.

State2009 Statute Number 2009 Statute Language2010 Statute Number 2010 Statute Language

.

Virgin Islands12A V.I. Code Ann. § 101 Unfair trade practices prohibitedNo person shall engage in any deceptive or unconscionable trade practice in the sale, lease, rental or loan or in the offering for sale, lease, rental, or loan of any consumer goods or services, or in the collection of consumer debts.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 101 Unfair trade practices prohibitedNo person shall engage in any deceptive or unconscionable trade practice in the sale, lease, rental or loan or in the offering for sale, lease, rental, or loan of any consumer goods or services, or in the collection of consumer debts.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 102 Definitions"(a) ‘Deceptive trade practice‘ means any false, falsely disparaging, or misleading oral or written statement, visual description or other representation of any kind made in connection with the sale, lease, rental, or loan of consumer goods or services, or in the extension of consumer credit or in the collection of consumer debts, which has the capacity, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading consumers. Deceptive trade practices include but are not limited to:

(1) representations that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, accessories, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have; the supplier has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, or secondhand; or goods or services are of particular standard, quality, grade, style or model, if they are of another;

(2) the use, in any oral or written representation, of exaggeration, innuendo or ambiguity as to a material fact or failure to state a material fact if such use deceives or tends to deceive;

(3) disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representations of material facts;

(4) offering goods or services with intent not to sell them as offered;

(5) offering goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the offer discloses a limitation of quantity;

(6) making false or misleading representations of fact concerning the reasons for existence of, or amounts of price reductions, or price in comparison to prices of competitors or one's own price at a past or future time;

(7) stating that a consumer transaction involves consumer rights, remedies or obligations that it does not involve;

(8) stating that services, replacements or repairs are needed if they are not; and

(9) falsely stating the reasons for offering or supplying goods or services at sale discount prices.

(10) offering goods or services with the intent of not honoring valid coupons of manufacturers that are applicable to such goods or services.

(b) ‘Unconscionable trade practice‘ means any act or practice in connection with the sale, lease, rental or loan or in connection with the offering for sale, lease, rental or loan of any consumer goods or services, or in the extension of consumer credit, or in the collection of consumer debts which unfairly takes advantage of the lack of knowledge, ability, experience or capacity of a consumer; or results in a gross disparity between the value received by a consumer and the price paid, to the consumer's detriment; provided, that no act or practice shall be deemed unconscionable under this chapter unless declared unconscionable and described with reasonable particularity in the laws of the United States Virgin Islands, or in a rule or regulation promulgated by the Director of the Consumer Services Administration. In promoting such rules and regulations, the Director shall consider among other factors:

(1) knowledge by merchants engaged in the act or practice of the inability of consumers to receive properly anticipated benefits from the goods or services involved;

(2) gross disparity between the price of goods or services and their value measured by the price at which similar goods or services are readily obtained by other consumers;

(3) the fact that the acts or practices may enable merchants to take advantage of the inability of consumers reasonably to protect their interests by reason of physical or mental infirmities, illiteracy or inability to understand the language of the agreement, ignorance or lack of education, or similar factors;

(4) the degree to which terms of the transaction require consumers to waive legal rights;

(5) the degree to which terms of the transaction require consumers to jeopardize money or property beyond the money or property immediately at issue in the transaction; and

(6) definitions of unconscionability in the laws, rules and regulations, and decisions of the courts of the United States Virgin Islands.

(c) ‘Consumer goods, services, credit and debts‘ as used in sections 101, 102(a) and 102(b) of this chapter, means foods, services, credit and debts which are primarily for personal, household or family purposes.

(d) ‘Consumer‘ means a purchaser or lessee or prospective purchaser or lessee of consumer goods or services or consumer credit, including a co-obligor or surety.

(e) ‘Merchant‘ means a seller, lessor, creditor or any other person who makes available either directly or indirectly, goods, services or credit, to consumers. ‘Merchant‘ shall include manufacturers, wholesalers and others who are responsible for any act or practice prohibited by this chapter.

(f) ‘Director‘ means the Director of the Consumer Services Administration."
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 102 Definitions(a) ‘Deceptive trade practice‘ means any false, falsely disparaging, or misleading oral or written statement, visual description or other representation of any kind made in connection with the sale, lease, rental, or loan of consumer goods or services, or in the extension of consumer credit or in the collection of consumer debts, which has the capacity, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading consumers. Deceptive trade practices include but are not limited to:

(1) representations that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, accessories, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have; the supplier has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, or secondhand; or goods or services are of particular standard, quality, grade, style or model, if they are of another;

(2) the use, in any oral or written representation, of exaggeration, innuendo or ambiguity as to a material fact or failure to state a material fact if such use deceives or tends to deceive;

(3) disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representations of material facts;

(4) offering goods or services with intent not to sell them as offered;

(5) offering goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the offer discloses a limitation of quantity;

(6) making false or misleading representations of fact concerning the reasons for existence of, or amounts of price reductions, or price in comparison to prices of competitors or one's own price at a past or future time;

(7) stating that a consumer transaction involves consumer rights, remedies or obligations that it does not involve;

(8) stating that services, replacements or repairs are needed if they are not; and

(9) falsely stating the reasons for offering or supplying goods or services at sale discount prices.

