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6000 - Consumer Protection



CHAPTER 5—CONSUMER LEASES

Sec.

181. Definitions.
182. Consumer lease disclosures.
183. Lessee's liability on expiration or termination of lease.
184. Consumer lease advertising; liability of advertising media.
185. Civil liability of lessor.
186. Applicability of State laws; exemptions by Bureau from leasing requirements.
187. Regulations

§ 181.  Definitions

For purpose of this chapter--

(1)  The term "consumer lease" means a contract in the form of a lease or bailment for the use of personal property by a natural person for a period of time exceeding four months, and for a total contractual obligation not exceeding $50,000, primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, whether or not the lessee has the option to purchase or otherwise become the owner of the property at the expiration of the lease, except that such term shall not include any credit sale as defined in section 103(g). Such term does not include a lease for agricultural, business, or commercial purposes, or to a government or governmental agency or instrumentality, or to an organization.

(2)  The term "lessee" means a natural person who leases or is offered a consumer lease.

(3)  The term "lessor" means a person who is regularly engaged in leasing, offering to lease, or arranging to lease under a consumer lease.

(4)  The term "personal property" means any property which is not real property under the laws of the State where situated at the time offered or otherwise made available for lease.

(5)  The terms "security" and "security interest" mean any interest in property which secures payment or performance of an obligation.

[Codified to 15 U.S.C. 1667]

[Source:  Section 181 of title I of the Act of May 29, 1968 (Pub. L. No. 90-321), as added by section 3 of the Act of March 23, 1976 (Pub. L. No. 94-240; 90 Stat. 257), effective March 23, 1977; as amended by section 1100E(a)(2) of title X of the Act of July 21, 2012 (Pub. L. No. 111--203; 124 Stat. 2111), effective July 21, 2011]

§ 182.  Consumer lease disclosures

Each lessor shall give a lessee prior to the consummation of the lease a dated written statement on which the lessor and lessee are identified setting out accurately and in a clear and conspicuous manner the following information with respect to that lease, as applicable:

(1)  A brief description or identification of the leased property;

(2)  The amount of any payment by the lessee required at the inception of the lease;

(3)  The amount paid or payable by the lessee for official fees, registration, certificate of title, or license fees or taxes;

(4)  The amount of other charges payable by the lessee not included in the periodic payments, a description of the charges and that the lessee shall be liable for the differential, if any, between the anticipated fair market value of the leased property and its appraised actual value at the termination of the lease, if the lessee has such liability;

(5)  A statement of the amount or method of determining the amount of any liabilities the lease imposes upon the lessee at the end of the term and whether or not the lessee has the option to purchase the leased property and at what price and time;

(6)  A statement identifying all express warranties and guarantees made by the manufacturer or lessor with respect to the leased property, and identifying the party responsible for maintaining or servicing the leased property together with a description of the responsibility;

(7)  A brief description of insurance provided or paid for by the lessor or required of the lessee, including the types and amounts of the coverages and costs;

(8)  A description of any security interest held or to be retained by the lessor in connection with the lease and a clear identification of the property to which the security interest relates;

(9)  The number, amount, and due dates or periods of payments under the lease and the total amount of such periodic payments;

(10)  Where the lease provides that the lessee shall be liable for the anticipated fair market value of the property on expiration of the lease, the fair market value of the property at the inception of the lease, the aggregate cost of the lease on expiration, and the differential between them; and

(11)  A statement of the conditions under which the lessee or lessor may terminate the lease prior to the end of the term and the amount or method of determining any penalty or other charge for delinquency, default, late payments, or early termination.

The disclosures required under this section may be made in the lease contract to be signed by the lessee. The Bureau may provide by regulation that any portion of the information required to be disclosed under this section may be given in the form of estimates where the lessor is not in a position to know exact information.

[Codified to 15 U.S.C. 1667a]

[Source:  Section 182 of title I of the Act of May 29, 1968 (Pub. L. No. 90--321), as added by section 3 of the Act of March 23, 1976 (Pub. L. No. 94--240; 90 Stat. 258), effective March 23, 1977; section 1100A(2) and 1100A(10)(B) of title X of the Act of July 21, 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111--203; 124 Stat. 2107), effective July 21, 2011]

