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Feb 10, 2017

Substance of Judgment Safe in Event of Appeal, Says Attorney

Kevin Arthurs

Today’s interview with Perera and Arthurs widely covered the issue of pawnshops’ and moneylenders’ activities in Belize. While so-called “loan sharks” operating without a license are illegal as of law, those operating with licenses are governed by specific rules, which are not always enforced. The attorneys say this is just the start of what they hope will be a crackdown on unscrupulous lending enterprises who have caused untold pain; there are cases in the pipeline that they consider even worse than this one. But might the Blancos appeal? The nature of the case, according to Arthurs, makes it unlikely.

 

Kevin Arthurs, Attorney for Janine Vega

“The truth of the matter is that any person who is aggrieved by a decision, whether they feel rightly or wrongfully so that it is accurate or inaccurate, can appeal. But in this case there were several concessions made; one of the first concessions made as soon as the suit was filed, was that they acknowledged that the property ought not to have been transferred. And so I think if there is an appeal – which in my view as someone which champions this judgment as one that is very well needed – is that if there is an appeal it is going to be on a very narrow ground, and that narrow ground will not affect what the substance of what the decision is, because the substance of the decision is just a re-statement of what the law, what the Moneylender’s Act says, and you cannot appeal an Act unless you challenge it as being unconstitutional, so I don’t believe so.”

 

Senior Counsel Magali Marin-Young represented the Blancos. We sought comment from her office earlier this week but were told that they had yet to receive a copy of the judgment. On Monday we will have more from the interview as it relates to the major failings of moneylenders in relation to presentation of information to customers and the lack of recourse for complaints. But for now it is noted by Arthurs and Perrera that, “persons in Belize who are victims to these illegal loans may have recourse available to them if the loan was received and/or asset illegally confiscated within the past six years.”

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1 Response for “Substance of Judgment Safe in Event of Appeal, Says Attorney”

  1. Concern says:

    These pawn shops and loan sharks have been robbing the people a long time ago and what make it worse is that they are not paying no income tax of these exuberant earnings they are making. GOB needs to target them and collect from them. They lately have built mansions and rent them paying NO Taxes to the State of their profit earnings.

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