|CONSUMER RENTAL PURCHASE AGREEMENT ACT
40‑19‑101. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Wyoming
Consumer Rental‑Purchase Agreement Act."
(a) As used in this act:
(i) "Administrator" means the state banking commissioner;
(ii) "Advertisement" means a commercial message in any medium
that solicits a consumer to enter a rental‑purchase agreement;
(iii) "Business day" means any day other than Sunday or a
(iv) "Cash sale price" means the price stated in a
rental‑purchase agreement for which the merchant would have sold
and the consumer would have bought the property which is the
subject matter of a rental‑purchase agreement if the transaction
had been a sale for cash. The cash sale price may include any
applicable taxes to the extent imposed on the cash sale;
(v) "Consumer" means an individual who rents property under a
rental‑purchase agreement to be used primarily for personal,
family or household purposes;
(vi) "Consummation" means the date on which a consumer enters
a rental‑purchase agreement;
(vii) "Fee" means any payment, charge, fee, cost or expense
whether mandatory or optional that a consumer pays in addition
to periodic payments in connection with a rental‑purchase
(viii) "Merchant" means a person who regularly provides the
use of property under rental‑purchase agreements and to whom
rental payments are initially payable on the face of the
(ix) "Periodic payment" means the rent a consumer pays
weekly, monthly or otherwise for the use of property pursuant to
a rental‑purchase agreement;
(x) "Property" means personal property of which a consumer
acquires use under a rental‑purchase agreement;
(xi) "Rental‑purchase agreement" means an agreement between a
consumer and merchant for the use of property by the consumer
primarily for personal, family or household purposes:
(A) For an initial period of four (4) months or less;
(B) That is automatically renewable with each payment after
the initial period;
(C) That does not obligate or require the consumer to
continue renting or using the property beyond the initial
(D) That permits the consumer to become the owner of the
(xii) "This act" means W.S. 40‑19‑101 through 40‑19‑120.
Notices required by this act shall be given personally or sent
by first class or registered mail to the known residential
address of the consumer. Notice, if last by mail, is given when
deposited in a mailbox properly addressed and postage prepaid.
(a) This act applies to rental‑purchase agreements and acts,
practices or conduct related to a rental‑purchase agreement
entered into in this state.
(b) For the purposes of this act, the residence of the
consumer is the address given by the consumer as the consumer's
residence in writing signed by the consumer in connection with
the rental‑purchase agreement. Unless the consumer notifies the
merchant of a new or different residence address, the given
residence is presumed to be unchanged.
40‑19‑105. Inapplicability of other laws; exempt
(a) Rental‑purchase agreements as defined in this act are not
governed by laws relating to:
(i) Transactions governed under the Wyoming Uniform Consumer
Credit Code; or
(ii) "Security interests" as defined by W.S.
(b) This act does not apply to the following:
(i) Rental‑purchase agreements primarily for business,
commercial or agricultural purposes or those in which either
party is a governmental agency or instrumentality;
(ii) A lease or bailment of personal property which is
incidental to the lease of real property and which provides that
the consumer has no option to purchase the leased property.
40‑19‑106. General requirements of rental‑purchase agreements.
(a) Each rental‑purchase agreement shall be in writing, dated,
signed by the consumer and merchant and completed as to all
essential provisions as required by this act.
(b) The agreement shall be made clearly and conspicuously
with disclosures required by W.S. 40‑19‑107(a)(i), (v), (vi),
(vii) and (viii) grouped together, segregated from all other
provisions and not containing any information not directly
related to the disclosures. The agreement shall be designated
(c) The merchant shall deliver to the consumer a completed
copy of the agreement for the consumer to retain at consummation
of the transaction.
(d) The rental‑purchase agreement shall contain the names and
addresses of the merchant and consumer.
(e) The merchant shall disclose to the consumer the
information required by W.S. 40‑19‑107 on the face of the
agreement above the line for the consumer's signature. If a
disclosure becomes inaccurate as a result of any act, occurrence
or agreement by the consumer after the delivery of the required
disclosures, the resulting inaccuracy shall not be considered to
be a violation of this act.
