Legislation

Search OpenLegislation Statutes
This entry was published on 2014-09-22
The selection dates indicate all change milestones for the entire volume, not just the location being viewed. Specifying a milestone date will retrieve the most recent version of the location before that date.
SECTION 396-T
Unlawful practices relating to layaway plans
General Business (GBS) CHAPTER 20, ARTICLE 26
§ 396-t. Unlawful practices relating to layaway plans. (a) Definition
of layaway plan. For purposes of this section, the term "layaway plan"
shall mean a purchase over the amount of fifty dollars whereby the
consumer agrees to pay in four or more installments for the purchase of
specific merchandise, delivery of which is to be made upon the payment
of the full purchase price at a definite future date or at a date to be
selected by the consumer.

(b) It is an unlawful practice for a merchant to accept payment from a
consumer to be applied to the purchase of merchandise on a layaway plan
without first disclosing to the consumer in writing the following
information:

(1) a description of the merchandise to be purchased on the layaway
plan including, as appropriate, the type of item, the name of the
manufacturer, brand name, color, size, style, or model number; and

(2) the total cost of the item, including tax, installation, delivery
or freight charges; and

(3) the amount of any charge for the use of the layaway method of
payment such as a service or carrying charge or cancellation fee.
Failure to make this disclosure shall preclude the imposition of such
charge or fee; and

(4) the duration of the layaway plan; and

(5) the required payment schedule, if any, and the consequences of
missing payments; and

(6) the merchant's refund policy with respect to payments made by
consumers; and

(7) the location, if other than the place of purchase, where the
merchandise is being stored or if the merchandise selected by the
consumer will not be removed from inventory upon receipt of the first
layaway payment by the merchant, there must be prominently disclosed on
the face of the writing given to the consumer, the time at which the
merchandise will be isolated from inventory or ordered by the merchant,
e.g., NOTICE: NO MERCHANDISE WILL BE REMOVED FROM INVENTORY UNTIL ______
PERCENT OF THE PURCHASE PRICE HAS BEEN PAID, or ATTENTION: YOUR
SELECTION OF MERCHANDISE WILL NOT BE ORDERED UNTIL YOU HAVE MADE YOUR
NEXT TO FINAL PAYMENT; and

(8) all other disclosures required by state or federal law.

(c) The merchant must tender the specified merchandise in good
condition to the consumer on demand upon receipt of the final layaway
payment unless otherwise provided in the layaway plan.

(d) Whenever there shall be a violation of this section, an
application may be made by the attorney general in the name of the
people of the state of New York to a court or justice having
jurisdiction to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of
not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such
violations; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or
justice that the defendant has, in fact, violated this section an
injunction may be issued by such court or justice, enjoining and
restraining any further violation, without requiring proof that any
person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. In any such
proceeding, the court may make allowances to the attorney general as
provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of section eighty-three
hundred three of the civil practice law and rules, and direct
restitution. In connection with any such proposed application, the
attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of
the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil
practice law and rules.

(e) This section shall not annul, alter, affect or exempt any person
subject to the provisions of this section from complying with the laws,
ordinances, rules or regulations of any locality, relating to the
disclosure of layaway plans, except to the extent that these local laws,
ordinances, rules or regulations are inconsistent with any provision of
this section, but no such local law, ordinance, rule or regulation shall
be considered inconsistent, if it affords greater protection to the
consumer.

(f) The provisions of this section are intended, and are hereby
declared to supersede any contrary provision of this article.