Consumer Credit Act 1995

Interpretation.

2

2.(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

the Act of 1980” means the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act, 1980;

F1[Act of 1997 means the Central Bank Act 1997;]

advertisement” includes every form of advertising, whether in a publication, by television or radio, by display of notices, signs, labels, showcards or goods, by distribution of samples, circulars, catalogues, price lists or other material, by exhibition of pictures, models or films, or in any other way, and references to the publishing of advertisements shall be construed accordingly;

agreement” means an agreement to which this Act applies;

F2["APR" means the annual percentage rate of charge (being, in the case of a credit agreement, the total cost of credit to the consumer, expressed as an annual percentage of the amount of credit granted), calculated in accordance with section 9;]

F3[]

F3[]

F4["Bank" means the Central Bank F5[];]

borrower” means a consumer acting as a borrower;

F6["business" includes trade and profession;]

business name” means the name or style under which any business is carried on;

buyer” means a consumer acting as a buyer;

cash” includes money in any form;

cash price” means the money consideration for a transaction for the purchase of goods or the supply of a service by a consumer which is not financed by credit;

F3[]

collecting repayments” means, in respect of a moneylending agreement, the collection of repayments in respect of the agreement at a place other than a business premises of the moneylender;

company” means—

(a) a company within the meaning of the Companies Acts, 1963 to 1990, or

(b) a body established under the laws of a state other than the State and corresponding to a body referred to in paragraph (a);

F7["consumer" means

(a) a natural person acting outside the person's business, or

(b) any person, or person of a class, declared to be a consumer in an order made under subsection (9);]

consumer-hire agreement” means an agreement of more than three months duration for the bailment of goods to a hirer under which the property in the goods remains with the owner;

contract of guarantee” means, in relation to any agreement, a contract, made at the request express or implied of the consumer, to guarantee the performance of the consumer's obligations under the agreement, and the expression “guarantor” shall be construed accordingly;

cooling-off period” has the meaning assigned to it by section 50;

the Council Directive” means Council Directive No. 87/102/EEC of 22 December 1986(1), for the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States of the European Communities concerning consumer credit, F8[as amended by Council Directive No. 90/88/EEC of 22 February 1990(2) and Directive 98/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 1998(3), the texts of which are set out for convenience of reference F8[in Parts I, II and III, respectively, of the First Schedule;]

credit” includes a deferred payment, cash loan F9[or other similar financial accommodation];

credit agreement” means an agreement whereby a creditor grants or promises to grant to a consumer a credit in the form of a deferred payment, a cash loan or other similar financial accommodation;

credit card” means a card issued by a credit institution or other person to an individual by means of which goods, services or cash may be obtained by the individual on credit and amounts in respect of the goods, services or cash may be charged to the credit card account of the individual maintained by the credit institution or other person;

credit institution” means—

(a) the holder of a licence granted under section 9 of the Central Bank Act, 1971,

(b) a body licensed to carry on banking under regulations made under the European Communities Act, 1972,

(c) a building society incorporated or deemed to be incorporated under section 10 of the Building Societies Act, 1989,

(d) a society licensed to carry on the business of a trustee savings bank under section 10 of the Trustee Savings Banks Act, 1989,

F10[(e) a retail credit firm authorised under the Act of 1997;]

(f) F12[]

(g) F3[]

credit intermediary” means a person, other than a credit institution or a mortgage lender, who in the course of his business arranges or offers to arrange for a consumer the provision of credit or the letting of goods in return for a commission, payment or consideration of any kind from the provider of the credit or the owner, as the case may be;

credit intermediaries authorisation” means an authorisation granted under section 144;

credit-sale agreement” means a credit agreement for the sale of goods under which the purchase price or part of it is payable in instalments and the property in the goods passes to the buyer immediately upon the making of the agreement;

creditor” means a person who grants credit under a credit agreement in the course of his trade, business or profession, and includes a group of such persons;

the Director” means the Director of Consumer Affairs;

financial accommodation” includes credit and the letting of goods;

functions” includes powers and duties;

hirer” means a consumer who takes, intends to take or has taken goods from an owner under a hire-purchase agreement or a consumer-hire agreement in return for periodical payments;

hire-purchase agreement” means an agreement for the bailment of goods under which the hirer may buy the goods or under which the property in the goods will, if the terms of the agreement are complied with, pass to the hirer in return for periodical payments; and where by virtue of two or more agreements, none of which by itself constitutes a hire-purchase agreement, there is a bailment of goods and either the hirer may buy the goods, or the property therein will, if the terms of the agreements are complied with, pass to the hirer, the agreements shall be treated for the purpose of this Act as a single agreement made at the time when the last agreement was made;

house” includes any building or part of a building used or suitable for use as a dwelling and any outoffice, yard, garden or other land appurtenant thereto or usually enjoyed therewith;

