2017 Montana Code Annotated
TITLE 31. CREDIT TRANSACTIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS
CHAPTER 1. CREDIT TRANSACTIONS
Part 2. Retail Installment Sales
31-1-202. Definitions -- scope

Universal Citation: MT Code § 31-1-202 (2017)

31-1-202. Definitions -- scope. (1) Unless the context requires otherwise, in this part, the following definitions apply:

(a) "Cash sale price" means the price stated in a retail installment contract or in a sales slip or other memorandum furnished by a retail seller to a retail buyer under or in connection with a retail charge account agreement for which the seller would have sold or furnished to the buyer and the buyer would have bought or obtained from the seller the goods or services that are the subject matter of the retail installment transaction, if the sale had been a sale for cash. The cash sale price may include any taxes, registration, certificate of title, license, and official fees and cash sale prices for services, if any, and for accessories and their installation and for delivering, servicing, repairing, or improving the goods.

(b) "Conspicuous" means that:

(i) a heading is in capital letters equal to or greater in size than the surrounding text or in contrasting type, font, or color than the surrounding text of the same or lesser size; or

(ii) language in the body of a record or display is in larger type than the surrounding text, is in contrasting type, font, or color than the surrounding text of the same size, or is set off from the surrounding text of the same size by symbols or other marks that call attention to the language.

(c) "Department" means the department of administration provided for in Title 2, chapter 15, part 10.

(d) "Finance charge" means the amount, as limited by 31-1-241, in addition to the principal balance, agreed upon between the buyer and the seller, to be paid by the buyer for the privilege of purchasing goods or services to be paid for by the buyer in one or more deferred installments.

(e) "Goods" means all chattels personal, including motor vehicles and merchandise certificates or coupons exchangeable for chattels personal but not including money, things in action, or dwellings as defined in 15 U.S.C. 1602(w).

(f) "Holder" means:

(i) the retail seller of the goods or services under the retail installment contract or retail charge account agreement or a person who establishes and administers retail charge account agreements with retail buyers;

(ii) the assignee, if the retail installment contract or the retail charge account agreement or the balance in the account under either has been sold or otherwise transferred; or

(iii) any other person entitled to the rights of the retail seller under any retail installment contract or any retail charge account agreement.

(g) "Manufactured structure" means any structure, transportable in one or more sections, designed to be used as a single-family dwelling or commercial building with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained in the structure.

(h) (i) "Motor vehicle" means any new or used automobile, motorcycle, quadricycle, truck, trailer, semitrailer, truck tractor, and all vehicles with any power, other than muscular power, primarily designed or used to transport persons or property on a public highway.

(ii) The term does not include any vehicle that runs only on rails or tracks or in the air.

(iii) The term does not include a dwelling as defined in 15 U.S.C. 1602(w).

(i) "Official fees" means:

(i) the fees prescribed by law for filing, recording, or otherwise perfecting and releasing or satisfying any title or lien retained or taken by a seller in connection with a retail installment transaction; or

(ii) the premium for insurance in lieu of filing, recording, or otherwise perfecting any title or lien retained or taken by a seller in connection with a retail installment transaction to the extent that the premium does not exceed the fees that would otherwise be payable for filing, recording, or otherwise perfecting and releasing or satisfying any title or lien retained or taken by a seller in connection with a retail installment transaction.

(j) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, and any other group, however organized.

(k) "Principal balance" means the cash sale price of the goods or services that are the subject matter of a retail installment transaction plus the amounts, if any, included in the sale, if a separate identified charge is made and stated in the contract, for insurance and other benefits and official fees, minus the amount of the buyer's downpayment in money or goods.

(l) "Recreational vehicle" means a vehicular type unit that either has its own motor power or is mounted on or drawn by another vehicle and that is primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use.

(m) "Retail buyer" or "buyer" means a person who buys goods or obtains services from a retail seller in a retail installment transaction and not for the purpose of resale.

(n) "Retail charge account agreement" means an instrument in writing prescribing the terms of retail installment transactions that may be made under it from time to time under which a retail seller gives to a retail buyer the privilege of using a credit card issued by the retail seller or any other person or other credit confirmation or identification for the purpose of purchasing goods or services from the retail seller, from the retail seller and any other person, or from a person licensed or franchised by the retail seller and under the terms of which a finance charge may be computed in relation to the buyer's average daily balance in the account during the billing cycle or the buyer's balance from time to time.

(o) "Retail installment contract" or "contract" means an agreement evidencing a retail installment transaction entered into in this state under which a buyer promises to pay in one or more deferred installments the time sale price of goods or services, or both. The term includes a chattel mortgage, a conditional sales contract, and a contract for the bailment or leasing of goods by which the bailee or lessee contracts to pay as compensation for its use a sum substantially equivalent to or in excess of its value and by which it is agreed that the bailee or lessee is bound to become, or for no further or a merely nominal consideration has the option of becoming, the owner of the goods upon full compliance with the provisions of the contract.

(p) "Retail installment transaction" means a written contract to sell or furnish, or the sale or furnishing of, goods or services by a retail seller to a retail buyer pursuant to a retail charge account agreement or under a retail installment contract.

(q) "Retail seller" or "seller" means a person who sells goods or furnishes services to a retail buyer in a written retail installment contract or written retail installment transaction.

(r) (i) "Sales finance company" means a person engaged, in whole or in part, in the business of purchasing retail installment contracts from one or more sellers. The term includes but is not limited to a bank, trust company, investment company, credit union, or savings and loan association, if engaged in purchasing retail installment contracts.

(ii) The term does not include a person who makes only isolated purchases of retail installment contracts that are not being made in the course of repeated and successive purchases of retail installment contracts from the same seller.

(s) "Services" means work, labor, and services furnished in the delivery, installation, servicing, repair, or improvement of goods.

(t) "Time sale price" means the total of the cash sale price of the goods or services and the amount, if any, included for insurance and other benefits, if a separate identified charge is made for insurance and benefits, and the amounts of the official fees and the finance charge.

(2) (a) This part does not apply to the lending of money by banks or other lending institutions and securing loans by chattel mortgages of goods in the ordinary course of lending by those banks or other lending institutions.

(b) This part applies to the extension of credit by those banks or other lending institutions under retail installment contracts or credit cards issued by those banks or other lending institutions.

(c) This part does not apply to a transaction governed by Title 32, chapter 9, part 1.

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 282, L. 1959; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 416, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 137, Ch. 431, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 74-602; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 160, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 274, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 13, Ch. 516, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 297, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 198, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 70, Ch. 483, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 317, L. 2011; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 63, L. 2013; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 123, L. 2013.

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