The Consumer Affairs Commission Jamaica

An Agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce
Government of Jamaica
The Hire Purchase Act
 

One of the laws which enables Consumers to obtain redress is the Hire Purchase Act.

Some provisions of this Act which Consumers should be aware of are as follows:

THE GOODS ARE NOT YOURS UNTIL YOU HAVE PAID FOR THEM  IN FULL

When a Consumer buys goods under a hire purchase agreement, the goods do not belong to him until they are fully paid for under the Agreement.

REMEMBER, when you enter an agreement to obtain goods on hire purchase, the seller must give you a copy of the Agreement which you have both signed.

YOU MUST PAY FOR DAMAGE

Did you know that when you buy goods on hire purchase, you are legally bound to take reasonable care of them until they are fully paid for?  If the goods are repossessed, or if you end the agreement early and return the goods, and they are damaged, you may be required to pay compensation to the seller.

WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU DO NOT PAY

If you are buying goods on hire purchase, and you do not pay your instalments on time and the issue of repossession arises, the seller must first send you a notice of default and afterwards, a notice that he is going to repossess the goods.

The notice of default should give you at least seven days to make good your payment. After that, the seller’s bailiff can repossess the goods.

NOTICE OF REPOSSESSION

The Hire Purchase Act is like a referee who ensuresthat both sides obey the rules - in this case, the seller and the buyer or Consumer. The law says that the seller’s bailiff who is recovering possession of goods must bring with him a copy of the notice of repossession. He must also leave a copy of this notice with the Consumer.

REPOSSESSION PROCEDURES

Consumers who buy goods on hire purchase must pay their instalments on time. If not, a bailiff may be sent to repossess the goods.  Repossession should be carried out only by a licensed bailiff and he must show his license and ID card before entering your premises.  In addition, the bailiff may only enter the premises between six o’clock in the morning and six in the evening, Mondays to Saturdays.

TERMINATING YOUR HIRE PURCHASE AGREEMENT

As a  Consumer, you can terminate your hire purchase agreement before the final instalment is due. To do this, You must inform the seller in writing. You must also make all payments due up to the date of termination.

You may have to pay an additional amount, as specified in your agreement with the seller.

 

Read The Hire Purchase Act (pdf)
Provided by Ministry of Justice