Credit Agreement Requests: Basic Information
Basic information on Credit Agreement Requests
With thanks to Tomterm8
A consumer credit agreement request is a request for a true copy of the original agreement under a regulated debt.
The significance of this is that for revelevant agreements, without providing the request on demand the agreement will become unenforceable. Similarly, without providing a signed agreement in many cases Creditors will not be able to enforce the agreement.
What Are Regulated Debts
For agreements made prior to The Consumer Credit Act 2006 a regulated debt was a credit agreement ( "credit" is where you obtain some benefit with promise to pay for it later), which is not a first charge or FSA regulated charge, made by an individual other than in the course of business, and which is not an non-commercial agreement or a small agreement
A non commercial agreement is an agreement with no more than 4 payments, which lasts for no longer than a year, and does not carry an interest charge.
a small agreement is an agreement for less than £50.
What Agreements Can You Request a CCA From
You can request a credit agreement from all regulated debts, apart from those exempted by the OFT which include:
- Overdraft agreements
- Loans for burying dead people and
- Loans from some Building societies / Mortgages
Further, after 2004 the requirements for documents to have signatures were relaxed so that electronic agreements could have an electronic signature.
Why Ask For CCA?
On payment of £1 (preferably using a postal order) the creditor must send you a true copy of the credit agreement. The creditor is allowed to remove certain information, including the signature. "true copy" allows the format to be slightly different compared to the document you signed BUT the terms must be identical to what you signed.
If they can't provide you with the document you signed within 12 working days, they can't enforce the agreement until they provide you with a copy.
If the default continues for a further calendar month, a crime has been commited.
If you send your CCA using normal post, it will be deemed served 2 days after you send it. You must keep proof of postage.
How Do I Know If My Credit Agreement Is Enforceable
They Didn't Provide Me With a Signed Copy.
An unsigned CCA, if made prior to when s15 of the Consumer Credit Act came into force, can not be enforced (except in the case of electronic agreements) . However, there is no obligation on the creditor to provide a signed copy of the credit agreement until court action commences.
Sometimes, it turns out the creditor does have such a signed copy even if they don't provide it prior to legal action. This is a risk, and there is little you can do about it.
What You Need to Know
Firstly,I think some people think that going the CCA route is easy. The truth is, it is very difficult sometimes. There is no guarantee the creditor will not be able to produce a signed copy of your credit agreement at the trial.
Further, it is likely the creditor will place defaults on your file, and without legal action it is likely these will hamper your credit rating for years.
Finally, people should know that just because a creditor doesn't have a CCA, this doesn't prevent them calling you up and harassing you. This can be incessant. As Goode wrote in his famous Consumer Credit, harassment is one of the main forms of enforcement of agreements.
There are things you can do about it, but it is not an easy path.