F7["housing loan" means

(a) an agreement for the provision of credit to a person on the security of a mortgage of a freehold or leasehold estate or interest in land

(i) for the purpose of enabling the person to have a house constructed on the land as the principal residence of that person or that person's dependants, or

(ii) for the purpose of enabling the person to improve a house that is already used as the principal residence of that person or that person's dependants, or

(iii) for the purpose of enabling the person to buy a house that is already constructed on the land for use as the principal residence of that person or that person's dependants,

or

(b) an agreement for refinancing credit provided to a person for a purpose specified in paragraph (a)(i), (ii) or (iii), or

(c) an agreement for the provision of credit to a person on the security of a mortgage of a freehold or leasehold estate or interest in land on which a house is constructed where the house is to be used, or to continue to be used, as the principal residence of the person or the person's dependants, or

(d) an agreement for the provision of credit to a person on the security of a mortgage of a freehold or leasehold estate or interest in land on which a house is, or is to be, constructed where the person to whom the credit is provided is a consumer;]

installation charge” means the charge for—

(a) the installing of any electric line or any gas or water pipe,

(b) the fixing of goods to which the agreement relates to the premises where they are to be used, and the alteration of premises to enable any such goods to be used thereon, and

(c) where it is reasonably necessary that any such goods should be constructed or erected on the premises where they are to be used, any work carried out for the purpose of such construction or erection;

F4["local authority" means a local authority for the purposes of the Local Government Act 2001;]

F3[]

moneylender” means a person who carries on the business of moneylending, or who advertises or announces himself or holds himself out in any way as carrying on that business; but does not include—

(a) any pawnbroker in respect of business carried on by him in accordance with the provisions of the Pawnbrokers Act, 1964 (as amended by Part XV),

(b) a society which is registered as a credit union under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, 1893 to 1978, by virtue of the Credit Union Act, 1966,

(c) a registered society within the meaning of the Friendly Societies Acts, 1896 to 1977,

(d) a credit institution,

(e) a person who supplies money for the purchase, sale or hire of goods at an APR which is less than 23 per cent. (or such other rate as may be prescribed),

(f) a mortgage lender;

moneylender’s licence” means a licence granted under section 93;

moneylending” means credit supplied by a moneylender to a consumer on foot of a moneylending agreement;

moneylending agreement” means a credit agreement into which a moneylender enters, or offers to enter, with a consumer in which one or more of the following apply:

(a) the agreement was concluded away from the business premises of the moneylender or the business premises of the supplier of goods or services under the agreement,

(b) any negotiations for, or in relation to the credit were conducted at a place other than the business premises of the moneylender or the business premises of the supplier of goods or services under the agreement,

(c) repayments under the agreement will, or may, be paid by the consumer to the moneylender or his representative at any place other than the business premises of the moneylender or the business premises of the supplier of goods or services under the agreement, or

(d) where the total cost of credit to the consumer under the agreement is in excess of an APR of 23 per cent., or such other rate as may be prescribed;

mortgage” includes charge;

F7["mortgage lender" means a person who carries on a business that consists of or includes making housing loans;]

F13["mortgage intermediary" means a person (other than a mortgage lender or credit institution) who, in return for commission or some other form of consideration

(a) arranges, or offers to arrange, for a mortgage lender to provide a consumer with a housing loan, or

(b) introduces a consumer to an intermediary who arranges, or offers to arrange, for a mortgage lender to provide the consumer with such a loan;]

motor vehicle” means a vehicle intended or adapted for propulsion by mechanical means;

owner” means the person who lets or has let goods to a hirer under a hire-purchase agreement or a consumer-hire agreement;

partnership” has the meaning assigned to it by the Partnership Act, 1890;

F4["pawnbroker" means the holder of a licence granted under section 8 of the Pawnbrokers Act 1964;]

premises” includes any building, dwelling, temporary construction, vehicle, ship or aircraft;

prescribed” means prescribed by regulations F14[made under this Act] and “prescribe” shall be construed accordingly;

record” means any book, document or any other written or printed material in any form including any information stored, maintained or preserved by means of any mechanical or electronic device, whether or not stored, maintained or preserved in a legible form;