(f) A merchant who advertises rental‑purchase agreements in
any language other than English shall have rental‑purchase
agreements printed in each language as the merchant advertises
and shall make those rental‑purchase agreements available to
(a) For each rental‑purchase agreement, the merchant shall
disclose in the agreement the following items as applicable:
(i) Whether the periodic payment is weekly, monthly or
otherwise, the dollar amount of each payment and the total
number and total dollar amount of all periodic payments
necessary to acquire ownership of the property;
(ii) A statement that the consumer will not own the property
until the consumer has paid the total amount necessary to
(iii) A statement advising the consumer whether the consumer
is liable for loss or damage to the property, and, if so, a
statement that the liability will not exceed the fair market
value of the property as of the time it is lost or damaged;
(iv) A statement specifying any insurance required to be
purchased by the consumer to satisfy any liability of the
consumer to the merchant for loss or damage to the property;
(v) A brief description of the property, sufficient to
identify the property to the consumer and the merchant,
including an identification number, if applicable, and a
statement indicating whether the property is new or used;
(vi) A statement of the cash sale price of the property.
Where one (1) agreement involves a lease of two (2) or more
items as a set, a statement of the aggregate cash sale price of
all items shall satisfy this requirement;
(vii) The total amount initially payable or required at or
before consummation of the agreement or delivery of the
property, whichever is later;
(viii) A statement that the total amount of periodic payments
necessary to acquire ownership does not include other fees. Any
other fee shall be separately disclosed in the agreement along
with a statement of the purpose for the fee and whether it is
mandatory or optional;
(ix) A statement clearly summarizing the terms of the
consumer's option to purchase, including a statement that the
consumer has the right to exercise an early purchase option, and
the price, formula or method for determining the price at which
the property may be purchased;
(x) A statement identifying the merchant as the party
responsible for maintaining or servicing the property while it
is being rented, together with a description of that
responsibility, and a statement that if any part of a
manufacturer's express warranty covers the property at the time
the consumer acquires ownership, the warranty shall be
transferred to the consumer if allowed by its terms;
(xi) A statement that the consumer may terminate the
agreement without penalty by voluntarily surrendering or
returning the property in good repair, reasonable wear and tear
excepted, along with any past due rental payments upon
expiration of any rental period;
(xii) Notice of the right to reinstate an agreement as
provided in this act;
(xiii) The following notice printed or typed in a size equal
to or greater than ten (10) point bold type:
NOTICE TO CONSUMER
Do not sign this agreement before you read it or if it
contains blank spaces. You are entitled to a copy of the
agreement you sign.
(xiv) If the property is used, a description of any damage to
the property beyond ordinary wear and tear that would reasonably
be expected on property of similar age and condition; and
(xv) A description of the conditions which constitute default
by the consumer.
(a) A rental‑purchase agreement shall not contain a:
(i) Confession of judgment;
(ii) Negotiable instrument;
(iii) Security interest or any other claim of a property
interest in any property of the consumer;
(iv) Wage assignment;
(v) Waiver by the consumer of claims or defenses;
(vi) Provision authorizing the merchant or a person acting on
the merchant's behalf to enter upon the consumer's premises
unlawfully or to commit any breach of the peace in the
repossession of property;
(vii) Provision requiring the consumer to purchase insurance
or a liability damage waiver from the merchant for the property.
The merchant may require the consumer to insure the property so
as to satisfy any liability of the consumer to the merchant for
loss or damage to the property;
(viii) Provision that mere failure to return property
constitutes probable cause for a criminal action;
(ix) Provision requiring the consumer to make a final
periodic payment in an amount greater than regular periodic
payments in order to acquire ownership of the property or a
provision requiring the consumer to make periodic payments
totaling more than the dollar amount necessary to acquire
ownership as disclosed pursuant to W.S. 40‑19‑107;
(x) Provision requiring a reinstatement fee unless a periodic
payment is late more than five (5) days on a monthly agreement
or more than two (2) days on an agreement with periodic payments
made more frequently than monthly;
(xi) Provision for a reinstatement fee or pickup and
redelivery fee in excess of the maximum amount set by rule of
the administrator for property subject to rental‑purchase
(xii) Provision for a late charge or any other type of charge
or penalty for reinstating a rental‑purchase agreement other
than a reinstatement fee. However, a merchant may use the term
"late charge" or a similar term to refer to a reinstatement fee.
