Florida Senate - 2014                              CS for SB 832
       By the Committee on Banking and Insurance; and Senators Flores
       and Diaz de la Portilla
       597-02193-14                                           2014832c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the financing of motor vehicles;
    3         amending s. 545.01, F.S.; revising definitions;
    4         defining terms; creating s. 545.045, F.S.; prohibiting
    5         a finance company that is affiliated with or
    6         controlled by, or that has a contractual relationship
    7         with, a manufacturer or wholesale distributor from
    8         taking specified actions relating to certain finance
    9         obligations arising from the retail sale or lease of a
   10         motor vehicle that includes a third party’s automotive
   11         related product; providing an effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Section 545.01, Florida Statutes, is reordered
   16  and amended to read:
   17         545.01 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
   18         (1) “Affiliated finance company” means a finance company
   19  which:
   20         (a) Is affiliated with or controlled by a manufacturer or
   21  wholesale distributor through common ownership, officers,
   22  directors, or management; or
   23         (b) Has a contractual agreement with a manufacturer or
   24  wholesale distributor to finance, via sale or lease, motor
   25  vehicles produced or distributed by such manufacturer or
   26  wholesale distributor.
   27         (2) “Automotive related product” means a motor vehicle
   28  service agreement, as defined in s. 634.011, or a guaranteed
   29  asset protection product, as defined in s. 520.02, or other non
   30  tangible ancillary product that is purchased or otherwise
   31  provided as part of the sale or lease of a motor vehicle by a
   32  dealer.
   33         (6)(1)The term “Person” as used in this chapter means an
   34  any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, limited
   35  liability company, association, trustee, receiver, or assignee
   36  for the benefit of creditors.
   37         (7)(2)The terms “Sell,” “sold,” “buy,or and “purchase,”
   38  includes as used in this chapter, include an exchange, barter,
   39  gift, or and offer to contract to sell or buy.
   40         (5)(3)The term “Manufacturer” means a any person engaged,
   41  directly or indirectly, in the manufacture of motor vehicles.
   42         (10)(4)The term “Wholesale distributor” means a any person
   43  engaged, directly or indirectly, in the sale or distribution of
   44  motor vehicles to agents or to dealers.
   45         (3)(5)The term “Dealer” means a franchised motor vehicle
   46  dealer, as defined in s. 320.27(1)(c)1. any person who is
   47  engaged in, or who intends to engage in the business of selling
   48  motor vehicles at retail in this state. The term “dealer” shall
   49  also include “retail agent.”
   50         (4)(6)The term “Finance company” means a any person
   51  engaged in the business of financing the sale or lease of motor
   52  vehicles, or engaged in the business of purchasing or acquiring
   53  vehicle contracts conditional bills of sale, or promissory
   54  notes, either secured by vendor’s lien or chattel mortgages, or
   55  arising from the sale of motor vehicles in this state.
   56         (8) “Third party provider” means a provider of an
   57  automotive related product that is not an affiliated finance
   58  company, manufacturer, or wholesale distributor.
   59         (9) “Vehicle contract” means a conditional sales contract,
   60  retail installment sales contract, chattel mortgage, lease
   61  agreement, promissory note, or any other financial obligation
   62  arising from the retail sale or lease of a motor vehicle.
   63         Section 2. Section 545.045, Florida Statutes, is created to
   64  read:
   65         545.045 Purchase or assignment of third-party financing.—
   66         (1) When a vehicle contract contains a third party
   67  provider’s automotive related product that is of similar nature,
   68  scope, and quality to an automotive related product offered for
   69  sale by an affiliated finance company or its related
   70  manufacturer or wholesale distributor, that affiliated finance
   71  company may not, solely because the vehicle contract contains a
   72  third party’s automotive related product:
   73         (a) Refuse to purchase or accept the assignment of the
   74  vehicle contract from a dealer;
   75         (b) Charge a dealer an additional fee or surcharge for the
   76  purchase of, or acceptance of the assignment of, the vehicle
   77  contract; or
   78         (c) Offer to purchase or accept assignment of the vehicle
   79  contract from a dealer on less favorable terms than a vehicle
   80  contract that contains otherwise substantially similar credit
   81  risk, duration, and other terms.
   82         (2) Factors in determining whether an automotive related
   83  product is similar in nature, scope, and quality include, but
   84  are not limited to, the financial capacity of the third party
   85  provider to meet all its obligations, inclusive of any
   86  contractual liability insurance policies, and the third party
   87  provider’s history of compliance with any applicable state and
   88  federal regulations.
   89         (3) A violation of this section does not constitute a
   90  criminal offense pursuant to s. 545.12.
   91         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.