Chapter 43. Retail Installment Sales

Published: 2015

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Commerce and Trade


Other Laws Relating to Commerce and Trade


Subchapter I. General Provisions

§ 4301 Definitions.
Unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, the definitions given in this section govern the construction of this chapter.
(1) "Cash sale price'' means the cash sale price stated in a retail installment contract for which the seller would sell or furnish to the buyer and the buyer would buy or obtain from the seller the goods or services which are the subject matter of a retail installment contract if the sale were a sale for cash instead of a retail installment sale. The cash sale price may include any taxes and cash sale prices for accessories and services, if any, included in a retail installment sale.
(2) "Financing agency'' means a person engaged in this State in whole or in part in the business of purchasing retail installment contracts, or installment accounts from 1 or more retail sellers. The term includes, but is not limited, to a bank, trust company, private banker, or investment company, if so engaged.
(3) "Goods'' mean tangible chattels bought for use primarily for personal, family or household purposes, as distinguished from commercial or agricultural purposes, including certificates or coupons exchangeable for such goods, and including goods which, at the time of the sale or subsequently are to be affixed to real property as to become a part of such real property whether or not severable therefrom, but does not include any motor vehicle which for the purposes of this chapter shall mean any device propelled or drawn by any power other than muscular power, in, upon, or by which any person or property is, or may be transported or drawn upon a highway.
(4) "Holder'' means the retail seller who acquires a retail installment contract or installment account executed, incurred or entered into by a retail buyer, or if the contract or installment account is purchased by a financing agency or other assignee, the financing agency or other assignee. The term does not include the pledgee of or the holder of a security interest in an aggregate number of such contracts or installment accounts to secure a bona fide loan thereon, unless the pledgee shall have perfected the pledgee's rights after default by his or her pledgor.
(5) "Official fees'' means the fees required by law and actually to be paid to the appropriate public officer to perfect a lien or other security interest, on or in goods, retained or taken by a seller under a retail installment contract or installment account.
(6) "Person'' means an individual, partnership, corporation, association or other group, however organized.
(7) "Retail buyer'' or "buyer'' means a person who buys goods or obtains services from a retail seller in a retail installment sale and not principally for the purpose of resale.
(8) "Retail installment account'' or "installment account'' or "revolving account'' means an account established by an agreement entered into in this State, pursuant to which the buyer promises to pay, in installments, to a retail seller, the outstanding balance incurred in retail installment sales, whether or not a security interest in the goods sold is retained by the seller, and which provides for a service charge which is expressed as a percent of the periodic balances to accrue thereafter providing such charge is not capitalized or stated as a dollar amount in such agreement and includes those accounts established with banks or others operating a credit card system pursuant to which a cardholder purchases goods or services from participating merchants and others.
(9) "Retail installment contract'' or "contract'' means any contract for a retail installment sale between a buyer and seller, entered into or performed in this State, which provides for repayment in installments, whether or not such contract contains a title retention provision, and in which a time price differential is computed upon and added to the unpaid balance at the time of sale or where no time price differential is added but the goods or services are available at a lesser price if paid by cash. When taken or given in connection with a retail installment sale, the term includes but is not limited to a chattel mortgage, a conditional sales contract and a contract for the bailment or leasing of goods by which the bailee or lessee contracts to pay as compensation for their use a sum substantially equivalent to or in excess of their value and by which it is agreed that the bailee or lessee is bound to become, or has the option of becoming, the owner of the goods upon full compliance with the terms of the contract.
(10) "Retail installment sale'' or "sale'' means the sale of goods or the furnishing of services by a retail seller to a retail buyer for a time sale price payable in installments.
(11) "Retail seller'' or "seller'' means a person engaged in the business of selling goods or furnishing services to retail buyers and, as used in subchapter IX of this chapter dealing with retail installment accounts, includes a bank or others operating a credit card system pursuant to which a cardholder purchases goods or services from participating merchants and others.
(12) "Services'' mean work, labor and services, for other than a commercial or business use, including services furnished in connection with the improvement of real property but does not include the services for which the tariffs, rates, charges, costs or expenses, including in each instance the time sale price, is required by law to be filed with the approval by the federal government or any official department, division, commission or agency of the United States.
(13) "Time balance'' means the total of the unpaid balance and the amount of the service charge, if any.
(14) "Time price differential'' or "service charge'' means the amount however denominated or expressed which the retail buyer contracts to pay or pays for the privilege of purchasing goods or services to be paid for by the buyer in installments; it does not include the amounts, if any, charged for insurance premiums, delinquency charges, attorney's fees, court costs, collection expenses or official fees. Wherever either of such terms is required to be used under the provisions of this chapter the other may be used interchangeably.
(15) "Time sale price'' means the total of the cash sale price of the goods or services, and the amounts, if any, included for insurance, official fees and service charge.
(16) "Unpaid balance'' means the cash sale price of the goods or services which are the subject matter of the retail installment sale, plus the amounts, if any, included in a retail installment sale for insurance and official fees, minus the amount of the buyer's down payment in money or goods.
6 Del. C. 1953, § 4301; 52 Del. Laws, c. 342; 58 Del. Laws, c. 168; 64 Del. Laws, c. 209, §§ 1, 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

§ 4302 Waiver prohibited; separability; transactions not covered.
(a) Any waiver of the buyer of this chapter shall be deemed contrary to public policy and shall be unenforceable and void.
(b) If this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held unconstitutional, the remainder of the chapter and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
(c) Except as provided in § 4315 of this title, this chapter shall not apply to any retail installment sale which is made for a cash sale price of $75 or less, where no title, lien or other security interest is retained or taken by the seller. This section shall not apply to sales made pursuant to the provisions of §§ 4334-4343 of this title.
6 Del. C. 1953, § 4302; 52 Del. Laws, c. 342.;