Kiwi loan sharks fined $720k for exploiting vulnerable clients

The Commerce Commission wants two men banned from being company directors after it was revealed the businesses they ran illegally repossessed goods, adding interest and costs to loans after the repossession.

The two companies - Budget Loans and Evolution Finance - were run by father and son Allan and Wayne Hawkins. Allan Hawkins was jailed in the 1990s over an infamous money transfer at Equiticorp.

The Commerce Commission now wants both men banned from being company directors in the future.

The dodgy loan companies have affected the likes of Sam Leuii, a former top boxer who went to the Commonwealth Games for New Zealand.

He and his wife bought a car on finance, but weeks later it broke down - and then there was a fire at the mechanics shop. The car was gone, but the loan wasn't.

In 2004, Budget Loans bought Sam's loan from another finance company. Soon after, the repo men started showing up at Sam's place and taking the family's possessions.

The sentencing judge has called the actions of the Hawkins deliberate, cynical and cruel.

The judge said the companies used repossession as a punishment to force vulnerable clients into paying up. He said one man who had several children was left with just a mattress on the floor after staff came in to clear out the entire house. 

He described it as one of the worst cases he'd ever seen.

The companies were fined $720,000 and ordered to pay $38,000 in repayments to 21 victims. They also had to pay another $53,000 for emotional damage.