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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXXIII
REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS
Chapter 516
CONSUMER FINANCE
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F.S. 516.31
516.31 Consumer protection; certain negotiable instruments restricted; assigns subject to defenses; limitation on deficiency claims; cross collateral.
(1) SCOPE.This section applies to every consumer finance loan or other contract authorized by this chapter in which any form of credit is extended to an individual to purchase or obtain goods or services for use primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
(2) RESTRICTION ON CERTAIN NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS AND INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS.A holder or assignee of any negotiable instrument or installment contract, other than a currently dated check, which originated from the purchase of certain consumer goods or services is subject to all claims and defenses of the consumer debtor against the seller of those consumer goods or services. A person’s liability under this section may not exceed the amount owing to the person when the claim or defense is asserted against the person.
(3) LIMITATION ON DEFICIENCY CLAIMS.If a creditor takes possession of property which was collateral under a consumer credit transaction, the consumer shall not be personally liable to the creditor for any unpaid balance of the obligation unless the unpaid balance of the consumer’s obligation at the time of default was $2,000 or more. When the unpaid balance is $2,000 or more, the creditor shall be entitled to recover from the consumer the deficiency, if any, resulting from deducting the fair market value of the collateral from the unpaid balance due. In a proceeding for a deficiency, the fair market value of the collateral shall be a question for the trier of fact. Periodically published trade estimates of the retail value of goods shall, to the extent they are recognized in the particular trade or business, be presumed to be the fair market value of the collateral.
(4) CROSS COLLATERAL.If debts arising from two or more retail installment sales or other credit contracts with individual consumers are secured by more than one security interest, or consolidated into one debt payable on a single schedule of payments and the debt is secured by security interests taken with respect to one or more of the sales, payments received by the seller are deemed, for the purpose of determining the amount of the debt secured by the various security instruments, to have been first applied to the payment of the debt arising from the sale first made. To the extent that debts are paid according to this section, security interests in items of property terminate as the debt originally incurred with respect to each item is paid. Payments received by the seller or holder upon a revolving account are deemed, for the purpose of determining the amount of the debt secured by the various security interests, to have been applied first to the payment of finance charges in the order of their entry to the account and then to the payment of debts in the order in which the entries to the account showing the debts were made. If the debts consolidated arose from two or more credit sales or other credit contracts with an individual which were made on the same day, payments received by the seller or holder are deemed, for the purpose of determining the amount of the debt secured by the various security interests, to have been applied first to the payment of the smallest debt.
(5) PURCHASERS OF RETAIL INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS MUST BE LICENSED UNDER CHAPTER 520.A licensee under the Consumer Finance Act who purchases or holds retail installment contracts as defined in s. 520.31 in this state shall also be licensed under chapter 520 as an Installment Sales Finance Act licensee.
(6) WAIVER.Waiver by the buyer of any provisions in this section shall be void and unenforceable as contrary to public policy.
History.s. 12, ch. 73-192; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 13, 16, 17, ch. 88-342; s. 4, ch. 91-429.