Following the June 8th General Election the new government announced in the Queen’s speech something called a Goods Mortgages Bill.
This bill is a well meaning attempt to make things easier and clearer for folk borrowing on the value of the asset they are buying. For example borrowing the value of car, secured on the car.
It has not really made a splash in the news coming in under the radar of in a world full of war, Brexit, catastrophes and terrorist atrocities. However it is rare bit of good news for the general public – so here are the major points.
The bill is intended to update legislation originally formulated in the Victorian era.
It will provide better protection for those who borrow secured on an asset while at the same time reduce some of the paperwork for the lending companies.
This will be a neat trick as making things safer for the borrower usually adds to the paperwork for the lender. The main benefit to the lender seems to be the removal of the need for high court registration and associated costs per sale which can run from £480 to £1,735.
It also is intended to make the borrowers better informed, which again would normally increase paperwork and lengthen the process. So we will have to wait and see.
One exciting element is creating new opportunities for small business people to use existing assets to raise finance. This is of course currently possible, but making it easier could be very helpful for many.
For those hitting financial difficulties during the term of the loan there will be additional safeguards. One is to force a court order to be raised before repossession if more than a third has been paid off. The other is making it easier to just hand the asset back if things become unaffordable.
There will also be protection for those not involved in the deal at all. For example protection for someone innocently buying a car that has finance on it.
In line with this added protection will be increased penalties applied to people who knowingly sell a vehicle with outstanding finance secured on it.
It is too early to know exactly when this bill will become law, but it would seem to be relatively uncontroversial, so should squeak through if the Government survives.
We will of course keep you posted, with news of the bill as it progresses.