Debt Blocker affect their credit rating?

Debt Blocker will not affect a person’s credit rating as no credit rating agencies can access our database.

How can someone sign up for Debt Blocker?

There are two ways:

  1. They can complete a form online at a registered social service agency, and will be added to the database immediately.   
  2. They can print out the form and have a JP witness them signing the form.  They then post the form to Debt Blocker, and will be added once we receive the application.

They will also need to provide photo ID when they sign-up.  This is to make sure that they are not signing up someone else.

How do they come off Debt Blocker?

They may ask to come off Debt Blocker at any time through a registered social services agency (or have a JP witness them sign a form) and then there is a stand-down period of 30 days.  

After this time their record will be permanently deleted from Debt Blocker.  If they want to sign up again, they will have to do a new sign up.

What will Debt Blocker cost?

It will cost the person and the social services agency nothing.

Where can I get further information or support?

There are many sources of support and budgeting services throughout the country

  • Financial Capability Trust

    Useful information and a database of financial mentors and budgeting services.

  • Sorted website

    Useful information, tools and resources to help you get control of your finances.

  • Community Law

    Free legal help throughout New Zealand.

  • Commerce Commission

    Information about your rights when borrowing, and your options for dealing with problems or financial hardship.

  • Family Service Directory

    A database of social service near you to help with addictions, budgeting, mental health issues, legal and other social issues.