The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 9: Commerce and Trade

Chapter 61: RETAIL INSTALLMENT SALES

9 V.S.A. § 2401. Definitions



§ 2401. Definitions

For the purposes of this chapter only, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Goods" means all tangible personal chattels when purchased primarily for personal, family, or household use and not for commercial, industrial, or agricultural use, but not including money, motor vehicles as herein defined, things in action, or intangible personal property other than merchandise certificates or coupons as herein described. The term includes chattels that are furnished or used at the time of sale or subsequently in the modernization, rehabilitation, repair, alteration, improvement, or construction of real property as to become a part of the real property whether or not it is severable from it. The term also includes merchandise certificates or coupons, issued by a retailer seller, not redeemable in cash, and to be used in their face amount in lieu of cash.

(2) "Services" means:

(A) With respect to retail installment contracts, work, labor and services furnished for personal, family or household use (and not for commercial, industrial or agricultural use), in connection with the delivery, installation, servicing, repair or improvement of goods sold under such contract, and

(B) With respect to retail charge agreements, work, labor and services of any kind rented or furnished by a person engaged in the business of retail seller which are for personal, family or household use and not for commercial, industrial or agricultural use. The term does not include services for which the cost is by law fixed or approved by, or filed subject to approval or disapproval with, the United States or any state or any agency of either, such as in the case of transportation services.

(3) "Motor vehicle" or "vehicle" means and is limited to any automobile, mobile home, motorcycle, truck, truck-tractor, trailer, semi-trailer and bus designed and used primarily to transport persons or property on a public highway, excepting however, any boat trailer, any vehicle propelled or drawn exclusively by muscular power or which is designed to run only on rails or tracks.

(4) "Retail buyer" or "buyer" means a person who buys or agrees to buy goods from a retail seller, in a retail installment transaction, or who obtains services or agrees to have services furnished or rendered from a retail seller in a retail installment transaction.

(5) "Retail seller" or "seller" means a person regularly and principally engaged in a business of selling goods to retail buyers.

(6) "Retail installment transaction" or "transaction" means any transaction in which a retail buyer purchases goods or services as defined herein for a price consisting of the cash price and other amounts as limited by this chapter and agrees under a retail installment contract or retail charge agreement as defined herein to pay a part or all of the price in one or more deferred installments. The term shall include every transaction wherein the promise or agreement to pay the deferred balance of the price is made by the retail buyer to the retail seller notwithstanding the existence or occurrence of any one or more of the following events:

(A) That the retail seller has arranged or arranges to sell, transfer or assign the retail buyer's obligation;

(B) That the amount of the finance charge is determined by reference to charts or information furnished by a financing institution;

(C) That the forms of instruments used to evidence the retail installment and transaction are furnished by a financing institution; and

(D) That the credit standing of the retail buyer is or has been evaluated by a financing institution.

(7) "Retail installment contract" or "contract" means a contract entered into in this state and designated as a retail installment transaction, but not a retail charge agreement, or a document reflecting a sale under it, evidencing an agreement to pay the retail purchase price of goods, or any part thereof, in two or more installments over a period of time, and pursuant to which title to, or a lien upon, or a security interest in, the goods is retained or taken by the retail seller to secure the payment of a price which includes the charge as limited by section 2405 of this title. The term includes, but is not limited to, a chattel mortgage, a conditional sales contract and a contract in the form of a bailment or lease if the bailee or lessee contracts to pay as compensation for use a sum substantially equivalent to or in excess of the value of the goods sold and it is agreed that the bailee or lessee is bound to become, or, for no further or a merely nominal consideration, has the option of becoming, the owner of the goods upon full compliance with the provisions of the bailment or lease. The term shall also include any amendment of the retail installment contract in which the parties agree to renew, restate or reschedule the unpaid balance thereof, or to extend the scheduled due date of all or any part of any installment or installments.

(8) "Retail charge agreement" means an agreement other than a retail installment contract, which prescribed the terms of retail installment transactions which may be made thereafter from time to time under it, under which the buyer's total unpaid balance thereunder, whenever incurred, is payable in one or more deferred installments and under the terms of which the retail buyer pays a price which includes a charge as limited by section 2406 of this title, which charge is to be computed in relation to the buyer's unpaid balance from time to time.

(9) "Cash price" means the minimum price for which the goods and services subject to the retail installment contract or the retail charge agreement, or for which other goods and services of like kind and quality, may be purchased for cash from the seller by the buyer, as stated in the retail installment contract or the retail charge agreement.

(10) "Recording fees" means the amount of the fees prescribed by law for filing, recording or otherwise perfecting and, in addition, releasing or satisfying a retained title, lien or other security interest created by a retail installment transaction.

(11) "Principal balance" means the cash price of the goods and services which are the subject matter of a retail installment contract plus the amount, if any, included therein, if a separate identified charge is made therefor and stated in the contract, for insurance and official fees, less the amount of the buyer's down payment in money or goods or both.

(12) "Holder" means the retail seller of the goods or services, or the assignee if the retail installment contract or the retail charge agreement or any indebtedness thereunder has been sold or otherwise transferred.

(13) "Finance charge" means that part of the time sales price as determined under subsection 2405(g) of this title by which the time sales price exceeds the aggregate of the cash price and the amount included in a retail installment contract, if a separate charge is made therefore, for insurance and official fees.

(14) "Times sales price" means the total of the cash price of the goods or services and the amounts, if any, included for insurance, official fees and finance charges.

(15) "Official fees" means the filing or other fees required by law to be paid to a public officer to perfect the interest or lien, on the goods, retained or taken by a retail seller under a retail installment contract.

(16) "Sales finance company" means a person engaged in the business of purchasing or otherwise acquiring from one or more sellers retail installment contracts.

(17) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration of Vermont.

(18) "Person" means an individual, partnership, joint venture, corporation, banking organization, association or any other group however organized.

(19) Words of the masculine gender include the feminine and the neuter and when the sense so indicates, words of the neuter gender may refer to any gender.

(20) "Commercial lease" means a transfer of the right to possession and use of personal property or fixtures for a term in return for consideration (including leases intended as security), and where the property is to be used by the lessee primarily for commercial, industrial or agricultural use and not for personal, family or household use. (1963, No. 221, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1964; amended 1989, No. 122, § 13, eff. June 30, 1989; 1989, No. 225 (Adj. Sess.), § 25(b); 1993, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 6, 1994; 1995, No. 180 (Adj. Sess.), § 38(a); 2003, No. 104 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)