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Commercial Law

HCS HB 83 – Automated teller machine foreign account surcharges Specifies that an agreement to operate or share an automated teller machine (ATM) cannot prohibit the owner or operator of the machine from imposing an access fee or surcharge on an individual conducting a transaction using a foreign bank account if the fee or surcharge is not otherwise prohibited by federal or state law.  Currently, foreign banks, trust companies, or credit unions may charge fees but domestic ones cannot. (Signed 6/16/11)

CCS SCS HB 101 – Liquor control Changes the laws regarding liquor control.  In its main provisions, the bill:

(1) Creates a special liquor license for a wine shop to serve alcohol in the shop on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

(2) Creates a special permit for a licensed liquor establishment located in Kansas City to sell intoxicating liquor from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. on the morning of the following day within one 24-hour period.  Only six permits per calendar year can be granted for each establishment. 

(3) Allows any winery, distiller, manufacturer, wholesaler, or brewer or designated employee, with the permission of the licensee, to provide distilled spirits, wine, or malt beverage samples for customer tasting purposes at licensed retail premises that have a special permit or a by-the-drink-for-consumption-on-the-premises-where-sold retail license.  No money or anything of value can be given to the retailer for the privilege or opportunity of conducting the tasting. (Signed 7/8/11)

HB 109 – Linked deposit program (See State Government)

SS#2 SCS HCS HB 294, 123, 125, 113, 271 & 215 – Firearms (See Licensing Law)

HCS HB 407 – Certificate of insurance for property and casualty insurance coverage (See Insurance Law)

SCS HCS HB 412 – Pharmacies (See Health & Hospital Law)

CCS SS SCS HCS HB 430 – Transportation (See Transportation Law)

HCS HB 465 – Credit unions Changes laws regarding the Division of Credit Unions within the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration. 
Prohibits a state-chartered credit union, its director, or any of its officers or employees from being charged with libel, slander, or defamation for any good faith communications with the division director or any division employee;

Allows the division director to serve a written notice to an individual of his or her intention to remove the person from office when it appears that the person while conducting the affairs of a credit union has committed a violation of any law or regulation or a cease and desist order; has violated any agreement or condition imposed in writing by the division director, has engaged in any unsafe or unsound practice; or has committed or engaged in an act, omission, or practice which constitutes a breach of his or her fiduciary duty to the credit union or a crime involving dishonesty or breach of trust.  If the division director finds it necessary to protect any credit union or its members, he or she can serve written notice on the person to suspend or prohibit him or her from participating in any manner in the conduct of the affairs of the credit union or from any other credit union supervised by the division director unless the division director gives written consent allowing for participation in another credit union;

Requires the notice of intention to remove a person from or to prohibit his or her participation in a credit union to contain a statement of the facts constituting the grounds for removal or prohibition and to set a hearing time and place.  Within 10 days of the suspension or prohibition from participation in the conduct of the affairs of a credit union, the person can apply for a stay of the suspension or prohibition with the circuit court of the county in which the credit union is located or the circuit court of Cole County pending the completion of the administrative proceedings under the notice served upon the person;

Specifies that if at any time there are not enough members to constitute a quorum because of the suspension of one or more members of any board of directors, the remaining members will be vested with the powers or functions of the board until there is a quorum.  If all directors have been suspended, the division director will appoint temporary directors;

Removes the provision which prohibits a credit union from issuing a loan to a director or a credit or supervisory committee member of the credit union in excess of $25,000 for certain specified purposes;

Requires a credit union that is merging to mail or deliver a notice of the meeting to vote upon the merger to each member between 14 and 30 days prior to the meeting.  All members must be given the opportunity to vote on the merger or consolidation plan at the meeting or without attending the meeting by written or electronic ballot.  Currently, notice must be given as provided in the credit union’s bylaws or by a letter to the shareholders. These same procedures will apply when a state-chartered credit union votes to convert to a federal credit union. (Vetoed 7/5/11)

HB 550 – Liens and encumbrances on motor vehicles, trailers, watercraft, and manufactured homes  Changes the laws regarding liens and encumbrances on motor vehicles, trailers, watercraft, and manufactured homes. (Signed 7/1/11)

SCS HB 661 – Debt adjusters Changes the laws regarding debt adjusters.  In its main provisions, the bill:

(1) Defines “debt relief services” as any program or service represented, directly or implied, to renegotiate, alter, or settle the terms of a debt between a debtor and any creditors or debt collectors;

(2) Defines “debt settlement plan” as a written agreement or contract between a debt adjuster and a debtor where the debt adjuster, in return for payment, provides debt relief services that contemplates that creditors will settle the debt for less than the principal amount;

(3) Specifies that any person acting as a debt adjuster other than under a debt management or debt settlement plan will be guilty of a misdemeanor upon conviction;  

(4) Allows any individual or organization to administer a debt management or debt settlement plan free of charge;

