senate Bill S898

Requires the terms of a motor vehicle sales contract entered into in NYC to be written in the language in which such contracts were negotiated

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 05 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CITIES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CITIES

Summary

Requires the terms of a motor vehicle sales contract entered into in the city of New York to be written in the language in which such contract was negotiated; requires retail motor vehicle dealers who negotiate primarily in any language other than English to deliver to the consumer a translation of such contract in the language in which such contract was negotiated; provides remedies to aggrieved consumers.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S898
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Cities
Law Section:
New York City Administrative Code
Laws Affected:
Add ยง20-700.1, NYC Ad Cd
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S1546

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S898

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to
requiring certain contracts to be
written in the
language in which such contracts were negotiated

PURPOSE:
To ensure that persons with limited English proficiency understand the
contract they sign when purchasing an automobile.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a
new section 20-700.1 to include any retail automobile dealer who
negotiates a contract primarily in a language other than English,
orally or in writing, is required to give the consumer a translation
of the contract in the language in which the contract was negotiated.
Failure to comply shall allow the aggrieved consumer to rescind the
contract.

Cancellation shall take effect when the termination is given to the
retail dealer. If the cancellation is mailed, the day of the postmark
is the date of the cancellation. There will be no penalty imposed by
the retail dealer for cancellation. If the contract has been sold to
a financial institution, any restitution from the consumer to the
retail dealer, from the retail dealer to the consumer or from the
retail dealer to the financial institution shall be made. At that
point the retail dealer shall repurchase the contract from the
consumer. The terms of the contract which are executed in the English
language shall determine the rights and obligations of the parties.
The translation of the contract in any of the languages specified in
which the contract was negotiated shall be admissible in evidence
only to show that no contract was entered into because of a
substantial difference in the material terms and conditions of the
contract and the translation.

JUSTIFICATION:
New York State's population has become increasingly diverse. The
number of New Yorkers who speak a language other than English as
their primary language has increased significantly. According to a
report by the Drum Major Institute, June 2005, almost 25 percent of
New Yorkers do not speak English, and almost 50 percent speak a
language other than English in the home. Asian immigrants account for
24.6 percent of this number. According to the 2006-2008 American
community Survey, in New York city 48 percent of the population
speaks other than English as their primary language. Of that forty
eight
percent, 23.5 percent speak English less than very well. This
represents 1,821,098 people in NYC alone per the 2006-2008 survey.

Despite their growing and powerful presence in New York state, many
new immigrants, because of their limited English skills, have found
themselves to be easy targets for unscrupulous business owners. New
immigrants have fallen victim to deceptive business practices that


attempt to prey on and profit
from their inability to fully comprehend the English language. This is
especially true in complex business transactions.

This predatory behavior is exemplified by unscrupulous car dealers who
offer to negotiate in a consumer's primary language, only to present
the consumer with a written contract in English - one which,
unbeknown to the customer, may not accurately reflect negotiated
terms. Many New York car dealerships have begun using translators to
negotiate with non-English speaking consumers. However, when these
verbal negotiations are put in writing, they are written in English
without including a copy in the language in which the contract was
negotiated. Non-English speaking consumers would gain a measure of
confidence in dealing with dealerships who offer to meet their unique
needs in this way.

Ethnic communities contribute greatly to the economic and political
vitality of the state and serve as a powerful force in the marketplace.
This law would provide much needed protection for non-English speaking
consumers.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
Previously introduced.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the one hundred
twentieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to
contracts entered into on or after such date.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   898

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities

AN ACT to amend the administrative code of the  city  of  New  York,  in
  relation  to requiring certain contracts to be written in the language
  in which such contracts were negotiated

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1. The administrative code of the city of New York is amended
by adding a new section 20-700.1 to read as follows:
  S 20-700.1 CONTRACTS IN CERTAIN LANGUAGES FOR THE SALE OR LEASE OF NEW
OR USED MOTOR VEHICLES. ANY RETAIL MOTOR VEHICLE DEALER  WHO  NEGOTIATES
PRIMARILY IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH, ORALLY OR IN WRITING, IN THE
COURSE  OF  ENTERING  INTO  A CONTRACT FOR THE SALE OR LEASE OF A NEW OR
USED MOTOR VEHICLE, SHALL DELIVER TO THE CONSUMER WHO IS THE OTHER PARTY
TO SUCH CONTRACT AND  PRIOR  TO  THE  EXECUTION  OF  SUCH  CONTRACT,  AN
UNSIGNED  TRANSLATION  OF  SUCH  CONTRACT, IN THE LANGUAGE IN WHICH SUCH
CONTRACT WAS NEGOTIATED.
  A. IN ADDITION TO THE PENALTIES IMPOSED UNDER THIS SUBCHAPTER, FAILURE
TO COMPLY  WITH  THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THIS  SECTION  SHALL  ENTITLE  THE
AGGRIEVED  CONSUMER  TO  CANCEL  SUCH CONTRACT. UPON A FAILURE TO COMPLY
WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, THE AGGRIEVED CONSUMER  MAY  CANCEL
THE CONTRACT. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, CANCELLATION SHALL BE DEEMED
TO  HAVE  OCCURRED  WHEN  WRITTEN NOTICE OF CANCELLATION IS GIVEN TO THE
RETAIL DEALER. NOTICE OF CANCELLATION, IF MAILED, SHALL BE DEEMED DELIV-
ERED ON THE DATE OF THE POSTMARK. NOTICE OF CANCELLATION SHALL BE SUFFI-
CIENT IF SUCH NOTICE INDICATES THE INTENTION OF THE CONSUMER NOT  TO  BE
BOUND  BY  SUCH  CONTRACT.  IF A CONSUMER CANCELS A CONTRACT PURSUANT TO
THIS SUBDIVISION, THE RETAIL DEALER SHALL  NOT  IMPOSE  ANY  PENALTY  OR
OBLIGATION  UPON SUCH CONSUMER. WHEN A CONTRACT, WHICH HAS BEEN SOLD AND
ASSIGNED TO  A  FINANCIAL  INSTITUTION  IS  CANCELED  PURSUANT  TO  THIS

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00037-01-1

S. 898                              2

SECTION,  SUCH  CONSUMER  SHALL MAKE RESTITUTION TO AND HAVE RESTITUTION
MADE BY THE RETAIL DEALER WITH WHOM HE OR SHE  MADE  THE  CONTRACT,  AND
SHALL  GIVE NOTICE OF CANCELLATION TO THE ASSIGNEE. NOTWITHSTANDING THAT
THE  CONTRACT  WAS  ASSIGNED  WITHOUT  RECOURSE, THE ASSIGNMENT SHALL BE
DEEMED CANCELED AND THE ASSIGNOR SHALL PROMPTLY REPURCHASE THE  CONTRACT
FROM THE ASSIGNEE.
  B. THE TERMS OF THE CONTRACT WHICH IS EXECUTED IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
SHALL  DETERMINE THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF THE PARTIES. HOWEVER, THE
TRANSLATION OF THE CONTRACT IN ANY LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH IN  WHICH
THE CONTRACT WAS NEGOTIATED SHALL BE ADMISSIBLE IN EVIDENCE ONLY TO SHOW
THAT NO CONTRACT WAS ENTERED INTO BECAUSE OF A SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCE IN
THE MATERIAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE CONTRACT AND THE TRANSLATION.
  C.  THE  PROVISIONS  OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER
RIGHTS TO REVOKE AN OFFER.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it shall have become a law and shall apply to contracts entered into  on
or after such date.

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