(10) offering goods or services with the intent of not honoring valid coupons of manufacturers that are applicable to such goods or services.

(b) ‘Unconscionable trade practice‘ means any act or practice in connection with the sale, lease, rental or loan or in connection with the offering for sale, lease, rental or loan of any consumer goods or services, or in the extension of consumer credit, or in the collection of consumer debts which unfairly takes advantage of the lack of knowledge, ability, experience or capacity of a consumer; or results in a gross disparity between the value received by a consumer and the price paid, to the consumer's detriment; provided, that no act or practice shall be deemed unconscionable under this chapter unless declared unconscionable and described with reasonable particularity in the laws of the United States Virgin Islands, or in a rule or regulation promulgated by the Director of the Consumer Services Administration. In promoting such rules and regulations, the Director shall consider among other factors:

(1) knowledge by merchants engaged in the act or practice of the inability of consumers to receive properly anticipated benefits from the goods or services involved;

(2) gross disparity between the price of goods or services and their value measured by the price at which similar goods or services are readily obtained by other consumers;

(3) the fact that the acts or practices may enable merchants to take advantage of the inability of consumers reasonably to protect their interests by reason of physical or mental infirmities, illiteracy or inability to understand the language of the agreement, ignorance or lack of education, or similar factors;

(4) the degree to which terms of the transaction require consumers to waive legal rights;

(5) the degree to which terms of the transaction require consumers to jeopardize money or property beyond the money or property immediately at issue in the transaction; and

(6) definitions of unconscionability in the laws, rules and regulations, and decisions of the courts of the United States Virgin Islands.

(c) ‘Consumer goods, services, credit and debts‘ as used in sections 101, 102(a) and 102(b) of this chapter, means foods, services, credit and debts which are primarily for personal, household or family purposes.

(d) ‘Consumer‘ means a purchaser or lessee or prospective purchaser or lessee of consumer goods or services or consumer credit, including a co-obligor or surety.

(e) ‘Merchant‘ means a seller, lessor, creditor or any other person who makes available either directly or indirectly, goods, services or credit, to consumers. ‘Merchant‘ shall include manufacturers, wholesalers and others who are responsible for any act or practice prohibited by this chapter.

(f) ‘Director‘ means the Director of the Consumer Services Administration.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 103 Regulations(a) The Director may adopt such rules and regulations, pursuant to the provisions of chapter 35 of Title 3 of this Code, as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter, including regulations defining specific deceptive or unconscionable trade practices.

(b) Such rules and regulations may supplement but shall not be inconsistent with the rules, regulations and decisions of the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts in interpreting the provisions of section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1)), the Uniform Commercial Code, and the Uniform Consumer Credit Code.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 103 Regulations(a) The Director may adopt such rules and regulations, pursuant to the provisions of chapter 35 of Title 3 of this Code, as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter, including regulations defining specific deceptive or unconscionable trade practices.

(b) Such rules and regulations may supplement but shall not be inconsistent with the rules, regulations and decisions of the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts in interpreting the provisions of section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1)), the Uniform Commercial Code, and the Uniform Consumer Credit Code.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 104 Enforcement(a) Upon previous notice and an opportunity for a fair hearing, the Commissioner may impose administrative fines of not more than $5,000.00 for a violation of the provisions of this chapter, or of any valid regulation or order issued pursuant to this chapter. The Commissioner may issue a subpoena requiring the appearance of an individual and the production of documentation of every kind and description reasonably necessary for his deliberations. Any person directly or adversely affected by an act, order or regulation issued by the Commissioner in accordance with the powers granted by this chapter may, within 30 days following his notification, file a written petition to the Superior Court to quash the subpoena indicating therein his objections. After a final decision to impose an administrative fine has been rendered by the Commissioner, it shall be subject to judicial review upon the filing with the Superior Court of a notice of appeal within 30 days after the receipt of the notice of the imposition of the fine which shall have been mailed by the Commissioner by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested.

(b) The Commissioner may petition the Superior Court to insure compliance with any order issued or fine imposed within 45 days of the imposition of the order or fine. The Court may impose an additional fine, not to exceed $5,000, for noncompliance with the Commissioner's order or nonpayment of a fine. Such a fine may not be imposed during any appeal of the fine or order.

