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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2079         FILED ON: 1/17/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 890

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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PRESENTED BY:

Michael A. Costello

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act further regulating consumer leasing.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Michael A. Costello

1st Essex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2079        FILED ON: 1/17/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 890

By Mr. Costello of Newburyport, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 890) of Michael A. Costello relative to further regulating consumer leasing.  Financial Services. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

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In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act further regulating consumer leasing.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Section 90 of chapter 93 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the second paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:—

              “Consumer lease”, 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 of the following:

              (1) a lease or agreement which constitutes a credit sale as defined in section one of chapter one hundred and forty D;

              (2) any lease for agricultural, business, or commercial purposes;

              (3) any lease made to the commonwealth or any political subdivisions thereof, including, but not limited to, any agencies, boards, departments or other such instrumentalities of the commonwealth or any political subdivisions thereof; or

              (4) any lease made to an organization.

              SECTION 2. Section 91 of said chapter 93, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the fifth paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:

              (d) the amount and description of other charges payable by the lessee and not included in the periodic payments; 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;

              SECTION 3. Section 91 of said chapter 93, as so appearing, is further amended by striking out the tenth and eleventh paragraphs and inserting in place thereof the following paragraphs:—

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

              (j) 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

              (k) a statement of the conditions under which the lessee or lessor may terminate the lease prior to the end of the term, or that no such right to terminate exists, and the amount or method of determining the amount of any penalty or other charge for delinquency, default, late payments, or early termination.

              SECTION 4. Chapter 93 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 91 the following section:—

              Section 91A.  (a) 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.

              SECTION 5. Section 93 of said chapter 93, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 2, the word “or” and inserting in place thereof the word:—  through.

              SECTION 6. Chapter 93 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 93 the following section:—

              Section 93A.  The commissioner of banks may adopt, amend, or repeal rules and regulations to aid in the administration and enforcement of sections 90 through 93 of this chapter.

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