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Comment for 1013.4 - Content of Disclosures

4(a) Description of Property

1. Placement of description. Although the description of leased property may not be included among the segregated disclosures, a lessor may choose to place the description directly above the segregated disclosures.

4(b) Amount Due at Lease Signing or Delivery

1. Consummation. See commentary to § 1013.3(a)(3).

2. Capitalized cost reduction. A capitalized cost reduction is a payment in the nature of a downpayment on the leased property that reduces the amount to be capitalized over the term of the lease. This amount does not include any amounts included in a periodic payment paid at lease signing or delivery.

3. “Negative” equity trade-in allowance. If an amount owed on a prior lease or credit balance exceeds the agreed upon value of a trade-in, the difference is not reflected as a negative trade-in allowance under § 1013.4(b). The lessor may disclose the trade-in allowance as zero or not applicable, or may leave a blank line.

4. Rebates. Only rebates applied toward an amount due at lease signing or delivery are required to be disclosed under § 1013.4(b).

5. Balance sheet approach. In motor vehicle leases, the total for the column labeled “total amount due at lease signing or delivery” must equal the total for the column labeled “how the amount due at lease signing or delivery will be paid.”

6. Amounts to be paid in cash. The term cash is intended to include payments by check or other payment methods in addition to currency; however, a lessor may add a line item under the column “how the amount due at lease signing or delivery will be paid” for non-currency payments such as credit cards.

4(c) Payment Schedule and Total Amount of Periodic Payments

1. Periodic payments. The phrase “number, amount, and due dates or periods of payments” requires the disclosure of all payments that are made at regular or irregular intervals and generally derived from rent, capitalized or amortized amounts such as depreciation, and other amounts that are collected by the lessor at the same interval(s), including, for example, taxes, maintenance, and insurance charges. Other periodic payments may, but need not, be disclosed under § 1013.4(c).

4(d) Other Charges

1. Coverage. Section 1013.4(d) requires the disclosure of charges that are anticipated by the parties incident to the normal operation of the lease agreement. If a lessor is unsure whether a particular fee is an “other charge,” the lessor may disclose the fee as such without violating § 1013.4(d) or the segregation rule under § 1013.3(a)(2).

2. Excluded charges. This section does not require disclosure of charges that are imposed when the lessee terminates early, fails to abide by, or modifies the terms of the existing lease agreement, such as charges for:

i. Late payment.

ii. Default.

iii. Early termination.

iv. Deferral of payments.

v. Extension of the lease.

3. Third-party fees and charges. Third-party fees or charges collected by the lessor on behalf of third parties, such as taxes, are not disclosed under § 1013.4(d).

4. Relationship to other provisions. The other charges mentioned in this paragraph are charges that are not required to be disclosed under some other provision of § 1013.4. To illustrate:

i. The price of a mechanical breakdown protection (MBP) contract is sometimes disclosed as an “other charge.” Nevertheless, the price of MBP is sometimes reflected in the periodic payment disclosure under § 1013.4(c) or in states where MBP is regarded as insurance, the cost is be disclosed in accordance with § 1013.4(o).

5. Lessee's liabilities at the end of the lease term. Liabilities that the lessor imposes upon the lessee at the end of the scheduled lease term and that must be disclosed under § 1013.4(d) include disposition and “pick-up” charges.

6. Optional “disposition” charges. Disposition and similar charges that are anticipated by the parties as an incident to the normal operation of the lease agreement must be disclosed under § 1013.4(d). If, under a lease agreement, a lessee may return leased property to various locations, and the lessor charges a disposition fee depending upon the location chosen, under § 1013.4(d), the lessor must disclose the highest amount charged. In such circumstances, the lessor may also include a brief explanation of the fee structure in the segregated disclosure. For example, if no fee or a lower fee is imposed for returning a leased vehicle to the originating dealer as opposed to another location, that fact may be disclosed. By contrast, if the terms of the lease treat the return of the leased property to a location outside the lessor's service area as a default, the fee imposed is not disclosed as an “other charge,” although it may be required to be disclosed under § 1013.4(q).

4(e) Total of Payments

1. Open-end lease. The additional statement is required under § 1013.4(e) for open-end leases because, with some limitations, a lessee is liable at the end of the lease term for the difference between the residual and realized values of the leased property.

