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California Consumer Contract Awareness Act

Requires a seller to deliver a copy of a consumer contract to the consumer at the time it is signed by the consumer

By Chris Micheli, August 2, 2022 3:15 pm

California has a number of formal acts in statute. Civil Code Division 3, Part 4, Title 1.86 provides the Consumer Contract Awareness Act of 1990, which is contained in Section 1799.200 to 1799.207. Title 1.86 was added in 1990 by Chapter 1079. Section 1799.200 names the Act.

Section 1799.201 defines the following terms: “consumer”; “consumer contract”; “consumer contract guaranty”; “copy”; “days”; “goods”; “guarantor”; “seller”; “services”; and, “financial institution.”

Section 1799.202 requires a seller to deliver a copy of a consumer contract to the consumer at the time it is signed by the consumer if the consumer contract is signed at a place of business of the seller. If the consumer contract is not signed by the consumer at a place of business of the seller, and the seller has not provided a copy of the consumer contract for the consumer which the consumer is instructed to keep, the seller is required to mail or deliver a copy of it to the consumer within 10 calendar days after the seller receives the signed consumer contract.

If the consumer contract (1) is wholly or partly contained on a card or other writing which is used to identify the consumer in connection with a deposit account, safe deposit box, safekeeping agreement, or other service offered by a financial institution, and (2) contains information particular to the consumer’s account, box, or other arrangement that, if known by a third party, could be used by the third party to cause loss to the consumer or financial institution, the copy of the contract furnished to the consumer need not contain the consumer’s signature or any of the identifying information particular to the consumer’s account, box, or other arrangement.

Section 1799.203 deems compliance with the law if a copy of any consumer contract is delivered or mailed to the consumer before the consumer enters into a transaction covered and permitted by the consumer contract.

Section 1799.204 provides that, if more than one consumer has signed a consumer contact, the seller may mail or deliver the copy to any one of the consumers who reside at the same address. Section 1799.205 specifies that a seller who fails to comply with existing law is liable to the consumer for any actual damages suffered by the consumer as the result of that failure.

Section 1799.206 requires a seller to deliver a copy of the consumer contract guaranty to the guarantor at the time the consumer contract guaranty is signed by the guarantor if the consumer contract guaranty is signed by the guarantor at a place of business of the seller. A seller that fails to comply with this section is liable to the guarantor for any actual damages suffered by the guarantor as the result of that failure.

Section 1799.207 provides that any waiver of the provisions of this title is contrary to public policy, and is void and unenforceable.

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