If you need advice on consumer credit agreements, we can help

The majority of finance agreements entered into with individuals are regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (the “Act”) which imposes strict obligations on the creditor. If the creditor has not complied with those obligations then there could be significant penalties to pay, including repaying the customer all the money they have paid under the agreement.

A key aim of the Act and other relevant consumer credit law is to provide protection for the consumer. This results in the industry being heavily regulated and stringent requirements on the creditor, through the overall licensing of the industry, specific practices to be adhered to, procedures to be followed and documents to be provided in relation to the agreement.

Licensing

We are well placed to provide you with guidance on the FCA’s handbook, including but not limited to your obligations, systems and controls, minimum standards, complaints procedures, administrative processes. With the relevant rules and guidance notes for consumer credit firms being contained in 15 manuals these can seem difficult to navigate but with our expertise we can support you in adhering to your obligations.

Practices

Firms can face serious consequences if they breach the relevant requirements of the Act in respect of certain practices, for example canvassing off trade premises. Breaches can lead to criminal offences and compensation claims from customers. With our expertise we can advise you on what requirements must be met in order to avoid breaching your obligations in these areas.

The Agreement

The Act imposes numerous requirements and obligations on a creditor in respect of the actual finance agreement and if these are not complied with then you could be required to pay compensation to a customer, for example if a customer is not properly served with a Default Notice or the information within it was inaccurate. You could also face a claim if goods are repossessed without a court order or the customer’s consent if the customer has paid more than a third of the total amount due under the agreement.

There are other circumstances when you may need the court’s permission to enforce an agreement and the customer may be entitled to compensation or a reduction of any amount which it still owes the creditor, for example if a customer’s creditworthiness was not properly assessed by the creditor before entering into an agreement; the terms of the agreement were not properly explained to the customer; the customer as not given details of key information before entering into the agreement; if there was an error on the agreement or it omitted key information; if the customer did not sign the agreement; and if the customer was not given a copy of the agreement.

This is not an exhaustive list and there are many circumstances in which a creditor may conduct itself during negotiations, entering into the agreement, the course of the agreement, termination and post termination of the agreement which may give rise to circumstances entitling a customer to compensation or a reduction in the amount which it owes the creditor.

We are well placed to review your procedures and draft agreement documentation, including Default Notices, in order to ensure that you comply with the terms of the Act reducing the risk of any claim being made against you.

Instructing Luscombe Gray

Luscombe Gray is a boutique finance litigation firm, providing a legal service tailored to the needs of our clients.
We believe first-class commercial legal support should be available to all organisations. Whatever the size of your business, we are more than willing to provide our services and put our specialist skill and knowledge at your disposal.
Your case will be handled by Katherine Clark personally, so you can be certain that your business will be able to call upon the expertise of an experienced finance litigation solicitor. Throughout her career, Katherine has helped a wide range of businesses with their disputes, representing a range of financial services providers including asset finance companies, short-term loan providers and banks.

Luscombe Gray is based in the heart of Yorkshire, in Harrogate, with the reach to assist clients across the country.
If your business needs legal support for a service charge dispute, contact Luscombe Gray for clear, ethical, expert advice.

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Katherine Clark - Litigation Solicitor

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