Dispute resolution in the area of consumer credit

Pursuant to Sec. 1, Par. 1, letter c) of Act No. 229/2002 Coll., on the Financial Arbitrator, as amended, the Financial Arbitrator is competent to decide disputes between a consumer and a creditor or an intermediary in connection with offering, providing or intermediating a consumer credit or other credit, loan or similar financial service (hereinafter referred to as “a credit”).

Consumer credit legislation

Credit agreements concluded from 1st December 2016 are governed primarily by Act No. 257/2016 Coll., on Consumer Credit, as amended (hereinafter referred to as “the Consumer Credit Act 2016”). In matters not regulated by this Act, credit agreements are governed by Act No. 89/2012 Coll., The Civil Code, as amended (hereinafter referred to as “the Civil Code”).

The Consumer Credit Act 2016 replaced the antecedent consumer credit legislation, i.e. Act No. 145/2010 Coll., On Consumer Credit and on amendments to other acts, as amended until 30th November 2016 (hereinafter referred to as “the Consumer Credit Act 2010”). Compared to the Consumer Credit Act 2016, some credit agreements were excluded from the scope of the Consumer Credit Act 2010. A typical example of such credits are credits publicly known as mortgage credits or credits from building savings, i.e. credits provided for housing purposes, in which the claim is secured by a mortgage and the purpose of which is, inter alia, the acquisition of the right of ownership of immovable property, settlement of ownership relations to immovable property or construction of immovable property or alteration of the building or its connection to public utilities.

Credit agreements excluded from the scope of the Consumer Credit Act 2010 are governed by the Consumer Credit Act 2016 within the scope of its transitional provisions, e.g. regarding early repayment of a consumer credit for housing purposes concluded with fixed borrowing rate, obligations under the credit agreements are governed by the Consumer Credit Act 2016 from the date on which the new period for which a fixed borrowing rate has been set begins, if the period begins after the date of entry into effect of the Consumer Credit Act 2016 (i.e. not earlier than 1st December 2016). Otherwise, these agreements are governed by the Civil Code, or Act No. 513/1991 Coll., Commercial Code, as amended until 31st December 2013 (hereinafter referred to as “the Commercial Code”), and Act No. 40/1964 Coll., Civil Code, as amended until 31st December 2013 (hereinafter referred to as “the Old Civil Code”).

Credit agreements concluded during the effectiveness of the Consumer Credit Act 2010, which are not excluded from the scope of this act, are still governed by this act along with the Consumer Credit Act 2016 within the scope of its transitional provisions. In matters not regulated by these acts, these agreements are governed by the Civil Code, or the Commercial Code and the Old Civil Code.

Credit agreements concluded before the Consumer Credit Act 2010 came into effect, specifically in the period from 1st January 2002 to 31st December 2010, shall be governed by Act No. 321/2001 Coll., on Certain Conditions for Negotiation of the Consumer Credit and on amendments to the act No. 64/1986 Coll., as amended until 31st December 2010, except for given exceptions and the transitional provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 2010 or the Consumer Credit Act 2016, as well as the Commercial Code and the Old Civil Code.

A special regulation applies to agreements on credits from building savings which are additionally governed by Act No. 96/1993 Coll., on Building Savings Schemes and State Support for Building Savings Schemes, as amended.

When deciding disputes regarding credits, the Financial Arbitrator also applies some other legal regulations concerning, e.g. default interest or the COVID-19 pandemic. Selected legislation is available here.

What disputes does the Financial Arbitrator decide in the field of credits?

Since 1st February 2016 the Financial Arbitrator has been competent to decide all disputes arisen from credit agreements, i.e. agreements concluded during the effectiveness of the Consumer Credit Act 2016 or previous acts governing consumer credits, including disputes arisen from credit agreements excluded from the scope of these acts, provided that the agreements are concluded between a consumer and an entrepreneur.

The Financial Arbitrator may decide, for example, in the following disputes between a consumer, a creditor or an intermediary in connection with offering, providing or intermediating a credit:

  • dispute over the right to early repayment of a debt under a credit agreement,
  • dispute over the amount of the fee for early repayment of aa credit,
  • dispute over the amount of the non-drawdown fee of aa credit,
  • dispute over the validity of withdrawal from a credit agreement or an intermediation agreement,
  • dispute over creditworthiness assessment,
  • dispute over requiring payment from the consumer,
  • dispute over fees from a credit agreement or an intermediation agreement,
  • dispute over the validity of a credit agreement, contractual penalty or other contractual arrangement or provision;
  • dispute over the determination of the amount of a debt under a credit agreement,
  • dispute over the right to interest on a credit in the amount of the discount rate, the repo rate or the usual lending interest rate,
  • dispute over the calculation of the annual percentage rate of charge (APRC),
  • dispute over compensation for damage caused by a creditor or an intermediary in connection with a credit or an intermediation agreement,
  • dispute over the method of repaying a credit affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with Act No. 177/2020 Coll., on some measures in area of loan repayments related to COVID‑19 pandemic.

What disputes does the Financial Arbitrator not decide in the field of credits?

The Financial Arbitrator cannot resolve disputes in which the debtor has concluded a credit or an intermediation agreement as an entrepreneur, i.e. they concluded a credit agreement for the purpose of financing their business activities.

Furthermore, the Financial Arbitrator cannot resolve disputes between consumers and administrators of client information registers, e.g. over the deletion of negative records about a consumer as a debtor from these registers.

In addition to the above, the Financial Arbitrator cannot decide, for example, in the following disputes between a consumer and a creditor or an intermediary:

  • dispute over the establishment, change or cancellation of a mortgage in connection with a credit agreement,
  • dispute over the determination of the amount of a debt under a credit agreement registered in insolvency proceedings,
  • dispute over the suspension of execution proceedings in connection with a credit agreement,
  • dispute over insurances related to a credit (unless it is life insurance), e.g. payment protection insurance.

Filing a complaint to commence proceedings, forms, Collection of decisions

For the purpose of filing a complaint, we recommend you to use the Complaint Filing Tutorial or a Complaint form.

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