Code Section

Civil Code - CIV

DIVISION 3. OBLIGATIONS [1427 - 3273]

  ( Heading of Division 3 amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 160, Sec. 14. )
  

PART 4. OBLIGATIONS ARISING FROM PARTICULAR TRANSACTIONS [1738 - 3273]

  ( Part 4 enacted 1872. )
  

TITLE 14. LIEN [2872 - 3081]

  ( Title 14 enacted 1872. )
  

CHAPTER 2b. Automobile Sales Finance Act [2981 - 2984.6]
  ( Chapter 2b added by Stats. 1961, Ch. 1626. )

  
2983.2.  

(a) Except where the motor vehicle has been seized as described in paragraph (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 2983.3, any provision in any conditional sale contract for the sale of a motor vehicle to the contrary notwithstanding, at least 15 days’ written notice of intent to dispose of a repossessed or surrendered motor vehicle shall be given to all persons liable on the contract. The notice shall be personally served or shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or first-class mail, postage prepaid, directed to the last known address of the persons liable on the contract. If those persons are married to each other, and, according to the most recent records of the seller or holder of the contract, reside at the same address, one notice addressed to both persons at that address is sufficient. Except as otherwise provided in Section 2983.8, those persons shall be liable for any deficiency after disposition of the repossessed or surrendered motor vehicle only if the notice prescribed by this section is given within 60 days of repossession or surrender and does all of the following:

(1) Sets forth that those persons shall have a right to redeem the motor vehicle by paying in full the indebtedness evidenced by the contract until the expiration of 15 days from the date of giving or mailing the notice and provides an itemization of the contract balance and of any delinquency, collection or repossession costs and fees and sets forth the computation or estimate of the amount of any credit for unearned finance charges or canceled insurance as of the date of the notice.

(2) States either that there is a conditional right to reinstate the contract until the expiration of 15 days from the date of giving or mailing the notice and all the conditions precedent thereto or that there is no right of reinstatement and provides a statement of reasons therefor.

(3) States that, upon written request, the seller or holder shall extend for an additional 10 days the redemption period or, if entitled to the conditional right of reinstatement, both the redemption and reinstatement periods. The seller or holder shall provide the proper form for applying for the extensions with the substance of the form being limited to the extension request, spaces for the requesting party to sign and date the form, and instructions that it must be personally served or sent by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to a person or office and address designated by the seller or holder and received before the expiration of the initial redemption and reinstatement periods.

(4) Discloses the place at which the motor vehicle will be returned to those persons upon redemption or reinstatement.

(5) Designates the name and address of the person or office to whom payment shall be made.

(6) States the seller’s or holder’s intent to dispose of the motor vehicle upon the expiration of 15 days from the date of giving or mailing the notice, or if by mail and either the place of deposit in the mail or the place of address is outside of this state, the period shall be 20 days instead of 15 days, and further, that upon written request to extend the redemption period and any applicable reinstatement period for 10 days, the seller or holder shall without further notice extend the period accordingly.

(7) Informs those persons that upon written request, the seller or holder will furnish a written accounting regarding the disposition of the motor vehicle as provided for in subdivision (b). The seller or holder shall advise them that this request must be personally served or sent first-class mail, postage prepaid, or certified mail, return receipt requested, to a person or office and address designated by the seller or holder.

(8) Includes notice, in at least 10-point bold type if the notice is printed, reading as follows: “NOTICE. YOU MAY BE SUBJECT TO SUIT AND LIABILITY IF THE AMOUNT OBTAINED UPON DISPOSITION OF THE VEHICLE IS INSUFFICIENT TO PAY THE CONTRACT BALANCE AND ANY OTHER AMOUNTS DUE.”

(9) Informs those persons that upon the disposition of the motor vehicle, they will be liable for the deficiency balance plus interest at the contract rate, or at the legal rate of interest pursuant to Section 3289 if there is no contract rate of interest, from the date of disposition of the motor vehicle to the date of entry of judgment.

The notice prescribed by this section shall not affect the discretion of the court to strike out an unconscionable interest rate in the contract for which the notice is required, nor affect the court in its determination of whether the rate is unconscionable.

(b) Unless automatically provided to the buyer within 45 days after the disposition of the motor vehicle, the seller or holder shall provide to any person liable on the contract within 45 days after their written request, if the request is made within one year after the disposition, a written accounting regarding the disposition. The accounting shall itemize:

(1) The gross proceeds of the disposition.

(2) The reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for retaking, holding, preparing for and conducting the sale and to the extent provided for in the agreement and not prohibited by law, reasonable attorney fees and legal expenses incurred by the seller or holder in retaking the motor vehicle from any person not a party to the contract.

(3) The satisfaction of indebtedness secured by any subordinate lien or encumbrance on the motor vehicle if written notification of demand therefor is received before distribution of the proceeds is completed. If requested by the seller or holder, the holder of a subordinate lien or encumbrance must seasonably furnish reasonable proof of its interest, and unless it does so, the seller or holder need not comply with its demand.

(c) In all sales which result in a surplus, the seller or holder shall furnish an accounting as provided in subdivision (b) whether or not requested by the buyer. Any surplus shall be returned to the buyer within 45 days after the sale is conducted.

(d) This section shall not apply to a loan made by a lender licensed under Division 9 (commencing with Section 22000) or Division 10 (commencing with Section 24000) of the Financial Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 313, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1997.)