4(f) Payment Calculation

1. Motor vehicle lease. Whether leased property is a motor vehicle is determined by state or other applicable law.

2. Multiple items. If a lease transaction involves multiple items of leased property, one of which is not a motor vehicle under state law, at their option, lessors may include all items in the disclosures required under § 1013.4(f). See comment 3(a)-4 regarding disclosure of multiple transactions.

4(f)(1) Gross Capitalized Cost

1. Agreed upon value of the vehicle. The agreed upon value of a motor vehicle includes the amount of capitalized items such as charges for vehicle accessories and options, and delivery or destination charges. The lessor may also include taxes and fees for title, licenses, and registration that are capitalized. Charges for service or maintenance contracts, insurance products, guaranteed automobile protection, or an outstanding balance on a prior lease or credit transaction are not included in the agreed upon value.

2. Itemization of the gross capitalized cost. The lessor may choose to provide the itemization of the gross capitalized cost only on request or may provide the itemization as a matter of course. In the latter case, the lessor need not provide a statement of the lessee's option to receive an itemization. The gross capitalized cost must be itemized by type and amount. The lessor may include in the itemization an identification of the items and amounts of some or all of the items contained in the agreed upon value of the vehicle. The itemization must be provided at the same time as the other disclosures required by § 1013.4, but it may not be included among the segregated disclosures.

4(f)(7) Total of Base Periodic Payments

1. Accuracy of disclosure. If the periodic payment calculation under § 1013.4(f) has been calculated correctly, the amount disclosed under § 1013.4(f)(7) - the total of base periodic payments - is correct for disclosure purposes even if that amount differs from the base periodic payment disclosed under § 1013.4(f)(9) multiplied by the number of lease payments disclosed under § 1013.4(f)(8), when the difference is due to rounding.

4(f)(8) Lease Payments

1. Lease Term. The lease term may be disclosed among the segregated disclosures.

4(g) Early Termination

4(g)(1) Conditions and Disclosure of Charges

1. Reasonableness of charges. See the commentary to § 1013.4(q).

2. Description of the method. Section 1013.4(g)(1) requires a full description of the method of determining an early termination charge. The lessor should attempt to provide consumers with clear and understandable descriptions of its early termination charges. Descriptions that are full, accurate, and not intended to be misleading will comply with § 1013.4(g)(1), even if the descriptions are complex. In providing a full description of an early termination method, a lessor may use the name of a generally accepted method of computing the unamortized cost portion (also known as the “adjusted lease balance”) of its early termination charges. For example, a lessor may state that the “constant yield” method will be utilized in obtaining the adjusted lease balance, but must specify how that figure, and any other term or figure, is used in computing the total early termination charge imposed upon the consumer. Additionally, if a lessor refers to a named method in this manner, the lessor must provide a written explanation of that method if requested by the consumer. The lessor has the option of providing the explanation as a matter of course in the lease documents or on a separate document.

3. Timing of written explanation of a named method. While a lessor may provide an address or telephone number for the consumer to request a written explanation of the named method used to calculate the adjusted leased balance, if at consummation a consumer requests such an explanation, the lessor must provide a written explanation at that time. If a consumer requests an explanation after consummation, the lessor must provide a written explanation within a reasonable time after the request is made.

4. Default. When default is a condition for early termination of a lease, default charges must be disclosed under § 1013.4(g)(1). See the commentary to § 1013.4(q).

5. Lessee's liability at early termination. When the lessee is liable for the difference between the unamortized cost and the realized value at early termination, the method of determining the amount of the difference must be disclosed under § 1013.4(g)(1).

4(h) Maintenance Responsibilities

1. Standards for wear and use. No disclosure is required if a lessor does not set standards or impose charges for wear and use (such as excess mileage).

4(i) Purchase Option

1. Mandatory disclosure of no purchase option. Generally the lessor need only make the specific required disclosures that apply to a transaction. In the case of a purchase option disclosure, however, a lessor must disclose affirmatively that the lessee has no option to purchase the leased property if the purchase option is inapplicable.

2. Existence of purchase option. Whether a purchase option exists under the lease is determined by state or other applicable law. The lessee's right to submit a bid to purchase property at termination of the lease is not an option to purchase under § 1013.4(i) if the lessor is not required to accept the lessee's bid and the lessee does not receive preferential treatment.