(c) Upon a finding by the Director of repeated, multiple or persistent violation of any provision of this chapter or of any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder, the Director, on behalf of the Government of the United States Virgin Islands, may, except as hereinafter provided, bring an action to compel the defendant or defendants in such action to pay into the court all monies, property or other things, or proceeds thereof, received as a result of such violations; to direct that the amount of money or the property or other things recovered be paid into an account established pursuant to court order from which account shall be paid over to any and all persons who purchased the goods or services during the period of violation such sum as was paid by them in a transaction involving the prohibited acts or practices plus any costs incurred by such claimants in making and pursuing their complaints; provided, that if such claims exceed the sum recovered into the account, the awards to consumers shall be prorated according to the value of each claim proved; to direct the defendant or defendants, upon conviction, to pay to the Government the costs and disbursements of the action and to pay to the Government for the use of the Director the costs of his investigation leading to the judgment; or if not recovered from the defendants, such costs are to be deducted by the Director from the total recovery before distribution to the consumers; and to direct that any money, property, or other things in the account and unclaimed by any person with such claims within one year from the creation of the account to be paid to the Government to be used by the Director for further consumer law enforcement activities. Consumers making claims against an account established pursuant to this subsection shall prove their claims to the Director in a manner and subject to procedures established by the Director for that purpose. The procedures established in each case for proving claims shall not be employed until approved by the court, which shall also establish by order the minimum means by which the Director shall notify potential claimants of the creation of the account. Restitution pursuant to a judgment in an action under this subsection shall bar, pro tanto, the recovery of any damages in any other action against the same defendant or defendants on account of the same acts or practices which were the basis for such judgment, up to the time of the judgment, by any person to whom such restitution is made. Restitution under this subsection shall not apply to transactions entered into more than five years prior to the commencement of an action by the Director. Before instituting an action under this subsection, the Director shall give the prospective defendant written notice of the possible action, and an opportunity to demonstrate in writing within five days, that no repeated, multiple, or persistent violations have occurred.

(d) Whenever the Commissioner has reason to believe that any person is using any method, act, or practice that would be in violation of any provision of this chapter, he may bring an action in the name of the Government of the United States Virgin Islands against such person to restrain, by temporary or permanent injunction, the use of such method, act or practice.

(e) To establish a cause of action under this section it need not be shown that consumers are being or were actually injured.

(f) A court may award to a prevailing party, as part of the judgment, a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees based on actual time expended, determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the prevailing attorney for, or in connection with, the prosecution of such action.

(g) In addition to the penalties or fines prescribed in this chapter, the Commissioner may, for repeated offenses of this chapter, bring an action in Superior Court to revoke an individual's, partnership's, or corporation's business license. The appellate process referred to in Section 185 of this chapter is applicable hereto.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 104 Enforcement(a) Upon previous notice and an opportunity for a fair hearing, the Commissioner may impose administrative fines of not more than $5,000.00 for a violation of the provisions of this chapter, or of any valid regulation or order issued pursuant to this chapter. The Commissioner may issue a subpoena requiring the appearance of an individual and the production of documentation of every kind and description reasonably necessary for his deliberations. Any person directly or adversely affected by an act, order or regulation issued by the Commissioner in accordance with the powers granted by this chapter may, within 30 days following his notification, file a written petition to the Superior Court to quash the subpoena indicating therein his objections. After a final decision to impose an administrative fine has been rendered by the Commissioner, it shall be subject to judicial review upon the filing with the Superior Court of a notice of appeal within 30 days after the receipt of the notice of the imposition of the fine which shall have been mailed by the Commissioner by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested.

(b) The Commissioner may petition the Superior Court to insure compliance with any order issued or fine imposed within 45 days of the imposition of the order or fine. The Court may impose an additional fine, not to exceed $5,000, for noncompliance with the Commissioner's order or nonpayment of a fine. Such a fine may not be imposed during any appeal of the fine or order.

