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Uniform Consumer Credit Code

UNIFORM CONSUMER CREDIT CODE

The Uniform Consumer Credit Code (UCCC) is a model statute that provides standards for credit transactions entered into by individuals who purchase, use, maintain, and dispose of products and services. The UCCC was originally approved by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1968. It was revised in 1974 following criticism from consumer groups and has been adopted in nine states: Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. South Carolina and Wisconsin have enacted consumer protection codes that are substantially similar to the UCCC, and many states have included particular provisions from it in their consumer credit laws.

The UCCC is designed to provide protection to consumers who buy goods and services on credit. It attempts to simplify, clarify, and update legislation governing consumer credit and usury, which is the illegal charging of high interest rates. The UCCC also sets ceilings on the rates consumers can be charged for credit.

Other provisions protect consumers against unfair practices by certain consumer credit sup-pliers by limiting the ability of creditors to use state court systems to execute on a consumer debtor's assets or to garnish a consumer debtor's wages. In addition, confession of judgment clauses are barred from consumer credit contracts. Such clauses require a person who borrows money or buys on credit to agree in advance to allow the attorney for the lender to get a court judgment against the borrower in the event of default without even telling the borrower.

The UCCC also seeks to comply with the disclosure regulations in consumer credit transactions in accordance with the federal consumer credit protection act of 1968 (16 U.S.C.A. § 1601 et seq.), which mandates that consumers purchasing on credit be given complete information on the interest rate, its calculation, the total amount of interest over the life of the contract, payment due dates, late penalties, and collection costs.

The UCCC was also proposed as a means of making the law of consumer credit, including administrative rules, more uniform throughout the fifty states. Because it has only been adopted in whole in nine states, the UCCC has not completely met this objective. Nevertheless, the many analogous provisions in state and federal consumer credit laws suggest a common purpose.

further readings

Letsou, Peter V. 1995. "The Political Economy of Consumer Credit Regulation." Emory Law Journal 44 (spring).

Udis, Laura E. 2000. "The 'New and Improved' Colorado Uniform Consumer Credit Code." Colorado Lawyer 29 (December).

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