Florida Senate - 2014                       CS for CS for SB 832
       By the Committees on Judiciary; and Banking and Insurance; and
       Senators Flores and Diaz de la Portilla
       590-03995-14                                           2014832c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to motor vehicle sales; amending s.
    3         545.01, F.S.; revising and reordering definitions;
    4         defining terms; creating s. 545.045, F.S.; prohibiting
    5         an affiliated finance company from taking specified
    6         actions relating to certain finance obligations
    7         arising from a vehicle contract that contains a third
    8         party provider’s specified automotive-related product;
    9         providing factors to determine whether an automotive
   10         related product is similar in nature, scope, and
   11         quality to an automotive-related product offered for
   12         sale by an affiliated finance company or its related
   13         manufacturer or wholesale distributor; providing that
   14         a violation does not constitute a criminal offense;
   15         amending s. 320.27, F.S.; deleting the definition of
   16         the term “motor vehicle broker”; conforming a
   17         reference; providing an effective date.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1. Section 545.01, Florida Statutes, is reordered
   22  and amended to read:
   23         545.01 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
   24         (1) “Affiliated finance company” means a finance company
   25  which:
   26         (a) Is affiliated with or controlled by a manufacturer or
   27  wholesale distributor through common ownership, officers,
   28  directors, or management; or
   29         (b) Has a contractual agreement with a manufacturer or
   30  wholesale distributor to finance, via sale or lease, motor
   31  vehicles produced or distributed by such manufacturer or
   32  wholesale distributor.
   33         (2) “Automotive-related product” means a motor vehicle
   34  service agreement, as defined in s. 634.011, or a guaranteed
   35  asset protection product, as defined in s. 520.02, or other non
   36  tangible ancillary product that is purchased or otherwise
   37  provided as part of the sale or lease of a motor vehicle by a
   38  dealer.
   39         (6)(1)The term “Person” as used in this chapter means an
   40  any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, limited
   41  liability company, association, trustee, receiver, or assignee
   42  for the benefit of creditors.
   43         (7)(2)The terms “Sell,” “sold,” “buy,or and “purchase,”
   44  includes as used in this chapter, include an exchange, barter,
   45  gift, or and offer to contract to sell or buy.
   46         (5)(3)The term “Manufacturer” means a any person engaged,
   47  directly or indirectly, in the manufacture of motor vehicles.
   48         (10)(4)The term “Wholesale distributor” means a any person
   49  engaged, directly or indirectly, in the sale or distribution of
   50  motor vehicles to agents or to dealers.
   51         (3)(5)The term “Dealer” means a franchised motor vehicle
   52  dealer, as defined in s. 320.27(1)(c)1. any person who is
   53  engaged in, or who intends to engage in the business of selling
   54  motor vehicles at retail in this state. The term “dealer” shall
   55  also include “retail agent.”
   56         (4)(6)The term “Finance company” means a any person
   57  engaged in the business of financing the sale or lease of motor
   58  vehicles, or engaged in the business of purchasing or acquiring
   59  vehicle contracts conditional bills of sale, or promissory
   60  notes, either secured by vendor’s lien or chattel mortgages, or
   61  arising from the sale of motor vehicles in this state.
   62         (8) “Third-party provider” means a provider of an
   63  automotive-related product that is not an affiliated finance
   64  company, manufacturer, or wholesale distributor.
   65         (9) “Vehicle contract” means a conditional sales contract,
   66  retail installment sales contract, chattel mortgage, lease
   67  agreement, promissory note, or any other financial obligation
   68  arising from the retail sale or lease of a motor vehicle.
   69         Section 2. Section 545.045, Florida Statutes, is created to
   70  read:
   71         545.045 Purchase or assignment of third-party financing.—
   72         (1) When a vehicle contract contains a third-party
   73  provider’s automotive-related product that is of similar nature,
   74  scope, and quality to an automotive-related product offered for
   75  sale by an affiliated finance company or its related
   76  manufacturer or wholesale distributor, that affiliated finance
   77  company may not, solely because the vehicle contract contains a
   78  third party’s automotive-related product:
   79         (a) Refuse to purchase or accept the assignment of the
   80  vehicle contract from a dealer; or
   81         (b)Charge a dealer an additional fee or surcharge for the
   82  purchase of, or acceptance of the assignment of, the vehicle
   83  contract.
   84         (2) Factors in determining whether an automotive-related
   85  product is similar in nature, scope, and quality include, but
   86  are not limited to, the financial capacity of the third-party
   87  provider to meet all of its obligations, inclusive of any
   88  contractual liability insurance policies, and the third-party
   89  provider’s history of compliance with any applicable state and
   90  federal regulations.
   91         (3) A violation of this section does not constitute a
   92  criminal offense pursuant to s. 545.12.
   93         Section 3. Paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection (1) of
   94  section 320.27, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   95         320.27 Motor vehicle dealers.—
   96         (1) DEFINITIONS.—The following words, terms, and phrases
   97  when used in this section have the meanings respectively
   98  ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context
   99  clearly indicates a different meaning:
  100         (c) “Motor vehicle dealer” means any person engaged in the
  101  business of buying, selling, or dealing in motor vehicles or
  102  offering or displaying motor vehicles for sale at wholesale or
  103  retail, or who may service and repair motor vehicles pursuant to
  104  an agreement as defined in s. 320.60(1). Any person who buys,
  105  sells, or deals in three or more motor vehicles in any 12-month
  106  period or who offers or displays for sale three or more motor
  107  vehicles in any 12-month period shall be prima facie presumed to
  108  be engaged in such business. The terms “selling” and “sale”
  109  include lease-purchase transactions. A motor vehicle dealer may,
  110  at retail or wholesale, sell a recreational vehicle as described
  111  in s. 320.01(1)(b)1.-6. and 8., acquired in exchange for the
  112  sale of a motor vehicle, provided such acquisition is incidental
  113  to the principal business of being a motor vehicle dealer.