(c) Upon a finding by the Director of repeated, multiple or persistent violation of any provision of this chapter or of any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder, the Director, on behalf of the Government of the United States Virgin Islands, may, except as hereinafter provided, bring an action to compel the defendant or defendants in such action to pay into the court all monies, property or other things, or proceeds thereof, received as a result of such violations; to direct that the amount of money or the property or other things recovered be paid into an account established pursuant to court order from which account shall be paid over to any and all persons who purchased the goods or services during the period of violation such sum as was paid by them in a transaction involving the prohibited acts or practices plus any costs incurred by such claimants in making and pursuing their complaints; provided, that if such claims exceed the sum recovered into the account, the awards to consumers shall be prorated according to the value of each claim proved; to direct the defendant or defendants, upon conviction, to pay to the Government the costs and disbursements of the action and to pay to the Government for the use of the Director the costs of his investigation leading to the judgment; or if not recovered from the defendants, such costs are to be deducted by the Director from the total recovery before distribution to the consumers; and to direct that any money, property, or other things in the account and unclaimed by any person with such claims within one year from the creation of the account to be paid to the Government to be used by the Director for further consumer law enforcement activities. Consumers making claims against an account established pursuant to this subsection shall prove their claims to the Director in a manner and subject to procedures established by the Director for that purpose. The procedures established in each case for proving claims shall not be employed until approved by the court, which shall also establish by order the minimum means by which the Director shall notify potential claimants of the creation of the account. Restitution pursuant to a judgment in an action under this subsection shall bar, pro tanto, the recovery of any damages in any other action against the same defendant or defendants on account of the same acts or practices which were the basis for such judgment, up to the time of the judgment, by any person to whom such restitution is made. Restitution under this subsection shall not apply to transactions entered into more than five years prior to the commencement of an action by the Director. Before instituting an action under this subsection, the Director shall give the prospective defendant written notice of the possible action, and an opportunity to demonstrate in writing within five days, that no repeated, multiple, or persistent violations have occurred.

(d) Whenever the Commissioner has reason to believe that any person is using any method, act, or practice that would be in violation of any provision of this chapter, he may bring an action in the name of the Government of the United States Virgin Islands against such person to restrain, by temporary or permanent injunction, the use of such method, act or practice.

(e) To establish a cause of action under this section it need not be shown that consumers are being or were actually injured.

(f) A court may award to a prevailing party, as part of the judgment, a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees based on actual time expended, determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the prevailing attorney for, or in connection with, the prosecution of such action.

(g) In addition to the penalties or fines prescribed in this chapter, the Commissioner may, for repeated offenses of this chapter, bring an action in Superior Court to revoke an individual's, partnership's, or corporation's business license. The appellate process referred to in Section 185 of this chapter is applicable hereto.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 105 Settlements(a) In lieu of instituting or continuing an action pursuant to this chapter, the Director may accept written assurance of discontinuance of any act or practice in violation of this chapter from the person or persons who have engaged in such acts or practices. Such assurance shall include a stipulation for voluntary payment by the violator of the costs of investigation by the Director and shall also include a stipulation for the restitution by the violator to consumers, of money, property or other things received from them in connection with a violation of this chapter, including money necessarily expended in the course of making and pursuing a complaint to the Director. All settlements shall be made a matter of public record.

(b) If such stipulation applies to consumers who have been affected by the violator's practices but have not yet complained to the Director, the assurance must be approved by the court, which shall direct the minimum means by which potential claimants shall be notified of the stipulation. A consumer need not accept restitution pursuant to such a stipulation; however, his acceptance shall bar recovery of any other damages in any action by him against the defendant or defendants on account of the same acts or practices.

(c) Violation of an assurance entered into pursuant to this section shall be treated as a violation of this chapter, and shall be subject to all penalties provided herein.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 105 Settlements(a) In lieu of instituting or continuing an action pursuant to this chapter, the Director may accept written assurance of discontinuance of any act or practice in violation of this chapter from the person or persons who have engaged in such acts or practices. Such assurance shall include a stipulation for voluntary payment by the violator of the costs of investigation by the Director and shall also include a stipulation for the restitution by the violator to consumers, of money, property or other things received from them in connection with a violation of this chapter, including money necessarily expended in the course of making and pursuing a complaint to the Director. All settlements shall be made a matter of public record.

(b) If such stipulation applies to consumers who have been affected by the violator's practices but have not yet complained to the Director, the assurance must be approved by the court, which shall direct the minimum means by which potential claimants shall be notified of the stipulation. A consumer need not accept restitution pursuant to such a stipulation; however, his acceptance shall bar recovery of any other damages in any action by him against the defendant or defendants on account of the same acts or practices.

(c) Violation of an assurance entered into pursuant to this section shall be treated as a violation of this chapter, and shall be subject to all penalties provided herein.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 106 Class Actions(a) The Director may, in addition to other remedies provided in this chapter, bring a class action on behalf of consumers where appropriate for the actual damages caused by an act or practice declared by law or rule as violating this chapter.

(b) On motion of the Director and without bond in action under this section, the court may make appropriate orders, including appointment of a receiver to reimburse consumers found to have been damaged, or to carry out a transaction in accordance with the consumer's reasonable expectations, or to strike or limit the application of unconscionable clauses of contracts to avoid an unconscionable result, or to grant other appropriate relief. The court may assess the expenses of a receiver against a merchant.

(c) If a merchant shows by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation of this subchapter resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid the error, recovery under this section is limited to the amount, if any, by which the merchant was unjustly enriched by the violation.

