Is a high-cost credit merchant not abiding by his or her obligations? You can turn to the courts and, among other things, demand the nullity of the contract or the cancellation of the credit charges.

Demanding the nullity of the contract

You may ask the court to nullify the contract if the merchant:

  • fails to abide by any of the rules governing the making of the contract or if the contract fails to comply with a requirement (e.g. either of the parties – the merchant or you – did not sign the contract);
  • fails to abide by what the law provides for regarding payment terms (e.g. in the case of an instalment sale, the merchant requires instalments of unequal amounts);
  • did not calculate the credit charges or rate as provided for by law, or failed to indicate them as required. For example, the merchant did not indicate the credit rate on an annual basis in the contract.

The court will hear your application, unless the merchant can show that the failure to abide by the obligation in question did not cause you any harm.

You may also demand the nullity of the contract if the merchant does not hold the permit required by law.

A contract that null is a contract that has never existed. The merchant and you must find yourselves in the situation you both were in before it was entered into.

Demanding the cancellation of the credit charges

You may ask the court to rule that no credit charges apply and that any you have already paid be reimbursed to you if the merchant:

  • fails to abide by what the law provides for regarding payment terms (e.g. in the case of an instalment sale, the merchant requires instalments of unequal amounts);
  • did not calculate the credit charges or rate as provided for by law, or failed to indicate them as required. For example, the merchant did not indicate the credit rate on an annual basis in the contract.

The court will hear your application, unless the merchant can show that the failure to abide by the obligation in question did not cause you any harm.

What if the merchant did not hold the required permit to enter into a high-cost contract for the loan of money with you? You may also ask the court to rule that no credit charges apply and that any you have already paid be reimbursed to you.

Failure to abide by a basic rule: available options

In other cases, if the merchant fails to abide by his or her obligations, you can ask the court to:

  • cancel the contract, i.e. terminate it, but without having any amounts already paid reimbursed to you;
  • cancel the contract, i.e. terminate it, and allow you to have any amounts already paid reimbursed to you;
  • nullify the contract;
  • decrease your obligations.

You may also file a claim for damages or punitive damages, i.e. a sum of money to repair the harm that was caused. It is the court that will set the amount.

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Last update : August 25, 2020

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.