Commerce and Trade


Other Laws Relating to Commerce and Trade


Subchapter IV. Consumer Contracts

As used in this subchapter:

(1) "Consumer'' means an individual who purchases or leases merchandise primarily for personal, family or household purposes.

(2) "Lease'' means any lease, offer to lease or attempt to lease any merchandise.

(3) "Merchandise'' means any objects, wares, goods, commodities, intangibles, real estate or services, other than insurance.

(4) "Person'' means an individual, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, statutory trust, 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.

(5) "Sale'' means any sale, offer for sale or attempt to sell any merchandise for cash or credit.

66 Del. Laws, c. 276, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 329, § 38.;

In a contract for the sale or lease of merchandise to a consumer, a person engages in a deceptive practice when that person 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

(2) Omits information required by law to be disclosed in contracts with a consumer.

66 Del. Laws, c. 276, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

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' right are given equal prominence with the main provision.

66 Del. Laws, c. 276, § 1.;

(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 attorney's fees.

(b) 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.

66 Del. Laws, c. 276, § 1.;

This subchapter shall not apply to contracts in which the total contract price or the total amount financed exceeds $50,000, 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 or to any public utility tariff on file with the Delaware Public Service Commission pursuant to Chapter 7 [repealed] of Title 26.

66 Del. Laws, c. 276, § 1.;

In addition to any remedies a consumer may have at law or in equity, Chapter 25 of Title 29 shall apply to violations of this subchapter.

66 Del. Laws, c. 276, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 291, § 98(a); 77 Del. Laws, c. 282, § 18.;