(d) If an act or practice that violates this chapter unjustly enriches a merchant and damages can be computed with reasonable certainty, damages recoverable on behalf of consumers who cannot be located with due diligence shall escheat to the Government of the United States Virgin Islands.

(e) No action may be brought by the Director under this section more than two years after the occurrence of a violation of this chapter, or more than one year after the last payment in a consumer transaction involved in a violation of this chapter, whichever is later.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 106 Class Actions(a) The Director may, in addition to other remedies provided in this chapter, bring a class action on behalf of consumers where appropriate for the actual damages caused by an act or practice declared by law or rule as violating this chapter.

(b) On motion of the Director and without bond in action under this section, the court may make appropriate orders, including appointment of a receiver to reimburse consumers found to have been damaged, or to carry out a transaction in accordance with the consumer's reasonable expectations, or to strike or limit the application of unconscionable clauses of contracts to avoid an unconscionable result, or to grant other appropriate relief. The court may assess the expenses of a receiver against a merchant.

(c) If a merchant shows by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation of this subchapter resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid the error, recovery under this section is limited to the amount, if any, by which the merchant was unjustly enriched by the violation.

(d) If an act or practice that violates this chapter unjustly enriches a merchant and damages can be computed with reasonable certainty, damages recoverable on behalf of consumers who cannot be located with due diligence shall escheat to the Government of the United States Virgin Islands.

(e) No action may be brought by the Director under this section more than two years after the occurrence of a violation of this chapter, or more than one year after the last payment in a consumer transaction involved in a violation of this chapter, whichever is later.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 107 Coordination with other agencies(a) If the Director receives a complaint or other information relating to noncompliance with this chapter by a merchant who is subject to other supervision or regulation by another department or agency of the Government, the Director shall inform the official or agency having that supervision. The Director may request information about such merchants from the official or agency.

(b) The Director and any other governmental official or agency in the United States Virgin Islands having supervisory or regulatory authority over a merchant shall consult and assist each other in maintaining compliance with this chapter. Within the scope of their authority, they may jointly or separately make investigations, prosecute suit, and take other official action they consider appropriate.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 107 Coordination with other agencies(a) If the Director receives a complaint or other information relating to noncompliance with this chapter by a merchant who is subject to other supervision or regulation by another department or agency of the Government, the Director shall inform the official or agency having that supervision. The Director may request information about such merchants from the official or agency.

(b) The Director and any other governmental official or agency in the United States Virgin Islands having supervisory or regulatory authority over a merchant shall consult and assist each other in maintaining compliance with this chapter. Within the scope of their authority, they may jointly or separately make investigations, prosecute suit, and take other official action they consider appropriate.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 108 Private remedies(a) Whether he seeks or is entitled to damages or has an adequate remedy at law, a consumer may bring an action to:

(1) obtain a declaratory judgment that an act or practice violates this chapter; or

(2) enjoin in accordance with the principles of equity, a merchant who has violated, is violating, or is otherwise likely to violate this chapter.

(b) Except in a class action, a consumer who suffers a loss as a result of a violation of this chapter may recover actual damages or $250, whichever is greater.

(c) Whether a consumer seeks or is entitled to recover damages or has an adequate remedy at law, he may bring a class action for declaratory judgment, an injunction, and appropriate ancillary relief, except damages, against an act or a practice that violates this chapter.

(d) A consumer who suffers loss as a result of a violation of this chapter may bring a class action for the actual damages caused by an act or practice-

(1) and is specified as violating this chapter in a rule adopted by the Director under section 103 of this title before the consumer transactions on which the action is based; or

(2) declared to violate this chapter by a final judgment of the district court that was either reported officially or made available for public dissemination by the Director, under rules promulgated by the Director, 10 days before the consumer transaction on which the action is based; or

(3) with respect to a merchant who agreed to it, was prohibited specifically by the terms of a consent judgment which became final before the consumer transactions on which the action is based.

(e) If a merchant shows by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation of this chapter resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid the error, recovery under this section is limited to the amount, if any, by which the merchant was unjustly enriched by the violation.

(f) If any act or practice that violates this chapter unjustly enriches a merchant and the damages can be computed with reasonable certainty, damages recoverable on behalf of the consumers who cannot be located with due diligence shall escheat to the Government of the United States Virgin Islands.

(g) Except for services performed by the Director, the court may award to the prevailing party a reasonable attorney's fee limited to the work reasonably performed if:

(1) the consumer complaining of the act or practice that violates this chapter has brought or maintained an action he knew to be groundless; or a merchant has committed an act or practice that violates this chapter;

(2) an action under this section has been terminated by a judgment or required by the court to be settled under section 105 of this title.

(h) Except for consent judgments entered before testimony is taken, a final judgment in favor of the Director under section 104 of this title is admissible as prima facie evidence of the facts on which it is based in later proceedings under this section against the same person or a person in privity with him.

