New regulation in consumer loan and housing finance contracts

The Ministry of Commerce regulated the provisions on consumer loans and housing finance contracts. It was planned to reduce the costs and disputes incurred by consumers due to the loan.

The regulations on the amendments to the Consumer Loan Agreements and Housing Finance Agreements regulations prepared by the Ministry were published in the Official Gazette.

In the statement made by the Ministry of Commerce, information was given about the changes.

The regulation is aimed to protect the consumer

In the statement, which stated that consumers have information asymmetry and power imbalance against financial institutions, it was reminded that the contract texts and consumer transactions realized after them contain too many legal and technical terms.

In the statement, emphasizing that due to such reasons, consumers need more effective and more protection against contracts and practices established in financial markets compared to markets where other consumer transactions are carried out, “In this context, the legal texts and documents concluded from the pre-contractual information process on consumer loan agreements and housing finance agreements to which consumers are a party are protected, until the end of the contractual relationship, and the practices related to these texts are bound to strict mandatory rules in the Consumer Loan Contracts Regulation and the Housing Finance Contracts Regulation with the aim of protecting the consumer.”

The changes that have been made

In the statement, it was stated that changes are needed in order to eliminate the hesitations and conflicts in the financial markets, to eliminate the hesitations and conflicts in the application, and to fulfill the requirements of the principle of certainty. Thus, it was stated that it was aimed to comply with the regulations made with the Law on the Protection of the Consumer and the Law on Amending the Law on Condominium Ownership.

In the statement, the changes made were listed as follows:

Due to the low financial literacy of the consumers, in case they pay the entire loan debt early within 14 days without the necessary notification for the use of the right of withdrawal, it is assumed that they use the right of withdrawal, and to protect the economic interest of the consumers by providing the refund of the fees that are required to be refunded, apart from the fees paid to public institutions or third parties with accrued interest.

In order to apply the interest rate reduction in indefinite term loan agreements such as credit card or overdraft accounts, the requirement of 30 days prior notice has been removed, in the event that the contractual interest rate is reduced, it is aimed to reduce the interest burden that consumers will have to endure by enabling this change to be implemented as of the last payment date of the period when the consumer is notified.

Considering that the products and services offered in packages and insurances as a condition of using the credit, cause intense consumer complaints in practice, with the regulation made, it was planned to reduce the costs and disputes incurred by consumers due to loans, by prohibiting the purchase of ancillary financial products or services that the consumer does not need and will not benefit from, except for the credit-related insurances stipulated by the lender in order to choose the discounted loan offer with different interest rates.

Regarding the credit-linked insurances regarding the insured and uninsured loan offers, it has been decided that in case the uninsured loan option is also offered to the consumer, it can be demanded from the consumer, as a condition of the loan agreement, to take out a loan-linked insurance that will form a package with the loan.

It was stated that the said insurances should be compatible with the remaining debt amount and maturity in the amount insurance only in order to ensure the repayment of the loan debt.

It was decided that only one insurance could be made that provides the guarantee for the same risk.

The policy that the consumer obtains from the insurance company of his choice, compatible with the loan amount and duration, and whose primary creditor is the credit institution in case of risk, must be accepted regardless of the will of the lender.

Source: Trthaber / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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