Impact of COVID-19 on our Services
We recognise this is an extremely distressing and difficult time, and we know that COVID-19 is already affecting people experiencing vulnerability.
As a result there is increasing demand for our services, and we are taking many measures to ensure continuity of services. However there may be factors outside our control that impact on our ability to answer our hotlines or respond to email enquiries – for instance, outages in phone or internet provision, or staff absences due to sickness or self-isolation. If this should occur, we will endeavour to get services running as soon as we can, however for urgent matters you should try seeking assistance from other services such as the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). They have established a significant event support hotline for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: 1800 337 444
Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are continually evolving for now, and we will continue to monitor and adapt our services in response, based on the latest Government health advice.
For the most up to date information on assistance and responses to the
Please be assured that our priority remains to continue providing advice and assistance to the community, whilst doing all we can to protect the safety of our staff.
Phone 1800 007 007
Open through Christmas and New Year (except public holidays)
MONDAY TO FRIDAY
9.30am to 4.30pm
Please note, the National Debt Helpline is answered by both Financial Rights (our service) and Uniting (NSW.ACT) which is based in Dubbo and provides telephone financial counselling, but does not have solicitors available. Our services are run separately, neither service has access to any information or advice given to or by the other service.
Financial Rights Legal Centre is a community legal centre specialising in financial services, particularly individual cases and policy issues related to consumer credit, banking and debt recovery. It is the only such Centre in NSW, and it has a particular focus on issues that affect low income and disadvantaged consumers. We also provide financial counselling information, advice and referral services to individual consumers in NSW on credit, debt and banking issues.
To read more about our centre go to About Us.
Our services: How we can help you.
We provide free telephone legal advice and financial counselling to NSW consumers on credit, debt and banking matters. However we cannot provide advice to businesses.
Our Centre consists of a team of solicitors and financial counsellors. When you call we will usually only give you legal and financial advice on what YOU CAN DO to resolve you credit, debt or banking situation.
Financial counselling is available over the phone by calling 1800 007 007 (you may reach either Financial Rights or Uniting (NSW.ACT).
Legal advice is available from our solicitors on 1800 844 949 (10am-1pm, Mondays to Fridays).
If you or your client are having difficulty contacting our advice service because of a disability or problems using an interpreter service, please let us know on our administration line (02) 9212 4216.
If you are simply having difficulty getting through to us, please be patient and persistent – we are a small service with limited resources and we are often very busy! You can leave a message if you wait long enough.
Need an Interpreter or have a hearing disability?
Interpreters are available by calling 131 450, and for the hearing or speech impaired, we recommend the National Relay Service which is a service provided by the Australian Communication Exchange (TTY) 133 677 (SRS) 1300 555 727.
What YOU should do BEFORE you call
- Read any relevant Fact sheets on our website.
- Please do NOT call on behalf of someone else. We will NOT be able to help you.
- Please have any relevant documents at hand. Examples could include:
- Bank statements
- Bills and account statements
- Legal notices
- Letters received
- Please have a PEN and PAPER handy, as we will often give you phone numbers to call or websites to visit.
- Think about what you are hoping to achieve in your situation.
Legal Assistance (not just Legal Advice)
In some cases, clients may be eligible for Written Advice or Further Assistance from Financial Rights Legal Centre. Read Legal Assistance for details.
Financial Rights assists by providing:
- Detailed advice and strategies for dealing with financial difficulties
- Detailed advice and strategies for negotiating with creditors
- Legal advice
- Information about court processes in relation to debt collection
- Referrals to face-to-face financial counselling and information on how to prepare for a financial counselling appointment
- Information and referrals to other services
- Reassurance and perspective about financial matters
- Representation and casework in limited circumstances
Information for community workers
Last updated: September 2021.