The sad reality is that families are turning to moneylenders right now in order to pay off Christmas debts but one simple measure will offer protection from illegal moneylenders – ask to see their Central Bank licence says Dublin City Councillor and Legal Advisor to the Fianna Fail Frontbench Jim O’Callaghan.
“It is illegal to operate as a moneylender without a licence from the Central Bank of Ireland under the 1995 Consumer Credit Act. Families are finding themselves in circumstances where they feel they have no option but to turn to moneylenders, particularly now to perhaps pay off Christmas debts. The level of interest rates charged by moneylenders is reprehensible and needs more scrutiny but for those who feel they have no other option ask to see a moneylender’s operating licence first before any agreement is signed. This is one of the rights that we have as borrowers. By ensuring you use a licensed moneylender you are afforded a level of protection under the law. They are bound by the Consumer Credit Act which, in addition to protecting the borrower, places obligations on moneylenders and binds them to a strict code of behaviour,” concluded Jim O’Callaghan.
O’Callaghan is also urging borrowers to get a copy of their agreement which is required by law to have the words ‘moneylending agreement’ clearly visible on it.
A full list of 39 licensed moneylenders and code of behaviour is available on the Central Bank of Ireland website, www.centralbank.ie