Borrowers to benefit from Consumer Credit Act

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched a website highlighting how, starting next April, consumers will be able to take disputes to court and get clearer and better information.

Teresa Perchard, director of policy at Citizens Advice, welcomed the protection offered: “We believe this can only strengthen the new act and make it more effective, with measures that have at long last promised to protect vulnerable consumers from unfair lending, bully boy debt collection tactics and extortionate credit deals, while at the same time being fair to business.”

Receiving Royal Assent in March, the act will give new dispute resolution powers from April 2007 and create obligations for clearer credit information from April 2008.

Borrowers will benefit from a dispute resolution scheme from the Financial Ombudsman Service and have a new unfair relationships test, allowing claims of unfair treatment by lenders to be taken to court.

Consumer minister Ian McCartney claims the act will be a “huge boost” to consumers and it should benefit all people taking out a loan in the near future.