§ 183.  Lessee's liability on expiration or termination of lease

(a)  ESTIMATED RESIDUAL VALUE OF PROPERTY AS BASIS; PRESUMPTIONS; ACTION BY LESSOR FOR EXCESS LIABILITY; MUTUALLY AGREEABLE FINAL ADJUSTMENT.--Where the lessee's liability on expiration of a consumer lease is based on the estimated residual value of the property such estimated residual value shall be a reasonable approximation of the anticipated actual fair market value of the property on lease expiration. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the estimated residual value is unreasonable to the extent that the estimated residual value exceeds the actual residual value by more than three times the average payment allocable to a monthly period under the lease. In addition, where the lessee has such liability on expiration of a consumer lease there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the lessor's estimated residual value is not in good faith to the extent that the estimated residual value exceeds the actual residual value by more than three times the average payment allocable to a monthly period under the lease and such lessor shall not collect from the lessee the amount of such excess liability on expiration of a consumer lease unless the lessor brings a successful action with respect to such excess liability. In all actions, the lessor shall pay the lessee's reasonable attorney's fees. The presumptions stated in this section shall not apply to the extent the excess of estimated over actual residual value is due to physical damage to the property beyond reasonable wear and use, or to excessive use, and the lease may set standards for such wear and use if such standards are not unreasonable. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the right of a willing lessee to make any mutually agreeable final adjustment with respect to such excess residual liability, provided such an agreement is reached after termination of the lease.

(b)  Penalties or other charges for delinquency, default, or early termination may be specified in the lease but only at an amount which is reasonable in the light of the anticipated or actual harm caused by the delinquency, default, or early termination, the difficulties of proof of loss, and the inconvenience or nonfeasibility of otherwise obtaining an adequate remedy.

(c)  If a lease has a residual value provision at the termination of the lease, the lessee may obtain at his expense, a professional appraisal of the leased property by an independent third party agreed to by both parties. Such appraisal shall be final and binding on the parties.

[Codified to 15 U.S.C. 1667b]


[Source:  Section 183 of title I of the Act of May 29, 1968 (Pub. L. No. 90--321), as added by section 3 of the Act of March 23, 1976 (Pub. L. No. 94--240; 90 Stat. 259), effective March 23, 1977]

§ 184.  Consumer lease advertising; liability of advertising media

(a)  IN GENERAL.--If an advertisement for a consumer lease includes a statement of the amount of any payment or a statement that any or no initial payment is required, the advertisement shall clearly and conspicuously state, as applicable--

(1)  the transaction advertised is a lease;

(2)  the total amount of any initial payments required on or before consummation of the lease or delivery of the property, whichever is later;

(3)  that a security deposit is required;

(4)  the number, amount, and timing of scheduled payments; and

(5)  with respect to a lease in which the liability of the consumer at the end of the lease term is based on the anticipated residual value of the property, that an extra charge may be imposed at the end of the lease term.

(b)  ADVERTISING MEDIUM NOT LIABLE.--No owner or employee of any entity that serves as a medium in which an advertisement appears or through which an advertisement is disseminated, shall be liable under this section.

(c)  RADIO ADVERTISEMENTS.--

(1)  IN GENERAL.--An advertisement by radio broadcast to aid, promote, or assist, directly or indirectly, any consumer lease shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of subsection (a) if such advertisement clearly and conspicuously--

(A)  states the information required by paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a);

(B)  stated the number, amounts, due dates or periods of scheduled payments, and the total of such payments under the lease;

(C)  includes--

(i)  a referral to--

(I)  a toll-free telephone number established in accordance with paragraph (2) that may be used by consumers to obtain the information required under subsection (a); or

(II)  a written advertisement that--

(aa)  appears in a publication in general circulation in the community served by the radio station on which such advertisement is broadcast during the period beginning 3 days before any such broadcast and ending 10 days after such broadcast; and

(bb)  includes the information required to be disclosed under subsection (a); and

(ii)  the names and dates of any publication referred to in clause (i)(II); and

(D)  includes any other information which the Bureau determines necessary to carry out this chapter.

(2)  ESTABLISHMENT OF TOLL-FREE NUMBER.--

(A)  IN GENERAL.--In the case of a radio broadcast advertisement described in paragraph (1) that includes a referral to a toll-free telephone number, the lessor who offers the consumer lease shall--

(i)  establish such a toll-free telephone number not later than the date on which the advertisement including the referral is broadcast;

(ii)  maintain such telephone number for a period of not less than 10 days, beginning on the date of any such broadcast; and

(iii)  provide the information required under subsection (a) with respect to the lease to any person who calls such number.

(B)  FORM OF INFORMATION.--The information required to be provided under subparagraph (A)(iii) shall be provided verbally or, if requested by the consumer, in written form.

(3)  NO EFFECT ON OTHER LAW.--Nothing in this subsection shall affect the requirements of Federal law as such requirements apply to advertisement by any medium other than radio broadcast.