(i) When a judgment under this section becomes final, the prevailing party shall mail a copy to the Director, who shall maintain a file containing such judgments and other matters pertaining to the rights and liabilities of consumers, which file shall be a public record.

(j) An action under this section must be brought within two years after the occurrence of a violation of this chapter, within one year after the last payment in a consumer transaction involved in a violation of this chapter, or within one year after the termination of proceedings by the Director with respect to a violation of this chapter, whichever is later. However, when a merchant sues a consumer, he may assert as a counterclaim any claim under this chapter arising out of the transaction on which the suit is brought.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 108 Private remedies(a) Whether he seeks or is entitled to damages or has an adequate remedy at law, a consumer may bring an action to:

(1) obtain a declaratory judgment that an act or practice violates this chapter; or

(2) enjoin in accordance with the principles of equity, a merchant who has violated, is violating, or is otherwise likely to violate this chapter.

(b) Except in a class action, a consumer who suffers a loss as a result of a violation of this chapter may recover actual damages or $250, whichever is greater.

(c) Whether a consumer seeks or is entitled to recover damages or has an adequate remedy at law, he may bring a class action for declaratory judgment, an injunction, and appropriate ancillary relief, except damages, against an act or a practice that violates this chapter.

(d) A consumer who suffers loss as a result of a violation of this chapter may bring a class action for the actual damages caused by an act or practice-

(1) and is specified as violating this chapter in a rule adopted by the Director under section 103 of this title before the consumer transactions on which the action is based; or

(2) declared to violate this chapter by a final judgment of the district court that was either reported officially or made available for public dissemination by the Director, under rules promulgated by the Director, 10 days before the consumer transaction on which the action is based; or

(3) with respect to a merchant who agreed to it, was prohibited specifically by the terms of a consent judgment which became final before the consumer transactions on which the action is based.

(e) If a merchant shows by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation of this chapter resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid the error, recovery under this section is limited to the amount, if any, by which the merchant was unjustly enriched by the violation.

(f) If any act or practice that violates this chapter unjustly enriches a merchant and the damages can be computed with reasonable certainty, damages recoverable on behalf of the consumers who cannot be located with due diligence shall escheat to the Government of the United States Virgin Islands.

(g) Except for services performed by the Director, the court may award to the prevailing party a reasonable attorney's fee limited to the work reasonably performed if:

(1) the consumer complaining of the act or practice that violates this chapter has brought or maintained an action he knew to be groundless; or a merchant has committed an act or practice that violates this chapter;

(2) an action under this section has been terminated by a judgment or required by the court to be settled under section 105 of this title.

(h) Except for consent judgments entered before testimony is taken, a final judgment in favor of the Director under section 104 of this title is admissible as prima facie evidence of the facts on which it is based in later proceedings under this section against the same person or a person in privity with him.

(i) When a judgment under this section becomes final, the prevailing party shall mail a copy to the Director, who shall maintain a file containing such judgments and other matters pertaining to the rights and liabilities of consumers, which file shall be a public record.

(j) An action under this section must be brought within two years after the occurrence of a violation of this chapter, within one year after the last payment in a consumer transaction involved in a violation of this chapter, or within one year after the termination of proceedings by the Director with respect to a violation of this chapter, whichever is later. However, when a merchant sues a consumer, he may assert as a counterclaim any claim under this chapter arising out of the transaction on which the suit is brought.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 109 Class action requirements(a) An action may be maintained as a class action under this chapter only if:

(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;

(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;

(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class;

(4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class; and

(5) either:

(A) the prosecution of separate actions by or against individual members of the class would create a risk of:

(i) inconsistent or varying adjudications with respect to individual members of the class which would establish incompatible standards of conduct for opposing the class; or

(ii) adjudications with respect to individual members of the class which would as a practical matter be dispositive of the interests of the other members not parties to the adjudications or substantially impair or impede their ability to protect their interests; or

(B) the party opposing the class has acted or refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the class, thereby making appropriate final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory relief with respect to the class as a whole; or

(C) the court finds that the questions of law or fact common to the members of the class predominate over any questions affecting only individual members, and that a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy.

(b) The matters pertinent to the findings under subsection (a)(5)(C) of this title hereof include:

(1) the interest of members of the class in individually controlling the prosecution or defense of separate actions;

(2) the assent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy already commenced by or against members of the class;

(3) the desirability or undesirability of concentrating the litigation of the claims in the particular forum; and

(4) the difficulties likely to be encountered in the management of a class action.

(c) As soon as practicable after the commencement of an action brought as a class action, the court shall determine by order whether it is to be so maintained. An order under this subsection may be conditional, and may be amended before the decision on the merits.