3. Purchase-option fee. A purchase-option fee is disclosed under § 1013.4(i), not § 1013.4(d). The fee may be separately itemized or disclosed as part of the purchase-option price.

4. Official fees and taxes. Official fees such as those for taxes, licenses, and registration charged in connection with the exercise of a purchase option may be disclosed under § 1013.4(i) as part of the purchase-option price (with or without a reference to their inclusion in that price) or may be separately disclosed and itemized by category. Alternatively, a lessor may provide a statement indicating that the purchase-option price does not include fees for tags, taxes, and registration.

5. Purchase-option price. Lessors must disclose the purchase-option price as a sum certain or as a sum certain to be determined at a future date by reference to a readily available independent source. The reference should provide sufficient information so that the lessee will be able to determine the actual price when the option becomes available. Statements of a purchase price as the “negotiated price” or the “fair market value” do not comply with the requirements of § 1013.4(i).

4(j) Statement Referencing Nonsegregated Disclosures

1. Content. A lessor may delete inapplicable items from the disclosure. For example, if a lease contract does not include a security interest, the reference to a security interest may be omitted.

4(l) Right of Appraisal

1. Disclosure inapplicable. The lessee does not have the right to an independent appraisal merely because the lessee is liable at the end of the lease term or at early termination for unreasonable wear or use. Thus, the disclosure under § 1013.4(l) does not apply. For example:

i. The automobile lessor might expect a lessee to return an undented car with four good tires at the end of the lease term. Even though it may hold the lessee liable for the difference between a dented car with bald tires and the value of a car in reasonably good repair, the disclosure under § 1013.4(l) is not required.

2. Lessor's appraisal. If the lessor obtains an appraisal of the leased property to determine its realized value, that appraisal does not suffice for purposes of section 183(c) of the Act; the lessor must disclose the lessee's right to an independent appraisal under § 1013.4(l).

3. Retail or wholesale. In providing the disclosures in § 1013.4(l), a lessor must indicate whether the wholesale or retail appraisal value will be used.

4. Time restriction on appraisal. The regulation does not specify a time period in which the lessee must exercise the appraisal right. The lessor may require a lessee to obtain the appraisal within a reasonable time after termination of the lease.

4(m) Liability at End of Lease Term Based on Residual Value

1. Open-end leases. Section 1013.4(m) applies only to open-end leases.

2. Lessor's payment of attorney's fees. Section 183(a) of the Act requires that the lessor pay the lessee's attorney's fees in all actions under § 1013.4(m), whether successful or not.

4(m)(1) Rent and Other Charges

1. General. This disclosure is intended to represent the cost of financing an open-end lease based on charges and fees that the lessor requires the lessee to pay. Examples of disclosable charges, in addition to the rent charge, include acquisition, disposition, or assignment fees. Charges imposed by a third party whose services are not required by the lessor (such as official fees and voluntary insurance) are not included in the § 1013.4(m)(1) disclosure.

4(m)(2) Excess Liability

1. Coverage. The disclosure limiting the lessee's liability for the value of the leased property does not apply in the case of early termination.

2. Leases with a minimum term. If a lease has an alternative minimum term, the disclosures governing the liability limitation are not applicable for the minimum term.

3. Charges not subject to rebuttable presumption. The limitation on liability applies only to liability at the end of the lease term that is based on the difference between the residual value of the leased property and its realized value. The regulation does not preclude a lessor from recovering other charges from the lessee at the end of the lease term. Examples of such charges include:

i. Disposition charges.

ii. Excess mileage charges.

iii. Late payment and default charges.

iv. In simple-interest accounting leases, amount by which the unamortized cost exceeds the residual value because the lessee has not made timely payments.

4(n) Fees and Taxes

1. Treatment of certain taxes. Taxes paid in connection with the lease are generally disclosed under § 1013.4(n), but there are exceptions. To illustrate:

i. Taxes paid by lease signing or delivery are disclosed under § 1013.4(b) and § 1013.4(n).

ii. Taxes that are part of the scheduled payments are reflected in the disclosure under § 1013.4(c), (f), and (n).

iii. A tax payable by the lessor that is passed on to the consumer and is reflected in the lease documentation must be disclosed under § 1013.4(n). A tax payable by the lessor and absorbed as a cost of doing business need not be disclosed.

iv. Taxes charged in connection with the exercise of a purchase option are disclosed under § 1013.4(i), not § 1013.4(n).

