SENATE BILL NO. 31
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 2 AND HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 27, TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE USE OF LANGUAGE IN CONSUMER CONTRACTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Chapter 27, Title 6 of the Delaware Code, by adding a new Subchapter III as follows:
"SUBCHAPTER III. CONSUMER CONTRACTS
Section 2721. Definitions.
As used in this subchapter:
(1) "Sale" means any sale, offer for sale, or attempt to sell any merchandise
for cash or credit.
(2) "Lease" means any lease, offer to lease, or attempt to tease any
(3) "Person" means an individual, corporation, government, or governmental
subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, unincorporated association, 2 or more of any of the foregoing having a joint or common interest, or any other legal or commercial entity.
(4) "Consumer" means an individual who purchases or leases merchandise
primarily for personal, family or household purposes.
(1) "Merchandise" means any objects, wares, goods, commodities, intangibles,
real estate, or services, other than insurance.
Section 2722. Deceptive Practices in Consumer Contracts.
In a contract for the sale or lease of merchandise to a consumer, a person engages In a deceptive practice when he knowingly or recklessly:
(1) distorts or obscures the terms, conditions, or meaning of the contract or creates a likelihood of confusion or misunderstanding by the use of
unintelligible words, phrases, or sentences; or
(1) omits information required by law to be disclosed In contracts with a
Section 2723. Guidelines.
The following are factors that a court may consider in determining whether a contract complies with this subchapter:
(1) Whether cross-references are confusing.
(2) Whether sentences are unreasonably long or complex.
(3) Whether sentences contain double negatives and exceptions to exceptions.
(4) Whether sentences and sections are in a confusing or illogical order.
(5) Whether It contains words with obsolete meanings or words that differ in their legal meaning from their ordinary meaning.
(6) Whether conditions, exceptions to the main provision of the agreement, and protection for consumers or restrictions of consumers' rights are given equal prominence with the main provision.
Section 2724. Remedies.
(a) Any person who engages in a deceptive practice governed by this subchapter shall be liable to a consumer in an amount equal to treble the amount of actual damages proved, plus reasonable attorneys' fees.
(a) A consumer likely to be damaged by a deceptive practice governed by this
subchapter may be granted an injunction against it under the principles of equity and on terms the court considers reasonable.
Section 2725. Application.
This subchapter shall not apply to contracts In which the total contract price or the total amount financed, exceeds 550,000 or to any contract entered into with or acquired by a banking organization or building and loan association as defined by Chapters 1 and 17 respectively of Title 5 of this Code, or to any public utility tariff on file with the Delaware Public Service Commission pursuant to Chapter 7 of Title 26 of this Code.
Section 2726. Enforcement.
In addition to any remedies a consumer may have at law or in equity, Section 8612 of Title 29 of this Code shall apply to violations of this subchapter."
Approved June 21, 1988.