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NCJ Number: 69112 Find in a Library
Title: CONSUMER REMEDIES UNDER LAYAWAY PLANS
Author(s): B GLASSMAN
Corporate Author: National Consumer Law Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: National Consumer Law Ctr
Boston, MA 02110
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: LAYAWAY PLANS ARE DEFINED, AND THE LEGAL SITUATION OF CONSUMER REMEDIES IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract: IN A LAYAWAY PLAN, THE SELLER PROMISES TO RESERVE A PARTICULAR ITEM FOR THE CUSTOMER FOR A SPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME IN EXCHANGE FOR A PAYMENT WHICH GOES TOWARDS THE TOTAL PRICE. IF THE CUSTOMER DECIDES NOT TO BUY THE ITEM, THE COURTS ARE FACED WITH THE PROBLEM OF DETERMINING THE SELLER'S LOSS AND AN APPROPRIATE COMPENSATION. ONE SOLUTION IS A 'SLIDING SCALE' APPROACH IN WHICH THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ORIGINAL PAYMENT IS RETURNED IF THE ITEM LAID AWAY IS ONE THAT IS COMMONLY AVAILABLE IN LARGE QUANTITIES THROUGH THE SELLER'S INVENTORY (TELEVISION SETS, FOR EXAMPLE). ON THE OTHER HAND, LESS OF THE PAYMENT IS RETURNED IF THE ITEM IS UNIQUE (LAND, FOR EXAMPLE), AND THE LAYWAY AGREEMENT PREVENTED THE SALE TO OTHER CUSTOMERS. THE TRUTH IN LENDING ACT COVERS ONLY THOSE DEALS WHICH INVOLVE THE PAYMENT OF A FINANCE CHARGE, ARE PAYABLE IN MORE THAN FOUR INSTALLMENTS, AND WHICH PLACE THE CUSTOMER UNDER A CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION TO PAY. IDAHO, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, AND OHIO HAVE ADDRESSED PROBLEMS PRESENTED BY LAYAWAYS IN THEIR UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE ACTS OR PRACTICES STATUTUES WHICH REQUIRE SELLERS TO DISCLOSE THEIR REFUND POLICY FOR PAYMENTS MADE PRIOR TO THE BUYER'S DEFAULT OR CANCELLATION. IF THE SELLER DOES NOT DO THIS, THE BUYER MAY BRING AN ACTION BEFORE A COURT FOR DAMAGES, AND IF HE IS SUCCESSFUL, HE MAY RECOVER HIS LOSSES AND ATTORNEY'S FEES. IN STATES HAVING NO EXPRESS STATUTORY PROVISIONS, CONSUMERS MUST ARGUE THAT LAYAWAY ABUSES FALL WITHIN THE BROAD LANGUAGE OF THE LAW, SUCH AS 'UNFAIR METHODS OF COMPETITION AND UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE ACTS OR PRACTICES IN THE CONDUCT OF ANY TRADE OR COMMERCE.' FINALLY, CONSUMERS MAY FIND HELP BY REFERRING TO NON-LAYAWAY CASE LAW DEALING WITH THE REFUND OF DEPOSITS. COURT CASES ARE CITED, AND APPENDIXES CONTAINING THE FOUR STATE LAWS AND FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Consumer protection; Consumer protection laws; Idaho; Maryland; Massachusetts; Ohio
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69112

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