2. Estimates. In disclosing the total amount of fees and taxes under § 1013.4(n), lessors may need to base the disclosure on estimated tax rates or amounts and are afforded great flexibility in doing so. Where a rate is applied to the future value of leased property, lessors have flexibility in estimating that value, including, but not limited to, using the mathematical average of the agreed upon value and the residual value or published valuation guides; or a lessor could prepare estimates using the agreed upon value and disclose a reasonable estimate of the total fees and taxes. Lessors may include a statement that the actual total of fees and taxes may be higher or lower depending on the tax rates in effect or the value of the leased property at the time a fee or tax is assessed.

4(o) Insurance

1. Coverage. If insurance is obtained through the lessor, information on the type and amount of insurance coverage (whether voluntary or required) as well as the cost, must be disclosed.

2. Lessor's insurance. Insurance purchased by the lessor primarily for its own benefit, and absorbed as a business expense and not separately charged to the lessee, need not be disclosed under § 1013.4(o) even if it provides an incidental benefit to the lessee.

3. Mechanical breakdown protection and other products. Whether products purchased in conjunction with a lease, such as mechanical breakdown protection (MBP) or guaranteed automobile protection (GAP), should be treated as insurance is determined by state or other applicable law. In states that do not treat MBP or GAP as insurance, § 1013.4(o) disclosures are not required. In such cases the lessor may, however, disclose this information in accordance with the additional information provision in § 1013.3(b). For MBP insurance contracts not capped by a dollar amount, lessors may describe coverage by referring to a limitation by mileage or time period, for example, by indicating that the mechanical breakdown contract insures parts of the automobile for up to 100,000 miles.

4(p) Warranties or Guarantees

1. Brief identification. The statement identifying warranties may be brief and need not describe or list all warranties applicable to specific parts such as for air conditioning, radio, or tires in an automobile. For example, manufacturer's warranties may be identified simply by a reference to the standard manufacturer's warranty. If a lessor provides a comprehensive list of warranties that may not all apply, to comply with § 1013.4(p) the lessor must indicate which warranties apply or, alternatively, which warranties do not apply.

2. Warranty disclaimers. Although a disclaimer of warranties is not required by the regulation, the lessor may give a disclaimer as additional information in accordance with § 1013.3(b).

3. State law. Whether an express warranty or guaranty exists is determined by state or other law.

4(q) Penalties and Other Charges for Delinquency

1. Collection costs. The automatic imposition of collection costs or attorney fees upon default must be disclosed under § 1013.4(q). Collection costs or attorney fees that are not imposed automatically, but are contingent upon expenditures in conjunction with a collection proceeding or upon the employment of an attorney to effect collection, need not be disclosed.

2. Charges for early termination. When default is a condition for early termination of a lease, default charges must also be disclosed under § 1013.4(g)(1). The § 1013.4(q) and (g)(1) disclosures may, but need not, be combined. Examples of combined disclosures are provided in the model lease disclosure forms in appendix A.

3. Simple-interest leases. In a simple-interest accounting lease, the additional rent charge that accrues on the lease balance when a periodic payment is made after the due date does not constitute a penalty or other charge for late payment. Similarly, continued accrual of the rent charge after termination of the lease because the lessee fails to return the leased property does not constitute a default charge. But in either case, if the additional charge accrues at a rate higher than the normal rent charge, the lessor must disclose the amount of or the method of determining the additional charge under § 1013.4(q).

4. Extension charges. Extension charges that exceed the rent charge in a simple-interest accounting lease or that are added separately are disclosed under § 1013.4(q).

5. Reasonableness of charges. Pursuant to section 183(b) of the Act, penalties or other charges for delinquency, default, or early termination may be specified in the lease but only in an amount that is reasonable in light of the anticipated or actual harm caused by the delinquency, default, or early termination, the difficulties of proof of loss, and the inconvenience or nonfeasibility of otherwise obtaining an adequate remedy.

4(r) Security Interest

1. Disclosable security interests. See § 1013.2(o) and accompanying commentary to determine what security interests must be disclosed.

4(s) Limitations on Rate Information

1. Segregated disclosures. A lease rate may not be included among the segregated disclosures referenced in § 1013.3(a)(2).