HB1605 (2010) Detail

Requiring businesses to disclose the terms and conditions of any continuing or automatic obligation as part of the sale.


HB 1605-FN – AS INTRODUCED

2010 SESSION

10-2214

05/10

HOUSE BILL 1605-FN

AN ACT requiring businesses to disclose the terms and conditions of any continuing or automatic obligation as part of the sale.

SPONSORS: Rep. Wendelboe, Belk 1; Rep. Ingbretson, Graf 5; Rep. F. Holden, Hills 4

COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs

ANALYSIS

This bill requires businesses to disclose the terms and conditions of any continuing or automatic obligation resulting from the initial purchase of goods or services by telephone or on the Internet.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

10-2214

05/10

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten

AN ACT requiring businesses to disclose the terms and conditions of any continuing or automatic obligation as part of the sale.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Paragraph; Consumer Protection; Acts Unlawful; Failure to Disclose Terms of Continuing Obligation. Amend RSA 358-A:2 by inserting after paragraph XIV the following new paragraph:

XV. Failing to disclose the terms and conditions of any continuing or automatic obligation resulting from the purchase or order of goods or services by telephone or on the Internet. Any person engaged in trade or commerce in this state shall provide notice of such terms and conditions in bold, conspicuous language on the order form, bill, invoice, or other electronic or paper record used to process the sale or transaction.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect July 1, 2010.

LBAO

10-2214

12/09/09

HB 1605-FN - FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT requiring businesses to disclose the terms and conditions of any continuing or automatic obligation as part of the sale.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Judicial Branch, the Department of Justice, the Judicial Council, and the New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill may increase state and county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2011 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on local expenditures or state, county and local revenue.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Judicial Branch states this bill will add RSA 358-A:2, XV. By making it an unlawful act under the Consumer Protection Act to fail to disclose the terms and conditions of any continuing or automatic obligation resulting from the purchase or order of goods or services by telephone or the internet. The Branch has no information to estimate the potential volume of cases that might arise as a result of this bill. The Branch states consumer protection cases carry the potential for enforcement actions by the attorney general, criminal prosecution, and private actions with the potential of up to treble damages. A single case has the potential for the Branch to incur a fiscal impact of over $10,000.

    The Department of Justice states the authority for the Attorney General to enforce the criminal and civil penalties contained in the Consumer Protection Act will increase expenditures. Additionally, if an appeal is filed, the Department would have increased expenditures. The Department has no information to estimate how many cases would be prosecuted by the Department or appealed to the Supreme Court to estimate the fiscal impact.

    The Judicial Council states to the extent an unspecified misdemeanor results in a misdemeanor offense where the right to counsel exists this bill may result in an indeterminable increase in general fund expenditures. The Council states if an individual is found to be indigent, the flat fee of $275 per misdemeanor is charged by a public defender or contract attorney. If an assigned counsel attorney is used the fee is $60 per hour with a cap of $1,400 for a misdemeanor charge. The Council also states additional costs could be incurred if an appeal is filed. The public defender, contract attorney and assigned counsel rates for Supreme Court

                      LBAO

                      10-2214

                      12/09/09

    appeals is $2,000 per case, with many assigned counsel attorneys seeking permission to exceed the fee cap. Requests to exceed the fee cap are seldom granted. Finally, expenditures would increase if services other than counsel are requested and approved by the court during the defense of a case or during an appeal.

    The New Hampshire Association of Counties states to the extent an individual is prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to incarceration, the counties may have increased expenditures. The Association is unable to determine the number of individuals who might be detained or incarcerated as a result of this bill. The average cost to incarcerate an individual in a county facility is $35,342 a year.

Links

HB1605 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB1605 Revision: 16198 Date: Dec. 15, 2009, midnight

Docket