Loan shark activity in the UK is on the rise, according to the CAB and several debt charities who have conducted research in the area. But what happens if you stand up to a loan shark and the loan shark gets injured? One man in the Wirral found out recently when he was convicted of a list of criminal offences, having fought back against the physical violence visited upon him and his family by a local loan shark.
Does the law need to be changed?
With the recent regulatory clampdown on the online cash loan industry and trusted lenders like the the Wonga brand, more and more people are being turned down for traditional forms of credit and are turning to loan sharks as a result. Due to this experts have reported a significant rise in loan shark activity and as such hundreds of people living in the UK are at risk of being the victims of loan sharks. This has led to a renewed call for the laws surrounding self defence to be reviewed to make it easier for someone in fear of a loan shark to stand up for themselves if they need to.
Others are suggesting that we need to address the cause of the problem of rising loan shark activity, by asking ourselves why more and more people are turning to loan sharks for cash. Some has suggested that we have made a terrible mistake in slamming masses of regulations on legitimate providers of short-term credit like Wonga.
Loan shark – give and take?
The usual dynamics of loan shark lending and victims are well known – loan shark lends cash; cash is defaulted upon and loan shark uses physical threats to secure repayments, but a loan shark victim in the Wirral in England has been convicted of serious criminal offences after standing up to a loan shark who threatened him and his family. Having beaten up a loan shark who had threatened to kill him, Dave Ramsey was arrested after the attack which left the loan shark “victim” on a life support machine. It might sound unbelievable, but as the law stands you may only use reasonable force to protect yourself and in this case the force that was used was not deemed reasonable, leading to the conviction of the man who carried out the attack on the loan shark.
Loan sharks – can you stand up to a loan shark?
As one man recently discovered – everybody, even loan sharks are protected by the criminal law in England and Wales. This means that if you are being threatened by a loan shark or by anyone else, you may be arrested and prosecuted if you decide to take the law into your own hands. Many see this as unbelievable, in light of the fear and misery that loan sharks can visit upon families struggling with debt problems.
A storm brewing
While the laws remain unchanged, and while the regulation of credit services continues unabated, more and more people are suffering at the hands of unscrupulous loan sharks active in the UK.
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