Consumer Protection in the Light of Anti-Usury Law
On the 20th of February 2006 new anti-usury law has come into force. This is the Act of July 7' 2005, amendment of the Civil Code and of the Consumer Credit Act. This new regulation of art. 359 § 2'-359 § 23 of the Civil Code states maximal interest rates, for any credit transaction, on the level of quadruple Polish National Bank Lombard rate. New regulations of Consumer Credit Act dictate that all the credits, even lower than 500 zlotys, shorter than 3 months, and all of the credits lower than 80.000 zlotys, irrespective of its appropriation, are consumer credits, if they are given to a consumer. New regulation imposes on the creditor more duties to inform a consumer and declares that creditors provision must not pass the limit of 5% of the quota of credit. The law on consumer credit prohibits, under criminal penalty, to apply on the consumer the interest rate beyond the maximum level said in the Civil Code. The main target of anti-usury law is not only to minimise the costs, that consumer pays for credit, but also to protect consumer from the risk of credit-trap (the situation when his debt grows faster than consumer pays his credit) and from the risk of insolvency.
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