BC proposes new plans to help vulnerable borrowers

The BC government wants to introduce a new range of protections for financially vulnerable borrowers.

The proposals aim to help those who are living paycheque to paycheque and may seek credit from alternative lenders at high interest rates which compound their financial fragility.

As well as interest rates, the proposed legislation would ensure that terms and conditions are fair and do not trap borrowers in a never-endingf debt cycle.

The proposed amendments to the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act include rules to:

  • create borrowers’ rights and remedies;
  • set limits on the total cost of borrowing;
  • prohibit certain fees and charges;
  • restrict the use of borrowers’ personal information;
  • protect people from wage assignment, terms and conditions that are unfair, potentially harmful and expensive “hard sell” options, as well as enticements to enter into high-cost credit product agreements;
  • require businesses that provide high-cost credit products to be licensed by Consumer Protection BC; and
  • enable Consumer Protection BC to enforce the act’s amendments and future regulations.

The BC government says that these proposals would build on changes to payday lending rules introduced in 2018 that included a ban on selling insurance on payday loans.

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