Reforming collateral laws to expand access to finance

Author: Fleisig, Heywood W
Publication: World Bank Publications (2006)

Abstract: Most readers, especially those with car loans or home mortgages, know about “collateral”–property that the lender can take away from the borrower in the event that the borrower defaults. In low/middle income countries, it is understood that conservative lenders exclude firms from credit markets with their excessive collateral requirements. Usually, this is because only some property is acceptable as collateral: large holdings of urban real estate and, sometimes, new motor vehicles. Microenterprises, SMEs, and the poor have little of this property but they do have an array of productive assets that could easily be harnessed to serve as collateral. It is only the legal framework which prevents firms from using these assets to secure loans. In countries with reformed laws governing collateral, property such as equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, livestock are considered excellent collateral. This book aims to better equip project managers to implement reforms to the legal and institutional framework for collateral (secured transactions). It discusses the importance of movable property as a source of collateral for firms, the relationship between the legal framework governing movable assets and the financial sector consequences for firms (better loan terms, increased access, more competitive financial sector), and how reforms can be put in place to change the lending environment.

Click here to read more.