The Consumer Credit Act 1974 (c 39) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that significantly reformed the law relating to consumer credit within the United Kingdom.
Prior to the Consumer Credit Act, legislation covering consumer credit was slapdash and focused on particular areas rather than consumer credit as a whole, such as moneylenders and hire-purchase agreements. Following the report of the Crowther Committee in 1971 it was decided that wide-ranging reform of consumer credit law was needed, and a bill to do this was introduced to Parliament. Despite its progress through Parliament being disrupted by a general election, the bill passed quickly through the legislative process thanks to support from both the government and the opposition, coming into law on 31 July 1974.
The Act introduces new protection for consumers and new regulation for bodies trading in consumer credit and related industries. Such traders must have full licenses from the Office of Fair Trading, which may be suspended or revoked in the event of irregularities. The Act also regulates what may be taken as security, limits the ways in which credit organisations can advertise and gives the county courts the ability to intercede in the case of unfair or unjust credit agreements. It also gives additional rights to the debtor, including certain limited rights to cancel concluded agreements. The Act was amended by the Consumer Credit Act 2006.
... Some elements of the Act came into force on 31 July 1974, the day it was passed, but many were left to be brought in later at the discretion of the government. 141, which requires enforcement actions of a regulated credit or linked transaction to be pursued in the county courts, came into force on 19 May ... The Act repealed the Hire-Purchase Act 1965, the Advertisements (Hire Purchase) Act 1967, the Moneylenders Act 1900, the Moneylenders Act 1927, the Pawnbrokers Act 1872 and the Pawnbrokers Act 1960 ...
... The 2006 Act brings two further types of agreement under the scope of the 1974 Act Consumer agreements above £25,000, to reflect growing levels of consumer borrowing and debt ...
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