(5) Removes provisions that require a debt adjuster to provide a blanket bond in an amount of $100,000 and a copy of the bond to be filed with the Director of the Division of Finance within the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration and instead requires each initial license application to be accompanied by a surety bond in the principal sum of $50,000 if the applicant declares that the operation will handle no consumer moneys or a surety bond of $100,000 otherwise;

(6) Requires a debt adjuster to be bonded for the benefit of any debtor damaged by the debt adjuster’s breach of the debt management or debt settlement plan or for his or her failure to properly administer debtor funds;

(7) Requires a debt adjuster to disclose truthfully, in a clear and conspicuous manner, prior to a debtor consenting to pay for goods or services offered, the amount of time require to complete
his or her services, the amount of money the debtor needs to accumulate before a debt adjusted will make a settlement offer to a creditor or collector, that the use of the debt relief service will likely adversely affect the debtor’s creditworthiness and cost more money, that any funds required to be placed in an account for payment of debts are the debtor’s funds that can be withdrawn from the debt relief service at any time without penalty, and that all funds in a debtor’s account must be returned to the debtor within seven business days upon request excluding any funds earned by the debt adjuster;

(8) Prohibits a debt adjuster from receiving any payment for any services until and unless he or she has renegotiated, settled, reduced, or otherwise altered the terms of at least one debt under a debt management or debt settlement plan and the debtor has made at least one payment under the plan; and

(9) Requires the fee for settling each individual debt enrolled in a debt settlement plan must be in proportion to the total fee for settling the entire debt or be a percentage of the amount saved as a result of the settlement.

(Signed 7/8/11)

HCS SB 77 – Outdoor advertising and memorial highway designations Changes the laws regarding outdoor advertising and designates several memorial highways.

OUTDOOR ADVERTISING.  Currently, no outdoor advertising may be erected or maintained within 660 feet of certain federal highway right-of-ways with the exception of directional and other official signs, on-premise signs, outdoor advertising signs located in certain areas zoned commercial or industrial or in certain unzoned commercial or industrial areas, and certain outdoor advertising for tourist-oriented businesses or scoreboards and other electronic signs.

The bill adds to the types of directional signs which may be erected and maintained to include signs pertaining to a cultural, including agricultural activities or attractions; scientific; educational; or religious site.

Various memorial highways are designated.

(Signed 7/8/11)

SB 83 – Sale of deficiency waiver addendums Authorizes the sale of a deficiency waiver addendum, a guaranteed asset protection, or a similar product as part of certain consumer loans, second mortgage loans, or retail credit sales if the product is purchased as part of a loan transaction with collateral.  The borrower must consent to the purchase in writing and acknowledge receipt of the required disclosures.  The cost of the product must be reasonable and disclosed in the loan contract.  Each deficiency waiver addendum, guaranteed asset protection, or other similar product must provide that in the event of the termination of the product prior to the scheduled maturity date of the indebtedness, any refund must be paid or credited promptly to the debtor, except that a refund of less than $1 does not need to be made.  The pro rata method must be used in computing the refund.
A debtor may cancel a product within 15 days of its purchase and receive a complete refund or credit of the premium.  This information must be specified in the loan contract or in a separate written disclosure at the time the debt is incurred in 10-point type and in a manner reasonably calculated to inform the debtor of this right. (Signed 6/30/11)

SB 101 – Residential contractors Prohibits a residential contractor from advertising or promising to pay or rebate all or any portion of an insurance deductible as an inducement to the sale of good or services including any allowance or discount against fees to be charged or the payment of any form of compensation or other item of monetary value to the insured or any person directly or indirectly associated with the property.

An insured individual under contract with a residential contractor for goods or services that are to be paid for under a property and casualty insurance policy can cancel the contract if the insurer has notified the individual in writing that all or part of the contract is not covered under the insurance policy. The individual must notify the contractor in writing to cancel the contract prior to midnight on the fifth business day after notification from the insurer.  Before entering into a contract, the contractor must provide a statement to the insured individual with the required cancellation information.

Within 10 days of cancelling a contract, a residential contractor must return any payments or deposits made by the insured individual and any note or other evidence of indebtedness. However, the contractor is entitled to the reasonable value of emergency services provided and acknowledged in writing by the insured individual to be necessary to prevent damage to his or her premises.

A residential contractor cannot represent or negotiate, or offer or advertise to represent or negotiate, on behalf of an individual on any insurance claim in connection with the repair or replacement of a roof system or the performance of any other exterior repair, replacement, construction, or reconstruction services.

Any violation of these provisions by a residential contractor must be considered an unlawful practice under the Merchandising Practices Act. (Signed 6/30/11)

HCS SB 220 – Architects, professional engineers, land surveyors, landscape architects, well diggers (See Licensing Law)

SS SB 306 – Credit unions (See State Government)