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Consumer protection laws: Know your rights

Primer on consumer protection laws
  Consumer leasing

Law: Consumer Leasing Act of 1976 amends the Truth in Lending Act

What it covers: Auto leases and furniture rentals

What it does for consumers: When comparing long-term auto and furniture leases, this law makes sure the contract discloses important conditions and costs upfront. Leasing companies must abide by the rules.

  • Covers personal property leases that exceed four months and contract for less than $25,000, regardless of any options for the consumer to buy the property at the end of the lease. Does not cover apartment leases.
  • Regulates how leasing companies can advertise.
  • Requires disclosure of total charges consumers will face at the beginning and end of a lease, as well as the monthly or periodic costs.
  • Lease company must provide the consumer with a written disclosure of costs, including down payments, registration amounts or security deposits. The law also says they must spell out the terms and conditions of the contract, such as insurance requirements, the length of time the warranty remains in effect and damage covered under "wear and tear."
  • Must provide a purchase-option statement, which explains whether the consumer will have the opportunity to purchase the property once the lease expires

For more information on consumer leasing, read the Bankrate feature, "Leasing laws you should know."

File a complaint about Consumer Leasing Act violations with the FTC.

Access the full text of the law here.




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