§ 28–3812. Limitation on creditors’ remedies.
(a) This section applies to actions or other proceedings to enforce rights arising from consumer credit sales, consumer leases, and direct installment loans (other than a loan directly secured on real estate or a direct motor vehicle installment loan covered by Chapter 36 of Title 28, District of Columbia Official Code); and, in addition, to extortionate extensions of credit.
(b)(1) During the thirty-day period after a default consisting of a failure to pay money the creditor may not because of the default (A) accelerate the unpaid balance of the obligation, (B) bring action against the debtor, or (C) proceed against the collateral.
(2) Unless the creditor has first (A) notified the debtor that he has elected to accelerate the unpaid balance of the obligation because of default, (B) brought action against the debtor, or (C) proceeded against the collateral, the debtor may cure a default consisting of a failure to pay money by tendering the amount of all unpaid sums due at the time of tender, without acceleration, plus any unpaid delinquency or deferral charges. Cure restores the debtor to his rights under the agreement as though the defaults cured had not occurred.
(3) Posting of any notice required by law shall be deemed valid if mailed by certified mail to the debtor’s last known address.
(c)(1) The debtor may redeem the collateral from the creditor at any time —
(A) within fifteen days of the creditor’s taking possession of the collateral, or
(B) thereafter until the creditor has either disposed of the collateral, entered into a contract for its disposition, or gained the right to retain the collateral in satisfaction of the debtor’s obligation pursuant to the provisions on disposition of collateral in section 9-505 of subtitle I of Title 28, District of Columbia Official Code.
(2) The debtor may redeem the collateral by tendering fulfillment of all obligations secured by the collateral including reasonable expenses incurred in realizing on the security interest.
(d) Subject to the provisions in this part, the parties may agree that the creditor has the right to take possession of the collateral on default. In taking possession, a secured party may proceed without judicial process if this can be done without breach of the peace and with consent of the debtor. Those who take the collateral through repossession shall be deemed the agent of the creditor, and the creditor shall be civilly liable for any of the actions of its agents.
(e)(1) This subsection applies to consumer credit sales of goods or services and to direct installment loans served by interests in goods.
(2) A creditor may not maintain a proceeding for a deficiency unless he has disposed of the goods in good faith and in a commercially reasonable manner.
(3) If the creditor repossesses or voluntarily accepts surrender of goods which were the subject of the sale and in which he has a security interest, the consumer is not personally liable to the creditor for the unpaid balance of debt arising from the sale of a commercial unit of goods of which the cash price was $2,000 or less. In that case the creditor is not obligated to resell the collateral unless the consumer has paid 60% or more of the cash price and has not signed after default a statement renouncing his rights in the collateral.
(4) If the creditor takes possession or voluntarily accepts surrender of goods which were not the subject of the sale but in which he has a security interest to secure a debt arising from a sale of goods or services or a combined sale of goods and services and the cash price of the sale was $2,000 or less, the debtor is not personally liable to the creditor for the unpaid balance of the debt arising from the sale and the creditor’s duty to dispose of the collateral is governed by the provisions on disposition of collateral in section 9-505 of Subtitle I of Title 28, District of Columbia Official Code.
(5) If the creditor takes possession or voluntarily accepts surrender of goods in which he has a security interest to secure a debt arising from a direct installment loan and the net proceeds of the loan paid to or for the benefit of the debtor are $2,000 or less, the consumer is not personally liable to the lender for the unpaid balance of the debt arising from the loan and the lender’s duty to dispose of the collateral is governed by the provisions on disposition of collateral in section 9-505 of Subtitle I of Title 28, District of Columbia Official Code.
(6) The consumer shall be liable in damages to the creditor if the debtor has wrongfully damaged the collateral or if, after default and demand, the debtor has wrongfully failed to make collateral available to the creditor.
(7) If the creditor elects to bring an action against the buyer for a debt arising from a consumer credit sale of goods or services, when under this section he would not be entitled to a deficiency judgment if he repossessed the collateral, and obtains judgment —
(A) he may not repossess the collateral, and
(B) the collateral is not subject to levy or sale on execution or similar proceedings pursuant to the judgment.
(f)(1) If it is the understanding of the creditor and the debtor at the time an extension of credit is made that delay in making repayment or failure to make repayment could result in the use of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to the person, reputation, or property of any person, the repayment of the extension of credit is unenforceable through civil judicial processes against the debtor.
(2) If it is shown that an extension of credit was made at an annual rate exceeding 45% and that the creditor then had a reputation for the use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to cause harm to the person, reputation, or property of any person to collect extensions of credit or to punish the nonrepayment thereof, there is prima facie evidence that the extension of credit was unenforceable under paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(g)(1) With respect to a consumer credit sale, or direct installment loan, if the court as a matter of law finds —
(A) the agreement to have been unconscionable at the time it was made, or to have been induced by unconscionable conduct, the court may refuse to enforce the agreement, or
(B) any clause of the agreement to have been unconscionable at the time it was made, the court may refuse to enforce the agreement, or may enforce the remainder of the agreement without the unconscionable clause, or may so limit the application of any unconscionable clause as to avoid any unconscionable result.
(2) If it is claimed or appears to the court that the agreement or any clause thereof may be unconscionable the parties shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to present evidence as to its setting, purpose, and effect to aid the court in making the determination.
(3) For the purpose of this section, a charge or practice expressly permitted by this section is not in and of itself unconscionable in the absence of other practices and circumstances.