An online legal service designed to support borrowers tackling mortgage stress has been launched by the NSW government.
NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman has announced the launch of LawAccess NSW, a website designed to offer free legal services to help borrowers overcome mortgage stress and settle rates debts with local councils without being drawn into court proceedings.
According to the government, the LawAccess NSW website provides two interactive guided pathways to match people with the information they need to resolve issues “before they spiral out of control”, with another four pathways on other topics to be released later this year.
“This service is arriving at a crucial time for families facing mortgage stress. The online pathways are convenient and easy to use, with users only needing to answer a few simple questions to get reliable legal information and practical solutions tailored to address their situation,” Mr Speakman said.
“For example, the mortgage stress pathways provide information on budgeting, seeking a ‘hardship variation’ to a loan and tips on avoiding ‘quick fix’ pitfalls that could ultimately cause greater financial pain.”
The government stated that the launch of the LawAccess NSW website is part of the NSW government’s $24 million Civil Justice Action Plan, which it said is “harnessing technology and innovation to make it faster and easier for people to navigate courts and resolve legal problems”.
“The Civil Justice Action Plan has huge potential to reduce stressful and costly legal headaches – particularly for small businesses that are the engine room of the NSW economy,” Mr Speakman added.
“While criminal matters tend to dominate the media news cycle, 85 per cent of legal problems in NSW relate to civil law. So, it’s vital we address these civil issues faced by almost 2.4 million people in this state every year.”