Credit laws


Since the 1970s, the legislator has increased the number of laws aimed at protecting borrowers . These laws are above all a means of forcing financial establishments and banks to provide maximum clarity and prior information . France is the country with the most comprehensive and restrictive credit laws in the world . Anglo-Saxon countries (United States and England) are much freer and consumers are held responsible for their choices and actions.
In France, the consumer is often considered as a person who suffers, and who must therefore be protected and assisted. This mentality is reflected in the statistics of over-indebtedness: despite an arsenal of laws, France sees the number of over-indebtedness increasing every year!

In 2010, more new laws ...

New legal texts are in preparation and should be adopted in October 2010. They will further restrict credit advertising.
Learn more about the Consumer Credit Bill.

Chronology and summary of the various laws since 1978

1978 - Scrivener Law - Consumption

Law that regulates consumer loans for which the financing is greater than or equal to 3 months and for an amount financed less than or equal to $ 21,500.
This law requires financial institutions to clearly indicate on advance credit offers:

  • the identity of the borrower and co-borrower, as well as the contact details of the financing organization
  • the date of issue of the offer
  • the amount and rate (APR) of the credit
  • the characteristics of the financed good, in the event of affected credit
  • the characteristics of the contract

The credit institution or the bank is required to maintain the conditions of the offer for 15 days from the time the offer is made.

1979 - Scrivener Law - Real Estate

Law that regulates mortgage loans to individuals. It has put in place measures aimed at information and enhanced protection of borrowers of real estate (house apartments), in particular, by linking the two contracts (real estate and sale).
In short, the validity of the sales contract is linked to obtaining the loan, and vice versa. The borrower therefore has a cooling-off period of 10 days after receiving the proposal from the credit institution. He also benefits from a "suspensive clause" if he does not obtain the loan (s) requested.

1989 - Neiertz Law

Law of 31 December 1989 relating to the prevention and settlement of difficulties linked to the over-indebtedness of individuals and families. This law has enabled consumers to file over-indebtedness files with the Commissions managed by the Banque de France.

2001 - Murcef Law

Law on Urgent Measures of an Economic and Financial Nature (MURCEF)
Law of 11 December 2001 intended to improve relations between banks (or credit institutions) and their customers, in particular by setting up a banking mediation system. Every bank is now obliged to have a mediator to whom a customer must be able to turn in the event of a dispute.

2003 - Financial Security Law (LSF)

Law which imposes specific rules for advertising on consumer credit (press, TV, internet ...). The legislator wants fair and informative advertising indicating a single rate. The law also determines the rules for the presentation of advertising:

  • list of mandatory information, including an example
  • minimum character size for legal notices
  • visibility of texts (especially on the Internet).

2005 Chatel Law

Law intended to strengthen consumer confidence and protection, by amending the regulation of revolving credit and removing the ban on advertising free credit (excluding credit under three months) in outside of stores.

2008 Chatel Law

Law for the expansion of competition for the benefit of the consumer, which promotes in particular enhanced information for the borrower in the event of a variable rate loan (new mentions) and increases the scope of the banking mediation of the Murcef law from 2001.

2008 Chatel Law - Distance sales

Right of withdrawal and reimbursement of the consumer.
In the event of a sale made at a distance (mail, telephone, internet) the consumer can change his mind and renounce his purchase. In this case it must be reimbursed within 30 days of its withdrawal. Beyond this period, the sums due to him bear interest at the legal rate in force. In the same way, applied to credit, the consumer benefits from the time limit of the Scrivener law and 7 additional days.

2011 Lois Lagarde

They include in particular:

  • Modification of the consumer credit limits
  • Calculation of wear rate
  • Possibility of choosing between the different types of credit
  • An extended withdrawal period
  • Credit advertising
  • The credit agreement and FICP file
  • Duration of the FICP file
  • Creation of a positive national credit file

To consult:
Consumer Credit Bill - 2010.


A loan commits you and must be repaid.
Check your repayment capacity before you commit.

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