F5[]

F1["relevant date" means the date on which section 14 of the Consumer Protection (Regulation of Retail Credit and Credit Servicing Firms) Act 2022 comes into operation;]

F1["retail credit firm" has the same meaning as it has in Part V of the Act of 1997;]

F3[]

running account” means a facility under a credit agreement whereby the consumer is enabled to receive, from time to time, from the creditor or a third party, cash, goods or services to an amount or value such that, taking into account payments made by or to the credit of the consumer, the credit limit (if any) is not at any time exceeded;

total cost of credit” means the total cost of the credit to the consumer being all the costs, comprising interest, collection and all other charges, which the consumer has to pay for the credit exclusive of any sum payable as a penalty or as compensation or damages for breach of the agreement;

undertaking” means a company, partnership or any other person.

(2) In this Act a reference to a borrower, buyer, consumer, creditor, hirer, owner or seller includes a person to whom the borrower's, buyer's, consumer's, creditor's, hirer's, owner's or seller's rights or liabilities, as the case may be, under an agreement have passed by assignment or operation of law.

(3) In this Act a reference to a section, Part or Schedule, is a reference to a section or Part of, or Schedule to this Act, unless there is an indication that a reference to any other enactment is intended or otherwise indicated.

(4) In this Act a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is a reference to the subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless there is an indication that a reference to some other provision is intended.

(5) Any reference in this Act to a term of an agreement includes a reference to a term which although not contained in an agreement is incorporated in the agreement by another term of the agreement.

(6) A word or expression that is used in this Act and is also used in the Council Directive has, unless the contrary intention appears, the meaning in this Act that it has in the Council Directive.

(7) In construing a provision of this Act, a court shall give to it a construction that will give effect to the Council Directive, and for this purpose a court shall have regard to the provisions of the Council Directive, including the preambles.

(8) In this Act a reference to any enactment shall be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended or adapted by or under any subsequent enactment.

F6[(9) The Minister for Finance may, by order notified in Iris Oifigiúil, declare any specified person, or any person of a specified class of persons, to be a consumer for the purposes of the definition of "consumer" in subsection (1).]

Annotations

Amendments:

F1

Inserted (16.05.2022) by Consumer Protection (Regulation of Retail Credit and Credit Servicing Firms) Act 2022 (5/2022), s. 10(a), S.I. No. 229 of 2022.

F2

Substituted (16.05.2022) by Consumer Protection (Regulation of Retail Credit and Credit Servicing Firms) Act 2022 (5/2022), s. 10(b), S.I. No. 229 of 2022.

F3

Deleted (1.05.2003) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 (12/2003), s. 35(1) and sch. 1 part 21 item 1, S.I. No. 160 of 2003.

F4

Inserted (1.05.2003) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 (12/2003), s. 35(1) and sch. 1 part 21 item 1, S.I. No. 160 of 2003.

F5

Deleted (1.10.2010) by Central Bank Reform Act 2010 (23/2010), s. 15(4) and sch. 2 part 4 items 1 and 2, S.I. No. 469 of 2010.

F6

Inserted (1.08.2004) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2004 (21/2004), s. 33 and sch. 3 part 12 item 1(a), (e), S.I. No. 455 of 2004.

F7

Substituted (1.08.2004) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2004 (21/2004), s. 33 and sch. 3 part 12 item 1(b), (ba), (d), S.I. No. 455 of 2004.

F8

Substituted (20.09.2000) by European Communities (Consumer Credit) Regulations 2000 (S.I. No. 294 of 2000), reg. 3.

F9

Substituted (23.09.1996) by European Communities (Consumer Credit Act, 1995) (Amendment) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 277 of 1996), reg. 2(a).

F10

Substituted (16.05.2022) by Consumer Protection (Regulation of Retail Credit and Credit Servicing Firms) Act 2022 (5/2022), s. 10(c), S.I. No. 229 of 2022.

F11

Deleted (28.02.2002) by ACC Bank Act 2001 (12/2001), s. 12(1) and sch. part 1, S.I. No. 69 of 2002.

F12

Deleted (12.02.2001) by ICC Bank Act 2000 (32/2000), s. 7(1) and sch. part 1, S.I. No. 46 of 2001.

F13

Substituted (1.01.2005) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2004 (21/2004), s. 33 and sch. 3 part 12 item 1(c), S.I. No. 455 of 2004.