Default; notice of default and right to cure.
(a) In any rental‑purchase agreement, after a consumer is in
default for three (3) business days or more and does not
voluntarily surrender possession of the rented property, a
merchant may give the consumer the notice provided in this
section. Notice may be given to the consumer under this section
by the merchant personally delivering the notice to the consumer
or by mailing the notice to the consumer's last known
(b) The notice shall be in writing and conspicuously state
the name, address and telephone number of the merchant to whom
payment is made, a brief identification of the transaction, the
consumer's right to cure any default, the amount of payment and
the date the payment shall be made to cure the default. The
notice shall be in substantially the form required by rule of
(c) With respect to rental‑purchase agreements with payments
or options to renew more frequently than monthly, after default
consisting of failure to renew or return the property, a
merchant may not initiate court action to recover rented
property until three (3) business days after notice of the
consumer's right to cure is given. With respect to all other
rental‑purchase agreements, after default consisting of failure
to renew or return the property, a merchant may not initiate
court action to recover rented property until five (5) business
days after notice of the consumer's right to cure is given.
(d) After notice is given and until expiration of the minimum
applicable period, a consumer may cure all defaults consisting
of failure to renew and failure to return the property by
tendering the amount of all unpaid sums due and payment of a
(e) This section shall not prohibit a consumer from
voluntarily surrendering possession of property that is rented
or a merchant from requesting and accepting surrender of
property at any time after default. In any enforcement
proceeding, a merchant shall affirmatively plead and prove
either that the notice to cure is not required or that the
merchant has given the required notice. The failure to plead
shall not invalidate any action taken by the merchant that is
otherwise lawful and if the merchant had rightfully repossessed
the property the repossession shall not constitute conversion.
(a) Any consumer whose default consists solely of a failure to
make a timely rental payment may reinstate the agreement,
without losing any rights or options which exist under the
agreement, by paying the following charges within seven (7) days
of the renewal date of the agreement:
(i) All past due rental charges;
(ii) If the property has been picked‑up, the reasonable costs
of pickup and redelivery as limited by W.S. 40‑19‑108(a)(xi);
(iii) Any applicable reinstatement fee as limited by W.S.
40‑19‑108(a)(x) and (xi).
(b) In the case of a consumer who has paid less than
two‑thirds (2/3) of the total of payments necessary to acquire
ownership and where the consumer has returned or voluntarily
surrendered the property within seven (7) days of the renewal
date, other than through judicial process, the consumer may
reinstate the agreement during a period of not less than
twenty‑one (21) days after the date of the return of the
(c) In the case of a consumer who has paid two‑thirds (2/3)
or more of the total of payments necessary to acquire ownership,
and where the consumer has returned or voluntarily surrendered
the property within seven (7) days of the renewal date, other
than through judicial process, the consumer may reinstate the
agreement during a period of not less than thirty (30) days
after the date of the return of the property.
(d) Nothing in this section shall prevent a merchant from
attempting to repossess the property. Repossession within seven
(7) days of the renewal date shall not affect the consumer's
right to reinstate. Upon reinstatement, the merchant shall
provide the consumer with the same property, if available, or
with substitute property of comparable quality and condition.
40‑19‑111. Liability damage waivers; fees.
