The purpose of the paper is to present the most important Polish regulations concerning consumer credits. They are contained in the Act on Consumer Credit which was adopted on 20th July 2001. Its aim was to approximate Polish law with the EU requirements predicted in the Council Directive 87/102/EEC of 22 December 1986 on consumer credit. As a result the Polish legislator regulates the most important aspects of such credit agreements. First of all, the credit agreement is defined. This definition is quite wide – “credit agreement means an agreement whereby a creditor grants or promises to grant to a consumer a credit in any form”. However, it is narrowed by the list of exceptions which are discussed in the paper. Secondly, the form and content of credit agreements are regulated (with special care of the questions of total credit costs and real annual percentage rate). Thirdly, consumers are protected in relation to bills of exchange and cheques and also in the case of the assignment of the creditors rights under a credit agreement to a third person. Fourthly, the Act predicts consumer rights to discharge his obligations under a credit agreement before the time fixed by it and to withdraw from the agreement. Finally, the provisions of the Act are binding on the creditor and he cannot exclude or limit consumer rights in the agreement. One the whole it can be said that Polish consumers are quite well protected against the unfair practices of different creditors. Now, everything depends on their readiness to use their rights as creditors can try to diminish the role of the provisions of the Act.
consumer credit, credit agreement, total costs of the credit, real annual percentage rate, consumer rights to withdraw from the agreement and to discharge his obligations under a credit agreement before the time fixed by it
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