F14

Substituted (1.05.2003) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 (12/2003), s. 35(1) and sch. 1 part 21 item 1, S.I. No. 160 of 2003.

Modifications (not altering text):

C4

Definition of mortgage lender construed (13.05.1996) by Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (Section 2) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 127 of 1996) reg. 3.

3. The definition of "mortgage lender" contained in section 2 (1) of the Consumer Credit Act, 1995 shall include—

( a ) a person whose business includes the making of housing loans, provided that at least 50 per cent. by number of all business loans outstanding to him, in whole or in part, at any time comprises loans secured by mortgage of residential property, and

( b ) a local authority (within the meaning of the Local Government Act, 1941 ).

Editorial Notes:

E8

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (3.12.1996) by Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (Section 2) (No. 2) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 369 of 1996).

E9

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (31.07.2015) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 352 of 2015).

E10

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (25.07.2014) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 355 of 2014).

E11

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (15.08.2012) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 322 of 2012).

E12

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (22.11.2010) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 551 of 2010).

E13

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (30.04.2008) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 125 of 2008), in effect as per reg. 2.

E14

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (23.03.2007) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 2) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 138 of 2007).

E15

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (21.12.2006) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 687 of 2006).

E16

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (16.11.2004) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 3) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 715 of 2004).

E17

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (9.04.2002) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2 Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 142 of 2002).

E18

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (7.12.1999) by Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (section 2) (No. 2) Regulations 1999 (S.I. No. 392 of 1999).

E19

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (3.12.1996) by Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (Section 2) (No. 2) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 369 of 1996).

E20

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (13.05.1996) by Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (Section 2) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 127 of 1996).

E21

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (24.09.2007) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 4) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 690 of 2007); revoked (15.08.2012) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 322 of 2012), reg. 5.

E22

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (14.05.2007) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 4) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 751 of 2007); revoked (15.08.2012) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 322 of 2012), reg. 5.

E23

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (30.03.2007) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 3) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 139 of 2007); revoked (15.08.2012) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 322 of 2012), reg. 5.

E24

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (5.03.2007) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 100 of 2007); revoked (25.07.2014) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 355 of 2014), reg. 3.

E25

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (20.07.2005) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (Amendment) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 372 of 2005); this SI amended S.I. No. 414 of 2004 and became obsolete on its revocation, see E-note below.

E26

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (20.07.2005) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 371 of 2005); revoked (15.08.2012) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 322 of 2012), reg. 5.

E27

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (1.07.2004) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 2) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 414 of 2004); revoked (31.07.2015) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 352 of 2015), reg. 3.

E28

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (4.03.2004) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2004 (S.I. No. 93 of 2004); revoked (30.04.2008) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 125 of 2008), reg. 5, in effect as per reg. 2.

E29

Previous affecting provision: subs. (e) inserted (1.05.2003) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 (12/2003), s. 35(1) and sch.1 part 21 item 1(d), S.I. No. 160 of 2003; substituted as per F-note above.

E30

Previous affecting provision: definition of “regulatory authority” inserted (1.05.2003) by Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2003 (12/2003), s. 35(1) and sch. 1 part 21 item 1(j), S.I. No. 160 of 2003; deleted as per F-note above.

E31

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (3.07.2002) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2 (No. 2) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 339 of 2002); revoked (30.04.2008) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 125 of 2008), reg. 5, in effect as per reg. 5.

E32

Previous affecting provision: definition of "creditit institution", para. (e) deleted (28.02.2002) by ACC Bank Act 2001 (12/2001), s. 12(1) and sch. part 1, S.I. No. 69 of 2002; substituted (16.05.2022) as per F-note above.

E33

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (21.09.2001) by Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (Section 2) Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 432 of 2001); revoked (15.08.2012) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 322 of 2012), reg. 5.

E34

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (20.04.2000) by Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (Section 2) Regulations 2000 (S.I. No. 113 of 2000); revoked (30.04.2008) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 125 of 2008), reg. 5, in effect as per reg. 2.

E35

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (27.01.1999) by Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (section 2) Regulations 1999 (S.I. No. 15 of 1999); revoked (25.07.2014) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 355 of 2014), reg. 3.

E36

Power pursuant to subs. (1) exercised (13.05.1996) by Consumer Credit Act, 1995 (Section 2) Regulations 1996 (S.I. No. 127 of 1996); revoked (15.08.2012) by Consumer Credit Act 1995 (Section 2) (No. 1) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 322 of 2012), reg. 3.