(a) A consumer and merchant may contract for a liability damage
waiver. The selling or offering for sale of a liability damage
waiver pursuant to this act shall be subject to the following
prohibitions and requirements:
(i) A merchant may not sell or offer to sell a liability
damage waiver unless all restrictions, conditions and exclusions
are printed in an agreement separate from the rental‑purchase
(ii) The liability damage waiver contract shall include a
statement of the fee for the liability damage waiver and shall
display the following notice printed or typed in a size equal to
or greater than ten (10) point bold type:
NOTICE: THE PURCHASE OF THIS LIABILITY DAMAGE WAIVER IS NOT
MANDATORY AND MAY BE DECLINED. THIS CONTRACT OFFERS, FOR AN
ADDITIONAL CHARGE, A LIABILITY DAMAGE WAIVER TO COVER YOUR
RESPONSIBILITY FOR DAMAGE TO THE PROPERTY. BEFORE DECIDING
WHETHER TO PURCHASE THE LIABILITY DAMAGE WAIVER, YOU MAY WISH TO
DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR HOMEOWNER'S OR CASUALTY INSURANCE, IF
ANY, AFFORDS YOU COVERAGE FOR DAMAGE TO THE RENTAL PROPERTY AND
THE AMOUNT OF THE DEDUCTIBLE UNDER YOUR OWN INSURANCE COVERAGE.
40‑19‑112. Renegotiations and extensions.
(a) A renegotiation occurs when any term of a rental‑purchase
agreement that is required to be disclosed by W.S. 40‑19‑107 is
changed by agreement between the merchant and consumer. A
renegotiation is considered to be a new rental‑purchase
agreement requiring the merchant to give all the disclosures
required by W.S. 40‑19‑107.
(b) The following acts shall not be considered to be a
(i) Reinstatement of a rental‑purchase agreement in
accordance with W.S. 40‑19‑110;
(ii) A merchant's waiver or failure to assert any claim
against the consumer;
(iii) A deferral, extension or waiver of a portion of a
periodic payment or of one (1) or more periodic payments; or
(iv) A change, made at the consumer's request, of the day of
the week or month on which periodic payments are to be made.
(a) An advertisement for a rental‑purchase agreement that refers
to or states the dollar amount of a periodic payment and the
right to acquire ownership of a specific item shall also clearly
and conspicuously state the following:
(i) The transaction advertised is a rental‑purchase
(ii) The total number and total amount of periodic payments
necessary to acquire ownership of the item; and
(iii) That the consumer acquires no ownership rights in the
item unless the total amount necessary to acquire ownership is
(b) Any owner or personnel of any medium in which an
advertisement appears or through which it is disseminated shall
not be liable for the requirements in this section.
(c) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall
not apply to any advertisement which does not refer to or state
the amount of any payment.
(d) Every item displayed or offered under a rental‑purchase
agreement shall bear a tag or card that clearly and
conspicuously indicates in Arabic numerals each of the
(i) The cash sale price of the item;
(ii) The amount of the periodic payment; and
(iii) The total number and total amount of periodic payments
necessary to acquire ownership.
(e) An advertisement for a rental‑purchase agreement in any
language other than English shall contain disclosures as
required by this section in that language.
required; application for license; fee; qualifications.
(a) Any person acting as a merchant, as defined by W.S.
40‑19‑102(a)(viii), in this state shall be licensed to conduct
such business under this section.
(b) The administrator shall receive and act on all
applications for licenses required under this act. Applications
shall be filed in the manner prescribed by the administrator and
shall contain the information the administrator requires by rule
to make an investigation and evaluation of the financial
responsibility, experience and business qualification of the
applicant, and of the partners or members if the applicant is a
partnership or association, and of the principal officers and
directors if the applicant is a corporation, such as to warrant
belief that the business will be operated honestly and fairly
within the purposes of this act.
(c) The application for one (1) or more licenses shall be
accompanied by a processing fee not to exceed five hundred
dollars ($500.00) set by rule of the administrator. The fee
shall be deposited by the administrator with the state treasurer
and credited to the financial institutions administration
account within the earmarked revenue fund. Funds from the
account shall be expended to carry out the duties of the
administrator. If the expenses of the investigation and
evaluation exceed the amount of the fee, the applicant shall
reimburse the administrator the excess amount. If the expenses
of the investigation and evaluation are less than the amount of
the fee, the unexpended amount shall remain within the account
within the earmarked revenue fund. If an application is
withdrawn by the applicant at any time prior to the completion
of the investigation and evaluation, the unexpended amount shall
remain within the account within the earmarked revenue fund.
