The Blackstone's Guides Series delivers concise and accessible books covering the latest legislation changes and amendments. Published within weeks of an Act, they offer expert commentary by leading names on the effects, extent and scope of the legislation, plus a full copy of the Act itself. They offer a cost-effective solution to key information needs and are the perfect companion for any practitioner needing to get up to speed with the latest changes. The Department of Trade and Industry has been conducting a major revision of consumer credit law over the past few years. Its proposals on substantial changes to existing law were contained in its White Paper published in December 2003: Fair, Clear and Competitive - The Consumer Credit Market in the 21st Century. Since then, this programme has been implemented by a series of new statutory instruments and a major new Consumer Credit Act which runs to 70 sections and revolutionises the present law and practice of consumer credit. The new Act principally amends the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which is the statute governing the licensing of, and other controls on, traders concerned with the provision of credit or the supply of goods on hire or hire-purchase to individuals. Significant changes brought in by the new Act include the following; * The re-definition of consumers whose agreements are to be regulated by the Act and financial ceilings on consumer credit and hire agreements removed * The consequences of trading without a license are to be made more severe and the whole process of licensing to be modernised * Consumer credit is to be brought within the remit of the Financial Ombudsman This Guide covers all of these new provisions, together with the growing importance of the internet and electronic technology to this area of the law, whilst also placing the new Act in the context of what has gone before. The commentary in the Guide is structured in a clear and logical way, thus enabling readers to quickly access the information they require.
Toby Riley-Smith (called 1995) is based at Henderson Chambers and specialises in the inter-related fields of commercial and consumer law and product liability fields. He advises consumers and finance houses on non-contentious and contentious aspects of the 1974 Act, and is a contributing editor to both Goode's Consumer Credit Law and Practice, one of the most authoritative texts on the subject, and Halsbury's Laws - Practice and Procedure.