[Codified to 15 U.S.C. 1667c]

[Source:  Section 184 of title I of the Act of May 29, 1968 (Pub. L. No. 90--321), as added by section 3 of the Act of March 23, 1976 (Pub. L. No. 94--240; 90 Stat. 259), effective March 23, 1977; as amended by section 336 of title III of the Act of September 23, 1994 (Pub. L. No. 103--325; 108 Stat. 2234), effective September 23, 1994; section 2605(c) of title II of the Act of September 30, 1996 (Pub. L. No. 104--208; 110 Stat. 3009--473); effective September 30, 1996; section 1100A(2) and 1100A(10)(A) of title X of the Act of July 21, 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111--203; 124 Stat. 2107 and 2109), effective July 21, 2011]

§ 185.  Civil liability

(a)  Any lessor who fails to comply with any requirement imposed under section 182 or 183 of this chapter with respect to any person is liable to such person as provided in section 130.

(b)  Any lessor who fails to comply with any requirement imposed under section 184 of this chapter with respect to any person who suffers actual damage from the violation is liable to such person as provided in section 130. For the purposes of this section, the term "creditor" as used in sections 130 and 131 shall include a lessor as defined in this chapter.

(c)  Notwithstanding section 130(e), any action under this section may be brought in any United States district court or in any other court of competent jurisdiction. Such actions alleging a failure to disclose or otherwise comply with the requirements of this chapter shall be brought within one year of the termination of the lease agreement.

[Codified to 15 U.S.C. 1667d]

[Source:  Section 185 of title I of the Act of May 29, 1968 (Pub. L. No. 90--321), as added by section 3 of the Act of March 23, 1976 (Pub. L. No. 94--240; 90 Stat. 260), effective March 23, 1977; as amended by section 624 of title VI of the Act of March 31, 1980 (Pub. L. No. 96--221; 94 Stat. 185), effective October 1, 1982]

§ 186.  Relation to State laws

(a)  This chapter does not annul, alter, or affect, or exempt any person subject to the provisions of this chapter from complying with, the laws of any State with respect to consumer leases, except to the extent that those laws are inconsistent with any provision of this chapter, and then only to the extent of the inconsistency. The Bureau is authorized to determine whether such inconsistencies exist. The Bureau may not determine that any State law is inconsistent with any provision of this chapter if the Bureau determines that such law gives greater protection and benefit to the consumer.

(b)  The Bureau shall by regulation exempt from the requirements of this chapter any class of lease transactions within any State if it determines that under the law of that State that class of transactions is subject to requirements substantially similar to those imposed under this chapter or that such law gives greater protection and benefit to the consumer, and that there is adequate provision for enforcement.

[Codified to 15 U.S.C. 1667e]

[Source:  Section 186 of title I of the Act of May 29, 1968 (Pub. L. No. 90-321), as added by section 3 of the Act of March 23, 1976 (Pub. L. No. 94-240; 90 Stat. 260), effective March 23, 1977; section 1100A(2) and 1100A(10) of title X of the Act of July 21, 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111--203; 124 Stat. 2107 and 2109), effective July 21, 2011]

§ 187.  Regulations.

(a)  REGULATION AUTHORIZED.--

(1)  IN GENERAL.--The Bureau shall prescribe regulations to update and clarify the requirements and definitions applicable to lease disclosures and contracts, and any other issues specifically related to consumer leasing, to the extent that the Bureau determines such action to be necessary--

(A)  to carry out this chapter;

(B)  to prevent any circumvention of this chapter; or

(C)  to facilitate compliance with the requirements of the chapter.

(2)  CLASSIFICATIONS, ADJUSTMENTS.--Any regulations prescribed under paragraph (1) may contain classifications and differentiations, and may provide for adjustments and exceptions for any class of transactions, as the Bureau considers appropriate.

(b)  MODEL DISCLOSURE.--

(1)  PUBLICATION.--The Bureau shall establish and publish model disclosure forms to facilitate compliance with the disclosure requirements of this chapter and to aid the consumer in understanding the transaction to which the subject disclosure form relates.

(2)  USE OF AUTOMATED EQUIPMENT.--In establishing model forms under this subsection, the Bureau shall consider the use by lessors of data processing or similar automated equipment.

(3)  USE OPTIONAL.--A lessor may utilize a model disclosure form established by the Board under this subsection for purposes of compliance with this chapter, at the discretion of the lessor.

(4)  EFFECT OF USE.--Any lessor who properly uses the material aspects of any model disclosure form established by the Bureau under this subsection shall be deemed to be in compliance with the disclosure requirements to which the form relates.

[Codified to 15 U.S.C. 1667f]

[Source:  Section 2605(b)(1) of title II of the Act of September 30, 1996 (Pub. L. No. 104--208; 110 Stat. 3009--472), effective September 30, 1996; section 1100A(2) and 1100A(10) of title X of the Act of July 21, 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111--203; 124 Stat. 2107 and 2109), effective July 21, 2011]


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