(a) If the court as a matter of law finds a lease contract or any clause of a lease contract to have been unconscionable at the time it was made, the court may refuse to enforce the lease contract, or it may enforce the remainder of the lease contract without the unconscionable clause, or it may so limit the application of any unconscionable clause as to avoid any unconscionable result.
(b) With respect to a consumer lease, if the court as a matter of law finds that a lease contract or any clause of a lease contract has been induced by unconscionable conduct or that unconscionable conduct has occurred in the collection of a claim arising from a lease contract, the court may grant appropriate relief.
Terms Used In Texas Business and Commerce Code 2A.108
- Consumer lease: means a lease that a lessor regularly engaged in the business of leasing or selling makes to a lessee who is an individual and who takes under the lease primarily for a personal, family, or household purpose, if the total payments to be made under the lease contract, excluding payments for options to renew or buy, do not exceed $25,000. See Texas Business and Commerce Code 2A.103
- 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.
- Lease: means a transfer of the right to possession and use of goods for a term in return for consideration, but a sale, including a sale on approval or a sale or return, or retention or creation of a security interest is not a lease. See Texas Business and Commerce Code 2A.103
- Lease contract: means the total legal obligation that results from the lease agreement as affected by this chapter and any other applicable rules of law. See Texas Business and Commerce Code 2A.103
- Lessee: means a person who acquires the right to possession and use of goods under a lease. See Texas Business and Commerce Code 2A.103
- Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
(c) Before making a finding of unconscionability under Subsection (a) or (b), the court, on its own motion or that of a party, shall afford the parties a reasonable opportunity to present evidence as to the setting, purpose, and effect of the lease contract or clause thereof or of the conduct.
(d) In an action in which the lessee claims unconscionability with respect to a consumer lease:
(1) if the court finds unconscionability under Subsection (a) or (b), the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees to the lessee;
(2) if the court does not find unconscionability and the lessee claiming unconscionability has brought or maintained an action he or she knew to be groundless, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees to the party against whom the claim is made; and
(3) in determining attorney’s fees, the amount of the recovery on behalf of the claimant under Subsections (a) and (b) is not controlling.