§41c. Rent-to-own; assistive devices

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/09/004/00041c
Published: 2015

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The Vermont Statutes Online



Title

09

:
Commerce and Trade






Chapter

004

:
INTEREST






Subchapter

001
:
INTEREST GENERALLY










 

§

41c. Rent-to-own; assistive devices

(a) As used in

this section:

(1)

"Assistive device" means any item, piece of equipment, or product

system, whether acquired commercially off-the-shelf, modified, or customized,

that is used or designed to be used to increase, maintain, or improve any

functional capability of an individual with disabilities. An assistive device

system, that as a whole is within the definition of this term, is itself an

assistive device, and, in such cases, this term also applies to each component

product of the assistive device system that is itself ordinarily an assistive

device. This term includes:

(A) wheelchairs

and scooters of any kind, and other aids that enhance the mobility or

positioning of an individual, such as motorization, motorized positioning

features, and the switches and controls for any motorized features;

(B) computer

equipment with voice output, artificial larynges, voice amplification devices,

and other alternative and augmentative communication devices or any devices

used for the purpose of communication;

(C) computer

equipment and reading devices with voice output, optical scanners, talking

software, braille printers, and other aids and devices that provide access to

text;

(D) hearing

aids, telephone communication devices for people who are deaf, and other

assistive listening devices;

(E) voice

recognition computer equipment, software and hardware accommodations, switches,

and other forms of alternative access to computers;

(F)

environmental control units;

(G) simple

mechanical aids that enhance the functional capabilities of an individual with

disabilities; and

(H) durable

medical equipment.

(2)

"Assistive devise lessee" means an individual with a disability or a

person renting or leasing on behalf of an individual with a disability who is

renting or leasing an assistive device for the purpose of increasing,

maintaining, or improving any functional capability related to the individual's

disability.

(b) A person in

the business of renting, or renting to own an assistive device to assistive

device lessees, who rents an assistive device for more than 60 days or who

rents an assistive device to own shall offer such assistive device lessees a

purchase option with reasonable terms and conditions. Such a purchase option

may be exercised at any time by the assistive device lessees, the reasonable

terms and conditions of which shall be included with the consumer's periodic

billing.

(1) A person in

the business of renting products that may be assistive devices may include the

following question in its rental application:

ARE YOU RENTING

THIS PRODUCT AS AN ACCOMMODATION FOR A DISABILITY OR AS AN ASSISTIVE DEVICE?

YES ________  NO ________

(A) If an

assistive device lessee answers "yes" to the question or requests

additional information, the business entity shall provide the following

statement:

ASSISTIVE DEVICE

PURCHASE OPTION RIGHTS

IF YOU ARE

RENTING THIS PRODUCT AS AN ACCOMMODATION FOR A DISABILITY OR AS AN ASSISTIVE

DEVICE, THE DEALER IS REQUIRED TO OFFER YOU A RENTAL TRANSACTION THAT INCLUDES

A PURCHASE OPTION. UNDER THE PURCHASE OPTION YOU MAY ACQUIRE OWNERSHIP OF THE

PRODUCT AT ANYTIME BY TENDERING AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE CASH PRICE OF THE

PRODUCT LESS 50% OF ALL PREVIOUS RENTAL PAYMENTS YOU HAVE MADE. OR, ONCE YOU

HAVE MADE RENTAL PAYMENTS EQUAL TO 200% OF THE CASH PRICE YOU MAY ACQUIRE

OWNERSHIP OF THE PRODUCT BY PAYING $1.00.

BEFORE YOU

DETERMINE WHETHER TO ELECT A TRANSACTION WITH OR WITHOUT A PURCHASE OPTION, THE

PERSON IN THE BUSINESS OF RENTING OR RENTING TO OWN THE ASSISTIVE DEVICE MUST

FULLY DISCLOSE THE TERMS OF BOTH TRANSACTIONS.

THE VALUE OF A

PURCHASE OPTION DEPENDS ON MANY FACTORS, WHICH MAY INCLUDE: (1) HOW LONG YOU

INTEND TO USE THE PRODUCT; (2) THE CASH PRICE OF THE PRODUCT; AND (3) THE COST

OF MAINTAINING THE PRODUCT.

ASSISTIVE DEVICE

PURCHASE OPTION RIGHTS: IF YOU ELECT A RENTAL TRANSACTION WITHOUT A PURCHASE

OPTION AND YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND AT A LATER DATE AND DECIDE TO ENTER INTO A

PURCHASE OPTION TRANSACTION, PAYMENTS THAT YOU HAVE MADE WILL NOT BE APPLIED TO

THE NEW TRANSACTIONS.

(B) The rental

dealer may add additional information or explanations to the information

required by subdivision (A) of this subsection, as long as the additional

information is not stated, utilized, or placed in a manner that will confuse

the assistive device lessee or that will contradict, obscure, or distract

attention from the required information. The additional information or

explanation shall not have the effect of circumventing, evading, or

complicating the information required by subdivision (A) of this subsection.

(2) Failure to

comply with this section is not a violation if the assistive device lessee

fails to inform the rental dealer that the product is being rented as an

assistive device after the rental dealer makes the written inquiry in

subdivision (b)(1) of this section.

(c)(1) When

periodic payments made by an assistive device lessee, exclusive of payments for

service, total 200 percent of the bona fide cash price, the person in the

business of renting or renting to own the assistive device shall notify the

individual with a disability and the assistive device lessee that the

individual with a disability and the assistive device lessee have the option of

acquiring ownership of the assistive device upon payment of $1.00, at which

time the rental or rent-to-own agreement shall terminate.

(2) The term

"bona fide cash price" means the price at which a merchant, in the

ordinary course of business, and taking into account the value of the

merchandise and its retail price in the trade area, would offer to sell the

merchandise to consumers for cash.

(d) Under a

rent-to-own program, at any time after the initial payment, the assistive

device lessee may acquire ownership of the property by tendering an amount

equal to the cash price of the merchandise minus 50 percent of all previous

rental-purchase payments made.

(e) When an

assistive device lessee has acquired ownership of an assistive device under

this section, the person in the business of renting or renting to own shall

offer, for a reasonable price and term, a contract to maintain and service the

device.

(f) This section

shall not apply to assistive devices provided pursuant to a Medicare or

Medicaid contract that either includes provisions for the acquisition of ownership

or prohibits purchase or the acquisition of ownership by an assistive device

lessee.

(g) A violation

of this section is deemed to be an unfair or deceptive act or practice in

commerce and a violation of chapter 63 of this title and all remedies and

penalties available to a consumer or the Attorney General under that chapter

shall apply, and the Attorney General shall have the same authority to make

rules, conduct civil investigations, and enter into assurances of

discontinuance as provided under subchapter 1 of chapter 63 of this title.

(Added 1999, No. 104 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), §

26.)
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