(1)(a) A retail installment contract shall be in writing, shall be signed by both the buyer and the seller, and shall be completed as to all essential provisions prior to the signing of the contract by the buyer.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 520.07
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Finance charge: The total cost of credit a customer must pay on a consumer loan, including interest. The Truth in Lending Act requires disclosure of the finance charge. Source: OCC
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
- Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
- Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
- person: includes individuals, children, firms, associations, joint adventures, partnerships, estates, trusts, business trusts, syndicates, fiduciaries, corporations, and all other groups or combinations. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
- Truth in Lending Act: The Truth in Lending Act is a federal law that requires lenders to provide standardized information so that borrowers can compare loan terms. In general, lenders must provide information on Source: OCC
- writing: includes handwriting, printing, typewriting, and all other methods and means of forming letters and characters upon paper, stone, wood, or other materials. See Florida Statutes 88.6011
(b) The printed portion of the contract, other than instructions for completion, shall be in at least 6-point type. The contract shall contain:
1. A specific statement that liability insurance coverage for bodily injury and property damage caused to others is not included, if that is the case; and
2. The following notice in substantially this form:
Notice to the Buyer
a. Do not sign this contract before you read it or if it contains any blank spaces.
b. You are entitled to an exact copy of the contract you sign. Keep it to protect your legal rights.
(c) The seller shall deliver to the buyer, or mail to the buyer at his or her address shown on the contract, a copy of the contract signed by the seller. Before the transaction is consummated, a copy of the retail installment contract, or a separate statement by which the disclosures required by this section are made and on which the buyer and seller are identified, shall be delivered to the buyer. Until the seller has delivered or mailed to the buyer a copy of the retail installment contract, a buyer who has not received delivery of the motor vehicle shall have the right to rescind the agreement and to receive a refund of all payments made and return of all goods traded in to the seller on account of or in contemplation of the contract or, if such goods cannot be returned, the value thereof. Any acknowledgment by the buyer of delivery of a copy of the contract, if contained in the contract, shall appear directly above or adjacent to the buyer’s signature.
(d) The contract shall contain the names of the seller and the buyer, the place of business of the seller, the residence or place of business of the buyer as specified by the buyer, and a description of the motor vehicle including its make, year model, and model and identification number or marks.
(2) The contract shall contain the following:
(a) Amount financed.–The “amount financed,” using that term, and a brief description such as “the amount of credit provided to you or on your behalf.” The amount financed is calculated by:
1. Determining the cash price, and subtracting any down payment;
2. Adding any other amounts that are financed by the creditor and that are not part of the finance charge, including any additional amount financed in a retail installment contract to discharge a security interest, lien, or lease interest on a motor vehicle traded in in connection with the contract; and
3. Subtracting any prepaid finance charge.
(b) Finance charge.–The “finance charge,” using that term, and a brief description such as “the dollar amount the credit will cost you.”
(c) Total of payments.–The “total of payments,” using that term, and a descriptive explanation such as “the amount you will have paid when you have made all scheduled payments.”
(d) Total sale price.–In a credit sale, the “total sale price,” using that term, and a descriptive explanation, including the amount of any down payment, such as “the total price of your purchase on credit, including your down payment of $ .” The total sale price is the sum of the cash price, the items described in subparagraph (a)2., and the finance charge disclosed under paragraph (b).
(e) Payment details.–The number of scheduled payments, the amount of each payment, and the date of the first payment.
Except for the requirement in subsection (3) that a separate written itemization of the amount financed be provided, a contract which complies with the federal Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1601 et seq., or any accompanying regulations shall be deemed to comply with the provisions of this subsection and subsection (3). However, in any proceeding to enforce the provisions of this section, the burden of alleging and proving compliance with the federal Truth in Lending Act shall be on the party claiming compliance.
(3) The seller shall provide a separate written itemization of the amount financed, which itemization shall disclose the following:
(a) The cash price;
(b) The amount of down payment;
(c) The difference between the amounts disclosed under paragraphs (a) and (b);
(d) The amounts, if any, included for insurance and other benefits, specifying the types of coverages and benefits; and
(e) Any taxes and official fees not included in the cash price.
The itemization required by this subsection may appear on a disclosure statement separate from all other material, or it may be placed on the same document with the contract or other information so long as it is clearly and conspicuously segregated from everything else on the document.
(4) The amount, if any, included for insurance which may be purchased by the holder of the retail installment contract may not exceed the applicable premiums chargeable in accordance with the rates filed with the Office of Insurance Regulation of the commission. If dual interest insurance on the motor vehicle is purchased by the holder, it shall, within 30 days after execution of the retail installment contract, send or cause to be sent to the buyer a policy or policies or certificate of insurance, written by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state, clearly setting forth the amount of the premium, the kind or kinds of insurance, the coverages, and all the terms, exceptions, limitations, restrictions, and conditions of the contract or contracts of insurance. Nothing in this act shall impair or abrogate the right of a buyer, as defined herein, to procure insurance from an agent and company of his or her own selection as provided by the insurance laws of this state; and nothing contained in this act shall modify, amend, alter, or repeal any of the insurance laws of the state, including any such laws enacted by the 1957 Legislature.
