The Hire Purchase Bill was passed in the National Assembly on Wednesday after it was read for the second time. In support of the bill, Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Commerce, Oneidge Waldron provided the house with a breakdown of some of the clauses of the act which have been amended. She drew emphasis on the fact that the new law is all-inclusive and entails provisions that seek to safeguard the rights of both consumers and sellers.
The new rules outline that instead of the company or seller being able to repossess items from a purchaser after a significant portion of the payments has been made, they will now have to obtain a court order to do so.
“The bill when enacted prohibits the sellers from repossessing goods without first approaching the courts and obtaining an order if 70% or more of the purchase price has been paid,” Waldron explained.
The law stipulates that if less than 70% of the purchase price has been paid by a consumer who is in breach of the agreement, the seller must provide 21 days notice of intent to repossess the goods.
Fines of up to $200,000 (two hundred thousand dollars) are also included in the legislation for anyone who contravenes the order of the courts concerning hire purchase matters.
Further, a register of sale notices and agreements will be established at the commercial registry. Other provisions include the prominent display of the cash prices of the items available for hire purchase by the sellers.
The Bill was first read in the National Assembly in December 2020 and was subsequently sent to a special select committee for consideration