(d) In a class action maintained under subsection (a)(5)(C) hereof, the court may direct to the members of the class the best notice practicable under the circumstances, including individual notice to all members who can be identified through reasonable effort. The notice shall advise each member that:

(1) the court will exclude him from the class if he so requests by a specified date;

(2) the judgment, whether favorable or not, will include all members who do not request exclusion; and

(3) any member who does not request exclusion may, if he so desires, enter an appearance through his counsel.

(e) When appropriate, an action may be brought or maintained as a class action with respect to particular issues, or a class may be divided into subclasses and each subclass treated as a class.

(f) In the conduct of a class action the court may make appropriate orders:

(1) determining the course of proceedings or prescribing measures to prevent undue repetition or complication in the presentation of evidence or argument;

(2) requiring, for the protection of the members of the class or otherwise for the fair conduct of the action, that notice be given in the manner the court directs to some or all of the members or to the Consumer Services Administration of any step in the action, or of the proposed extent of the judgment, or of the opportunity of members to signify whether they consider the representation fair and adequate, to intervene and present claims or defenses, or otherwise to come into the action;

(3) imposing conditions on the representative parties or on intervenors;

(4) requiring that the pleading be amended to eliminate allegations as to representation of absent persons, and that the action proceed accordingly; or

(5) dealing with similar procedural matters.

(g) A class action shall not be dismissed or compromised without approval of the court. Notice of the proposed dismissal or compromise shall be given to all members of the class in such manner as the court directs.

(h) The judgment in an action maintained as a class action under subsection (a)(5)(A) or (B) of this title hereof whether or not favorable to the class, shall describe those whom the court finds to be members of the class. Judgment in a class action maintained under subsection (a)(5)(C) hereof, whether or not favorable to the class, shall specify or describe those to whom the notice provided in subsection (d) of this section was directed, and who have not requested exclusion, and whom the court finds to be members of the class.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 109 Class action requirements(a) An action may be maintained as a class action under this chapter only if:

(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;

(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;

(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class;

(4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class; and

(5) either:

(A) the prosecution of separate actions by or against individual members of the class would create a risk of:

(i) inconsistent or varying adjudications with respect to individual members of the class which would establish incompatible standards of conduct for opposing the class; or

(ii) adjudications with respect to individual members of the class which would as a practical matter be dispositive of the interests of the other members not parties to the adjudications or substantially impair or impede their ability to protect their interests; or

(B) the party opposing the class has acted or refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the class, thereby making appropriate final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory relief with respect to the class as a whole; or

(C) the court finds that the questions of law or fact common to the members of the class predominate over any questions affecting only individual members, and that a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy.

(b) The matters pertinent to the findings under subsection (a)(5)(C) of this title hereof include:

(1) the interest of members of the class in individually controlling the prosecution or defense of separate actions;

(2) the assent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy already commenced by or against members of the class;

(3) the desirability or undesirability of concentrating the litigation of the claims in the particular forum; and

(4) the difficulties likely to be encountered in the management of a class action.

(c) As soon as practicable after the commencement of an action brought as a class action, the court shall determine by order whether it is to be so maintained. An order under this subsection may be conditional, and may be amended before the decision on the merits.

(d) In a class action maintained under subsection (a)(5)(C) hereof, the court may direct to the members of the class the best notice practicable under the circumstances, including individual notice to all members who can be identified through reasonable effort. The notice shall advise each member that:

(1) the court will exclude him from the class if he so requests by a specified date;

(2) the judgment, whether favorable or not, will include all members who do not request exclusion; and

(3) any member who does not request exclusion may, if he so desires, enter an appearance through his counsel.

(e) When appropriate, an action may be brought or maintained as a class action with respect to particular issues, or a class may be divided into subclasses and each subclass treated as a class.

(f) In the conduct of a class action the court may make appropriate orders:

(1) determining the course of proceedings or prescribing measures to prevent undue repetition or complication in the presentation of evidence or argument;

(2) requiring, for the protection of the members of the class or otherwise for the fair conduct of the action, that notice be given in the manner the court directs to some or all of the members or to the Consumer Services Administration of any step in the action, or of the proposed extent of the judgment, or of the opportunity of members to signify whether they consider the representation fair and adequate, to intervene and present claims or defenses, or otherwise to come into the action;

(3) imposing conditions on the representative parties or on intervenors;

(4) requiring that the pleading be amended to eliminate allegations as to representation of absent persons, and that the action proceed accordingly; or

(5) dealing with similar procedural matters.

(g) A class action shall not be dismissed or compromised without approval of the court. Notice of the proposed dismissal or compromise shall be given to all members of the class in such manner as the court directs.