(d) Except as otherwise provided, fees collected by the
administrator under this act shall be deposited by the
administrator with the state treasurer and credited to the
financial institutions administration account within the
earmarked revenue fund. Expenditures shall be made from the
account by warrants drawn by the state auditor, upon vouchers
issued and signed by the administrator. The funds deposited in
the account under this act shall be expended only to carry out
the duties of the administrator.
(e) The applicant shall be notified when the application is
approved. Within twenty (20) days after notification, the
applicant shall pay an initial license fee not to exceed five
hundred dollars ($500.00), as set by rule of the administrator.
(f) Each office or place of business shall be licensed
(g) Each license shall state the address of the office from
which the business is to be conducted and the name of the
licensee. The license shall be prominently displayed at the
place of business named in the license. The license shall not be
transferable or assignable.
(h) If a licensee wishes to move his office to another
location, the licensee shall:
(i) Give written notice to the administrator at least thirty
(30) days prior to the move; and
(ii) Pay a license modification fee not to exceed one hundred
dollars ($100.00), as set by rule of the administrator.
(j) Each license issued under this section shall expire on
July 1. The license shall be renewed annually not less than
thirty (30) days before the expiration date. The renewal fee for
each license shall not exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00), as
set by rule of the administrator.
40‑19‑115. Revocation or suspension of license.
(a) The administrator may issue to a person licensed under this
act an order to show cause why his license should not be revoked
or suspended for a period not in excess of six (6) months. The
order shall state the place for a hearing and set a time for the
hearing that is no less than ten (10) days from the date of the
order. After the hearing the administrator shall revoke or
suspend the license if he finds that:
(i) The licensee has repeatedly and willfully violated this
act or any rule or order lawfully made pursuant to this act; or
(ii) Facts or conditions exist which would clearly have
justified the administrator in refusing to grant a license had
these facts or conditions been known to exist at the time the
application for the license was made.
(b) No revocation or suspension of a license is lawful unless
prior to institution of proceedings by the administrator notice
is given to the licensee of the facts or conduct which warrant
the intended action and the licensee is given an opportunity to
show compliance with all lawful requirements for retention of
(c) If the administrator finds that probable cause for
revocation of a license exists and that enforcement of this act
requires immediate suspension of a license pending
investigation, he may, after a hearing upon five (5) days
written notice, enter an order suspending the license for not
more than thirty (30) days.
(d) Whenever the administrator revokes or suspends a license,
he shall enter an order to that effect and immediately notify
the licensee of the revocation or suspension. Within five (5)
days after the entry of the order he shall deliver to the
licensee a copy of the order and the findings supporting the
(e) Any person holding a license under this act may
relinquish the license by notifying the administrator in writing
of its relinquishment, but this relinquishment shall not affect
his liability for acts previously committed.
(f) No revocation, suspension or relinquishment of a license
shall impair or affect the obligation of any preexisting lawful
contract between the licensee and any consumer.
(g) The administrator may reinstate a license, terminate a
suspension or grant a new license to a person whose license has
been revoked or suspended if no fact or condition then exists
which clearly would have justified the administrator in refusing
to grant a license.
Every licensee shall maintain records in conformity with
generally accepted accounting principles and practices in a
manner which will enable the administrator to determine whether
the licensee is complying with the provisions of this act. The
record keeping system of a licensee shall be sufficient if he
makes the required information reasonably available to the
administrator. The records pertaining to any rental‑purchase
agreement need not be preserved for more than two (2) years
after making the final entry relating to the agreement.
40‑19‑117. Examination and investigation.
(a) Upon complaint the administrator may examine and copy the
records of a licensee. The investigation may be made for the
purposes of discovering violations of this act or securing
information lawfully required. For these purposes he shall have
free and reasonable access during normal office hours to the
offices, places of business and records of the licensee. Each
licensee shall pay to the administrator an amount assessed by
the administrator to cover the direct and indirect cost of an
investigation under this subsection.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the administrator may
administer oaths or affirmations, and upon his own motion or
upon request of any party may subpoena witnesses, compel their
attendance, adduce evidence and require the production of any
matter which is relevant to the investigation, including the
existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location
of any books, documents or other tangible things and the
identity and location of person having knowledge of relevant
facts or any other matter reasonably calculated to lead to the
discovery of admissible evidence.