(5) If any insurance is canceled, or the premium adjusted, unearned insurance premium refunds received by the holder and any unearned finance charges thereon shall, at his or her option, be credited to the final maturing installments of the contract or paid to the buyer, except to the extent applied toward payment for similar insurance protecting the interests of the buyer and the holder, or either of them. The finance charge on the original transaction shall be separately computed:
(a) With the premium for the canceled or adjusted insurance included in the “amount financed”; and
(b) With the premium for the canceled insurance or the amount of the premium adjustment excluded from the “amount financed.”
The difference in the finance charge resulting from these computations shall be the portion of the finance charge attributable to the canceled or adjusted insurance, and the unearned portion thereof shall be determined by the use of the rule of 78ths. “Cancellation of insurance” occurs at such time as the seller or holder receives from the insurance carrier the proper refund of unearned insurance premiums.
(6) The holder may, if the contract or refinancing agreement so provides, collect a delinquency and collection charge on each installment in default for a period not less than 10 days in an amount not in excess of 5 percent of each installment. In addition to such delinquency and collection charge, the contract may provide for the payment of reasonable attorney’s fees when such contract is referred for collection to an attorney not a salaried employee of the holder of the contract, plus the court costs.
(7) No retail installment contract shall be signed by any party thereto when it contains blank spaces to be filled in after it has been signed, except that, if delivery of the motor vehicle is not made at the time of the execution of the contract, the identifying numbers or marks of the motor vehicle or similar information and the due date of the first installment may be inserted in the contract after its execution. The buyer’s written acknowledgment, conforming to the requirements of paragraph (1)(c), of delivery of a copy of a contract shall be presumptive proof of such delivery, that the contract when signed did not contain any blank spaces except as herein provided, and of compliance with this section in any action or proceeding by or against the holder of the contract.
(8)(a) Upon written request from the buyer, the holder of a retail installment contract shall give or forward to the buyer a written statement of the dates and amounts of payments and the total amount unpaid under such contract. A buyer shall be given a written receipt for any payment when made in cash.
(b) When a motor vehicle retail installment contract is paid in full, the holder shall ensure that the contract or title reflects that the lien has been satisfied or released and shall ensure that evidence of satisfaction is provided to the borrower or payor.
(9) The office may order a seller to refund any amounts assessed and charged on a retail installment contract which exceed the maximum charges provided by this act or by rules of the commission.
(10) A retail installment contract may provide that if a buyer rejects or revokes acceptance of the motor vehicle and asserts a security interest in the motor vehicle based on the ground of rightful rejection or justifiable revocation, the buyer must take one of the following actions:
(a) Post a bond in the amount of the disputed balance; or
(b) Deposit all accrued, and thereafter accruing, installment payments into the registry of a court of competent jurisdiction.
The cost of a bond posted under this subsection is awardable to the buyer in the proceedings. When the provisions of chapter 681 apply, this subsection shall not apply.
(11) In conjunction with entering into any new retail installment contract or contract for a loan, a motor vehicle retail installment seller as defined in s. 520.02, a sales finance company as defined in s. 520.02, or a retail lessor as defined in s. 521.003, and any assignee of such an entity, may offer, for a fee or otherwise, optional guaranteed asset protection products in accordance with this chapter. The motor vehicle retail installment seller, sales finance company, retail lessor, or assignee may not require the purchase of a guaranteed asset protection product as a condition for making the loan. In order to offer any guaranteed asset protection product, a motor vehicle retail installment seller, sales finance company, or retail lessor, and any assignee of such an entity, shall comply with the following:
(a) The cost of any guaranteed asset protection product, with respect to any loan covered by the guaranteed asset protection product, shall not exceed the amount of the indebtedness.
(b) Any contract or agreement pertaining to a guaranteed asset protection product shall be governed by this section.
(c) A guaranteed asset protection product is considered an obligation of any person that purchases or otherwise acquires the loan contract covering such product.
(d) An entity providing guaranteed asset protection products shall provide readily understandable disclosures that explain in detail eligibility requirements, conditions, refunds, and exclusions. The disclosures must provide that the purchase of the product is optional. The disclosures must be in plain language and of a typeface and size that are easy to read.
(e) An entity must provide a copy of the executed guaranteed asset protection product contract to the buyer. The entity bears the burden of proving the contract was provided to the buyer.
(f) An entity may not offer a contract for a guaranteed asset protection product that contains terms giving the entity the right to unilaterally modify the contract unless:
1. The modification is favorable to the buyer and is made without additional charge to the buyer; or
2. The buyer is notified of any proposed change and is provided a reasonable opportunity to cancel the contract without penalty before the change goes in effect.
(g) If a contract for a guaranteed asset protection product is terminated, the entity shall refund to the buyer any unearned fees paid for the contract unless the contract provides otherwise. A refund is not due to a consumer who receives a benefit under such product. In order to receive a refund, the buyer must notify the entity of the event terminating the contract and request a refund within 90 days after the occurrence of the event terminating the contract. An entity may offer a buyer a contract that does not provide for a refund only if the entity also offers that buyer a bona fide option to purchase a comparable contract that provides for a refund.