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The government has carefully reviewed the responses to the consultation on the proposal to reform the Bills of Sale Act in light of the Law Commission’s review and recommendations. Given the concerns that were raised in the consultation, the small and reducing market and the wider work on high-cost credit, the government will not introduce legislation at this point in time. The government will continue to work with the FCA as they carry out their high-cost credit review, and then further consider government action on alternatives to high-cost credit in light of the FCA’s review.
In September 2014, the government asked the Law Commission to review the Bills of Sale Acts and make recommendations for its reform. The desire for a comprehensive review reflected the government’s significant concerns about consumer detriment in this market. The Law Commission initially consulted on the reform of the existing legislation in 2015 and its final report and recommendations to reform the Bills of Sale Acts were published in September 2016. It concluded that the current law is archaic, and wholly unsuited to the 21st century. It recommended that the Bills of Sale Acts should be repealed in their entirety and replaced with a new “Goods Mortgages Act” to govern the way that individuals may use their existing goods as security for a loan or other obligation.
This consultation is seeking views from stakeholders on whether they agree that reform of the law in this area is required and that the bill is appropriate for the Law Commission’s special legislative procedure. The government is also seeking views on the revised approach to registration, the regulatory impact of the proposals and the risks and benefits of extending the draft bill to Northern Ireland.