  114  However, a motor vehicle dealer may not buy a recreational
  115  vehicle for the purpose of resale unless licensed as a
  116  recreational vehicle dealer pursuant to s. 320.771. A motor
  117  vehicle dealer may apply for a certificate of title to a motor
  118  vehicle required to be registered under s. 320.08(2)(b), (c),
  119  and (d), using a manufacturer’s statement of origin as permitted
  120  by s. 319.23(1), only if such dealer is authorized by a
  121  franchised agreement as defined in s. 320.60(1), to buy, sell,
  122  or deal in such vehicle and is authorized by such agreement to
  123  perform delivery and preparation obligations and warranty defect
  124  adjustments on the motor vehicle; provided this limitation shall
  125  not apply to recreational vehicles, van conversions, or any
  126  other motor vehicle manufactured on a truck chassis. The
  127  transfer of a motor vehicle by a dealer not meeting these
  128  qualifications shall be titled as a used vehicle. The
  129  classifications of motor vehicle dealers are defined as follows:
  130         1. “Franchised motor vehicle dealer” means any person who
  131  engages in the business of repairing, servicing, buying,
  132  selling, or dealing in motor vehicles pursuant to an agreement
  133  as defined in s. 320.60(1).
  134         2. “Independent motor vehicle dealer” means any person
  135  other than a franchised or wholesale motor vehicle dealer who
  136  engages in the business of buying, selling, or dealing in motor
  137  vehicles, and who may service and repair motor vehicles.
  138         3. “Wholesale motor vehicle dealer” means any person who
  139  engages exclusively in the business of buying, selling, or
  140  dealing in motor vehicles at wholesale or with motor vehicle
  141  auctions. Such person shall be licensed to do business in this
  142  state, may shall not sell or auction a vehicle to any person who
  143  is not a licensed dealer, and may shall not have the privilege
  144  of the use of dealer license plates. Any person who buys, sells,
  145  or deals in motor vehicles at wholesale or with motor vehicle
  146  auctions on behalf of a licensed motor vehicle dealer and as a
  147  bona fide employee of such licensed motor vehicle dealer is not
  148  required to be licensed as a wholesale motor vehicle dealer. In
  149  such cases it shall be prima facie presumed that a bona fide
  150  employer-employee relationship exists. A wholesale motor vehicle
  151  dealer shall be exempt from the display provisions of this
  152  section but shall maintain an office wherein records are kept in
  153  order that those records may be inspected.
  154         4. “Motor vehicle auction” means any person offering motor
  155  vehicles or recreational vehicles for sale to the highest bidder
  156  where buyers are licensed motor vehicle dealers. Such person may
  157  shall not sell a vehicle to anyone other than a licensed motor
  158  vehicle dealer.
  159         5. “Salvage motor vehicle dealer” means any person who
  160  engages in the business of acquiring salvaged or wrecked motor
  161  vehicles for the purpose of reselling them and their parts.
  163  The term “motor vehicle dealer” does not include persons not
  164  engaged in the purchase or sale of motor vehicles as a business
  165  who are disposing of vehicles acquired for their own use or for
  166  use in their business or acquired by foreclosure or by operation
  167  of law, provided such vehicles are acquired and sold in good
  168  faith and not for the purpose of avoiding the provisions of this
  169  law; persons engaged in the business of manufacturing, selling,
  170  or offering or displaying for sale at wholesale or retail no
  171  more than 25 trailers in a 12-month period; public officers
  172  while performing their official duties; receivers; trustees,
  173  administrators, executors, guardians, or other persons appointed
  174  by, or acting under the judgment or order of, any court; banks,
  175  finance companies, or other loan agencies that acquire motor
  176  vehicles as an incident to their regular business; motor vehicle
  177  brokers; and motor vehicle rental and leasing companies that
  178  sell motor vehicles to motor vehicle dealers licensed under this
  179  section. Vehicles owned under circumstances described in this
  180  paragraph may be disposed of at retail, wholesale, or auction,
  181  unless otherwise restricted. A manufacturer of fire trucks,
  182  ambulances, or school buses may sell such vehicles directly to
  183  governmental agencies or to persons who contract to perform or
  184  provide firefighting, ambulance, or school transportation
  185  services exclusively to governmental agencies without processing
  186  such sales through dealers if such fire trucks, ambulances,
  187  school buses, or similar vehicles are not presently available
  188  through motor vehicle dealers licensed by the department.
  189         (d) “Motor vehicle broker” means any person engaged in the
  190  business of offering to procure or procuring motor vehicles for
  191  the general public, or who holds himself or herself out through
  192  solicitation, advertisement, or otherwise as one who offers to
  193  procure or procures motor vehicles for the general public, and
  194  who does not store, display, or take ownership of any vehicles
  195  for the purpose of selling such vehicles.
  196         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.