Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 3358 (ih) For the relief of Judith Lorraine Prendergast. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 3358 (ih) For the relief of Judith Lorraine Prendergast. [Introduced in House] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3357

To amend the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 to provide 
   protections to members of the Armed Forces who terminate certain 
   consumer contracts and real estate residential purchase contracts 
entered into before permanent change of station or deployment orders or 
       motor vehicle leases entered into before military service.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            October 21, 2003

  Mr. Gibbons (for himself, Mr. Wynn, Mr. Bereuter, and Mr. Norwood) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
                           Veterans' Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 to provide 
   protections to members of the Armed Forces who terminate certain 
   consumer contracts and real estate residential purchase contracts 
entered into before permanent change of station or deployment orders or 
       motor vehicle leases entered into before military service.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. TERMINATION OF RESIDENTIAL PURCHASE CONTRACTS AND CERTAIN 
              CONSUMER CONTRACTS.

    Article III of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 
(50 U.S.C. App. 530 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the 
following new section:

``SEC. 307. TERMINATION BY SERVICEMEMBERS OF RESIDENTIAL PURCHASE 
              CONTRACTS AND CERTAIN CONSUMER CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO 
              BEFORE MILITARY SERVICE OR BEFORE PERMANENT CHANGE OF 
              STATION OR DEPLOYMENT ORDERS.

    ``(a) Termination by Servicemember.--A person in military service 
who is a party to a contract described in subsection (b) may, at the 
person's option, terminate the contract at any time after--
            ``(1) the date of the entry of the person into military 
        service; or
            ``(2) the date of the military orders of the person 
        described in paragraph (1)(B) or (2)(B) of subsection (b), as 
        the case may be.
    ``(b) Covered Contracts.--This section applies to the following 
contracts:
            ``(1) Leases of motor vehicles.--A lease of a motor vehicle 
        used, or intended to be used, by the lessee (or dependents of 
        the lessee) for personal or business transportation if--
                    ``(A) the lease is executed by or on behalf of a 
                person who thereafter and during the term of the lease 
                enters military service (or receives order to enter 
                military service) under a call or order specifying a 
                period of not less than 90 days (or who enters military 
                service under a call or order specifying a period of 90 
                days or less and who, without a break in service, 
                receives orders extending the period of military 
                service to a period of not less than 90 days); or
                    ``(B) the lessee, while in military service, 
                executes the lease and thereafter receives military 
                orders for a permanent change of station outside of the 
                continental United States or to deploy with a military 
                unit for a period of not less than 90 days.
            ``(2) Telecommunications contracts.--A telecommunications 
        contract for cellular phone service, cable or satellite 
        television service, or internet service if--
                    ``(A) the contract is executed by or on behalf of a 
                person who thereafter and during the term of the 
                contract enters military service (or receives order to 
                enter military service) under a call or order 
                specifying a period of not less than 90 days (or who 
                enters military service under a call or order 
                specifying a period of 90 days or less and who, without 
                a break in service, receives orders extending the 
                period of military service to a period of not less than 
                90 days); or
                    ``(B) the person enters into the contract while in 
                military service and thereafter receives military 
                orders for a permanent change of station outside of the 
                continental United States, or to deploy with a military 
                unit for a period of not less than 90 days, to a 
                location that does not support continuation of the 
                service under the contract.
            ``(3) Contract for purchase of residence.--A contract for 
        the purchase of real property occupied, or intended to be 
        occupied, by a person (or dependents of a person) for a 
        residential purpose if before the contract is closed the person 
        who executed the contract--
                    ``(A) enters military service or receives orders to 
                enter military service; or
                    ``(B) receives orders for a permanent change of 
                station or to deploy with a military unit for a period 
                of not less than 90 days.
    ``(c) Manner of Termination.--
            ``(1) In general.--Termination of a contract under 
        subsection (a) is made--
                    ``(A) by delivery by the person in military service 
                of written notice of such termination to the other 
                party to the contract (or that person's grantee or 
                agent); and
                    ``(B) in the case of a lease of a motor vehicle, by 
                return of the motor vehicle by the lessee to the lessor 
                not later than 10 days after the date of the delivery 
                of notice under subparagraph (A).
            ``(2) Nature of notice.--Delivery of notice under paragraph 
        (1)(A) may be accomplished--
                    ``(A) by hand delivery;
                    ``(B) by private business carrier; or
                    ``(C) by placing the written notice in an envelope 
                with sufficient postage and with return receipt 
                requested, and addressed as designated by the party to 
                be notified (or that party's grantee or agent), and 
                depositing the written notice in the United States 
                mails.
    ``(d) Effective Date of Contract Termination.--
            ``(1) Lease of motor vehicles.--In the case of a contract 
        described in subsection (b)(1), termination of the lease under 
        subsection (a) is effective on the day on which the 
        requirements of subsection (c) are met for such termination.
            ``(2) Other contracts.--In the case of a contract described 
        in subsection (b)(2) or (b)(3) termination of the contract is 
        effective on the day on which the notice is delivered.
    ``(e) Arrearages and Other Obligations and Liabilities.--In the 
case of a contract described in subsection (b)(1) or (b)(2), contract 
amounts unpaid for the period preceding the effective date of the 
contract termination shall be paid on a prorated basis. In the case of 
the lease of a motor vehicle, the lessor may not impose an early 
termination charge, but any taxes, summonses, and title and 
registration fees and any other obligation and liability of the lessee 
in accordance with the terms of the lease, including reasonable charges 
to the lessee for excess wear, use and mileage, that are due and unpaid 
at the time of termination of the lease shall be paid by the lessee.
    ``(f) Refund of Lease Amounts Paid in Advance.--Lease amounts paid 
in advance for a period after the effective date of the termination of 
the lease shall be refunded to the lessee by the lessor (or the 
lessor's assignee or the assignee's agent).
    ``(g) Relief to Lessor.--Upon application by the other party to the 
contract to a court before the termination date provided in the written 
notice, relief granted by this section to a person in military service 
may be modified as justice and equity require.
    ``(h) Penalties.--
            ``(1) Misdemeanor.--Any person who knowingly seizes, holds, 
        or detains the personal effects, security deposit, or other 
        property of a person in military service (or of a dependent of 
        a person in military service) who lawfully terminates a 
        contract covered by this section, or who knowingly interferes 
        with the removal of such property from premises covered by such 
        contract, for the purpose of subjecting or attempting to 
        subject any of such property to a claim for contract payments 
        accruing subsequent to the date of termination of such lease, 
        or attempts to do so, shall be fined as provided in title 18, 
        United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than one year, 
        or both.
            ``(2) Preservation of other remedies.--The remedy and 
        rights provided under this section are in addition to and do 
        not preclude any remedy for wrongful conversion otherwise 
        available under law to the person claiming relief under this 
        section, including any award for consequential or punitive 
        damages.''.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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