The Commerce Commission has today laid criminal charges against two finance companies in the Auckland District Court.
It alleges Budget Loans and Evolution Finance have illegally repossessed debtors' property, such as televisions and other household goods.
The charges come little more than a year after the commission warned the companies that some of their debt recovery practices were illegal.
It said it was tipped off by budgeting services and community organisations trying to help people get their finances in order, as well as by individuals.
The commission said it was not the first time Budget Loans has faced criminal charges, with the company admitting to 34 charges under the Fair Trading Act in 2010.
On that occasion it was fined more than 30-thousand dollars and made to pay reparations.