Summary: H.R.1701 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/18/2002)

Consumer Rental Purchase Agreement Act - (Sec. 3) Amends the Consumer Credit Protection Act to mandate that a rental-purchase agreement contain clear and conspicuous disclosures signed by the consumer before the agreement is consummated, including the following: (1) a separate identification of fees, charges, or penalties; (2) a statement that the transaction is a rental-purchase agreement and that the consumer will not obtain ownership of the property until the consumer has paid the total dollar amount necessary to acquire ownership; (3) the initial payment, including the first periodic payment and required fees, taxes, or other charges; (4) the cash price of the property, and the aggregate cash price of all rental-purchase agreement items; (5) the amount and timing of periodic payments, and the total payments necessary to acquire ownership; (6) the total cost, using an expression such as "This is the amount you will pay if you make all periodic payments to acquire ownership of the property"; and (7) a statement of the consumer's right to terminate the agreement without paying any fee or charge not previously due.

Prohibits a rental-purchase agreement from containing: (1) a confession of judgment; (2) a negotiable instrument; (3) a wage assignment; (4) a claim of a property interest in any goods, except those provided by the agreement; (5) a waiver of legal claim or remedy; (6) a requirement that, in the event the property subject to the agreement is lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed, the consumer pay an amount exceeding certain guidelines; (7) an authorization for the merchant or an agent to enter the consumer's premises without the consumer's consent or to commit any other breach of the peace in connection with repossession of the rental property or collection of any alleged obligation due under the agreement; (8) a requirement that the consumer purchase insurance or a liability damage waiver covering the subject property, except as regulations permit; or (9) a requirement that the consumer pay more than one late fee for an unpaid or delinquent periodic payment.

Sets forth consumer protections governing: (1) statements of accounts; (2) renegotiations and extensions; (3) point of sale disclosures; and (4) rental purchase advertising.

Establishes civil and criminal liability for violations of this Act.

Declares that an action for civil liability may be brought against a merchant's assignee only if the violation is apparent on the face of a rental-purchase agreement to which it relates, including, but not limited to, a disclosure that can be determined to be incomplete or inaccurate from the face of the agreement.

Grants enforcement powers to the Federal Trade Commission and to State attorneys general.

Preempts State laws relating to characterization of a transaction to the extent that they: (1) are inconsistent with this Act; (2) regulate a rental-purchase agreement as a form of consumer credit; (3) impute to a rental-purchase agreement the creation of a debt or extension of credit, or (4) require the disclosure of a percentage rate calculation, including a time-price differential, an annual percentage rate, or an effective annual percentage rate.