Subprime lender’s arrears deal is legal first

A subprime lender has agreed not to repossess for at least six years the home of a man who fell into arrears in what is believed to be the first legally binding deal of its kind in the UK.

Blemain Finance, an arm of the Blemain Group, reached the agreement in a High Court case with Peter Bentley, a carpenter from Bridgend who had lost wages as he cared for his sick father.

The deal is the latest victory by aggressive personal claims companies that are taking on companies responsible for a spate of lending during the credit boom to households that are now struggling to repay.

Personal insolvencies continue to rise, with almost 100,000 in the year to September.

Carl Wright, of Cartel Client Review, the Manchester-based personal claims company, which took Mr Bentley’s case, has been using a clause in the 1974 Consumer Credit Act to argue that many lenders have an ‘unfair relationship’ with uninformed consumers, who often sign up for loans they can ill-afford and which carry heavy penalty charges.