EXTERNALLY FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Literature review on lending and financial abuse (for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission)
This report summarises the current state of knowledge in relation to financial abuse of and undue influence exerted over family or friends by borrowers, in situations where the borrower is seeking that they give a guarantee or act as a joint borrower to a loan. While the primary focus of the research is consumer (especially residential) borrowing, we demonstrate that significant issues involving abuse and undue influence exist in relation to other forms of credit.
This research was commissioned by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to examine lending and financial abuse in loans with guarantees or joint borrower arrangements.
The primary research questions that formed the basis for the research are:
1. What is the current state of knowledge in Australia on financial abuse, debt abuse, elder abuse, family violence, undue influence and unconscionable conduct in the context of consumer borrowing, including prevalence, nature and effects, social impact, indicators and victim and survivor experiences?
2. What is the current state of knowledge in Australia on how victims and survivors typically raise concerns about loans connected to financial abuse, debt abuse, elder abuse, family violence, undue influence and unconscionable conduct?
3. What is the current state of knowledge in Australia on consumer lender behaviour around financial abuse, debt abuse, elder abuse, family violence, undue influence and unconscionable conduct?
The project employs a four-stage methodology to address the research questions:
1. a literature review
2. a systematic case facts review (reported and unreported decisions across all Australian state, territory and federal courts from 2008 to 2018)
3. stakeholder consultations (20 one-on-one consultations with legal, advocacy and social work groups or professionals involved with abuse victims)
4. an advisory panel review (a review of the conclusions by eminent experts across the fields of banking, consumer rights and family violence).