HB1656 (2010) Detail

Requiring disclosure of fees by automobile dealers.


HB 1656-FN – AS INTRODUCED

2010 SESSION

10-2397

03/04

HOUSE BILL 1656-FN

AN ACT requiring disclosure of fees by automobile dealers.

SPONSORS: Rep. Moran, Hills 18; Rep. Dowling, Rock 5

COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs

ANALYSIS

This bill requires disclosure during negotiations of all fees charged by automobile dealers. The requirement includes disclosing such fees in advertisements and prices affixed to the vehicle.

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

10-2397

03/04

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten

AN ACT requiring disclosure of fees by automobile dealers.

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

1 New Paragraph; Consumer Protection; Acts Unlawful; Undisclosed Fees of Automobile Dealers. Amend RSA 358-A:2 by inserting after paragraph XIV the following new paragraph:

XV. An automobile dealer requiring a purchaser to pay any fee that was not disclosed to the purchaser during negotiations. For purposes of this paragraph, disclosure means that the dealer informed the purchaser in writing of the exact amount of the fee and the itemized charges included in the fee. Affixing a price that does not disclose all fees on the window or elsewhere on the vehicle or advertising a price that does not disclose all fees shall be considered a violation of this paragraph.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

LBAO

10-2397

12/18/09

HB 1656-FN - FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT requiring disclosure of fees by automobile dealers.

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 2010 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 to add as an unlawful act under the Consumer Protection Act the failure of an automobile dealer to disclose any fees during negotiations for the purchase and sale of a vehicle. 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 may 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 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

                      LBAO

                      10-2397

                      12/18/09

    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

HB1656 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type

Bill Text Revisions

HB1656 Revision: 16321 Date: Dec. 21, 2009, midnight

Docket