The Consumer Credit Act 1974 covers most consumer lending in the UK as well as its amendments along the way. It sets out what creditors must do when they lend money and when they collect it. It also sets out your rights when you borrow money.
What debts does the Consumer Credit Act cover?
Debts that are covered by the Consumer Credit Act are often called “regulated” debts. This applies to most of the conventional household borrowing. In most cases, the following debt types will be regulated by the Consumer Credit Act:
Store finance and ‘buy now pay later’ agreements
Secured loans, such as a “residential mortgage” but not a “buy to let mortgage.”
Types of debt which are not regulated by the Consumer Credit Act include:
Debts to individuals, such as family or friends
Debts to unlicensed lenders or loan sharks
Household bills, including gas, electric and water
Debts to local or central Government, including council tax, benefit overpayments, and taxes
Some credit union loans
Some types of business debt
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David has an LL.B (Hons) degree in law. He was voted one of the UK’s most influential aspiring lawyers. He was also directly involved in the protection of workers’ rights as respected Union Rep for Usdaw, and he is the Non-Executive Legal Director for the Humber Taxi Association.
I am worried about credit card debts. What will happen if I can’t pay credit card bills?
If you don’t pay the minimum payment, your account will go into arrears. If this happens: your lender will contact you to demand the missing payments are made then if you don’t make the payments they ask for, the account will default, and if you still don’t pay, further action may be taken, such as employing debt collection agents to recover the money you owe them or even issuing legal proceedings against you. However, there are legal defences to prevent a creditor from enforcing the agreement against you and save you from any CCJ, IVA or Bankruptcy situations but this depends upon certain things.
I bought some product with my credit card, and the product is defective, is the credit card company in any way liable?
You should, first, complain to the retailer involved. If the dispute is not resolved, however, and if you have paid between £100 and £30,000 for the product using a credit card, then Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act applies. This means that the card company has an equal liability, and you can get your money back from them.
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