(c) Upon failure without lawful excuse to obey a subpoena or
to give testimony and upon reasonable notice to all persons
affected thereby, the administrator may apply to the district
court for an order compelling compliance.
40‑19‑118. Powers and functions of the administrator;
(a) Except as otherwise provided, the Wyoming Administrative
Procedure Act, W.S. 16‑3‑101 through 16‑3‑115, shall apply to
and govern all administrative actions taken by the administrator
pursuant to this act.
(b) The administrator may adopt rules and regulations to
implement and administer this act.
(c) After notice and hearing, the administrator may order a
merchant or a person acting on his behalf to cease and desist
from engaging in violations of this act. Any person aggrieved by
an order of the administrator may obtain judicial review of the
order and the administrator may obtain an order of the court for
enforcement of his order in the district court.
(d) The administrator may bring a civil action to restrain a
merchant from violating the provisions of this act and for other
(e) Any merchant refusing or obstructing access to the
administrator or his representative to any account, books,
records or papers, refusing to furnish any required information
or hindering a full examination or investigation of the
accounts, books, records or papers is guilty of a felony
punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars
($1,000.00), imprisonment for a period of not less than one (1)
year, or both.
(f) Any merchant who wrongfully fails or refuses to comply
with an order of the administrator as may be provided under this
act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more
than one hundred dollars ($100.00) per day for each day the
order is not obeyed.
Consumer civil actions.
(a) A merchant who fails to comply with a requirement imposed in
W.S. 40‑19‑106 through 40‑19‑112 or 40‑12‑104 shall be liable to
the consumer damaged thereby in an amount equal to the greater
(i) The actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result
of the violation, plus the costs of the action and reasonable
(ii) In the case of an individual action, twenty‑five percent
(25%) of the total payments necessary to acquire ownership but
not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor greater than one
thousand dollars ($1,000.00), plus the costs of the action and
reasonable attorney's fees; or
(iii) In the case of a class action, the amount the court
determines to be appropriate with no minimum recovery as to each
member, plus the costs of the action and reasonable attorney's
fees. The total recovery in any class action or series of class
actions arising out of the same violation shall not be more than
the lesser of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) plus
the costs of the action and reasonable attorney's fees or one
percent (1%) of the net worth of the merchant plus the costs of
the action and reasonable attorney's fees. In determining the
amount of any award in a class action, the court shall consider,
among other relevant factors, the amount of actual damages
awarded, the frequency and persistence of the violation, the
merchant's resources and the extent to which the merchant's
violation was intentional.
(b) In the case of an advertisement, any merchant who fails
to comply with the requirements of W.S. 40‑19‑113 with regard to
any consumer shall be liable to that consumer for actual damages
suffered from the violation, the costs of the action and
reasonable attorney's fees.
(c) If there are multiple merchants, liability shall be
imposed only on the merchant who made the disclosures. If no
disclosures have been given, liability shall be imposed on all
(d) If there are multiple consumers in a rental‑purchase
agreement, there shall be only one (1) recovery of damages under
subsection (a) of this section.
(e) Multiple violations in connection with a rental‑purchase
agreement shall entitle the consumer to a single recovery under
(f) An action under this section shall be brought in any
court of competent jurisdiction within the greater of the
(i) Within two (2) years after the date the consumer made his
last rental payment; or
(ii) Within two (2) years after the date of the occurrence of
the violation that is the subject of the suit.
(a) If a merchant establishes by a preponderance of the evidence
that a violation of this act was unintentional, no penalty as
specified in W.S. 40‑19‑118 shall be imposed and validity of the
transaction shall not be affected.
(b) A merchant shall not be liable under this act for any
failure to comply with any requirement imposed under this act if
within sixty (60) days after the merchant discovers an error,
and prior to the institution of an action under this act or the
receipt of written notice of the error from the consumer, the
merchant notifies the consumer of the error and within seven (7)
days, makes adjustments in the appropriate account necessary to
correct the error.