(h) The judgment in an action maintained as a class action under subsection (a)(5)(A) or (B) of this title hereof whether or not favorable to the class, shall describe those whom the court finds to be members of the class. Judgment in a class action maintained under subsection (a)(5)(C) hereof, whether or not favorable to the class, shall specify or describe those to whom the notice provided in subsection (d) of this section was directed, and who have not requested exclusion, and whom the court finds to be members of the class.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 110 Permitted practicesThe provisions of this chapter shall be construed so as to supplement the rules, regulations, and decisions of the Federal Trade Commission and judicial interpretation of 15 U.S.C. sec. 45(a)(1), of the Federal Trade Commission Act.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 110 Permitted practicesThe provisions of this chapter shall be construed so as to supplement the rules, regulations, and decisions of the Federal Trade Commission and judicial interpretation of 15 U.S.C. sec. 45(a)(1), of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 120 DefinitionsFor the purposes of this subchapter:

(1) ‘Advertisement‘ means any public offer of merchandise with the purpose of attracting the attention of the consumer, whether through the press, handbills or other publications, radio, television, or any other informative media.

(2) ‘Merchandise‘ means any article of commerce usually sold directly to the consumer.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 120 DefinitionsFor the purposes of this subchapter:

(1) ‘Advertisement‘ means any public offer of merchandise with the purpose of attracting the attention of the consumer, whether through the press, handbills or other publications, radio, television, or any other informative media.

(2) ‘Merchandise‘ means any article of commerce usually sold directly to the consumer.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 121 Prohibited practicesThe following specific acts or practices in the advertisement of merchandise to the consumer are prohibited:

(1) The publication or distribution of advertisements in which merchandise is offered at a special price, making reference also to a regular price for the same merchandise, when the advertised regular price is not the one at which usually and ordinarily such article has been sold by the advertiser during the regular course of its business.

(2) Making reference in any advertisement to list prices or prices suggested by the manufacturer or distributor of merchandise, except when such price is strictly the prevailing price in the marketing and sales of such merchandise to the consumer.

(3) The advertisement of merchandise for sale at a price marked as a special one or at a price implicitly giving the impression of a savings in relation to a list price or a regular price of that merchandise, even though no other price is mentioned, if the price advertised as a special one is substantially similar to the price at which the merchandise is ordinarily and usually sold.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 121 Prohibited practicesThe following specific acts or practices in the advertisement of merchandise to the consumer are prohibited:

(1) The publication or distribution of advertisements in which merchandise is offered at a special price, making reference also to a regular price for the same merchandise, when the advertised regular price is not the one at which usually and ordinarily such article has been sold by the advertiser during the regular course of its business.

(2) Making reference in any advertisement to list prices or prices suggested by the manufacturer or distributor of merchandise, except when such price is strictly the prevailing price in the marketing and sales of such merchandise to the consumer.

(3) The advertisement of merchandise for sale at a price marked as a special one or at a price implicitly giving the impression of a savings in relation to a list price or a regular price of that merchandise, even though no other price is mentioned, if the price advertised as a special one is substantially similar to the price at which the merchandise is ordinarily and usually sold.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 122 EnforcementThe Consumer Services Administration shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this subchapter.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 122 EnforcementThe Consumer Services Administration shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this subchapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 123 Posting of retail drug prices(a) Each drug retailer shall prominently post a list of the prices of the one hundred prescription drug products that had the highest volume of retail sales by such drug retailer during the previous year. The posting for each such drug shall list the drug product under its established name (if any) and its proprietary name (if any) and shall contain the lowest price at which such drug product is offered for sale by such retailer for a quantity which is a quantity in which the drug product is most commonly dispensed.

(b)

(1) No drug retailer may sell any prescription drug product, the price of which he has posted in accordance with subsection (a) of this section:

(A) In the case of a sale of the drug product in a quantity which is equal to or greater than the quantity which is posted, at a unit price that is greater than the unit price of the drug sold in the quantity which is posted; or

(B) In the case of a sale of the drug product in a quantity which is less than that which is posted, at a unit price that is more than one hundred and ten per centum of the unit price of the drug sold in the quantity posted.

(2) Any person may commence a civil action to obtain a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any drug retailer from violating paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(c) For the purposes of this section:

(1)

(A) The term ‘prescription drug product‘ means a prescription drug sold in a particular dosage form.

(B) In the case of a prescription drug product which has an established name, if a drug retailer sells such drug product under one or more proprietary names, then such drug product, as sold under each such proprietary name, shall be considered to be a separate drug product for the purposes of posting under subsection

(a).

For the purposes of this section, the term ‘established name‘ has the same meaning as that established under 21 U.S.C.A., section 352(e)(2) and the term ‘proprietary name‘ shall be defined under regulations of the Director.

(C) In the case of a prescription drug product which does not have an established name, which is not sold under a proprietary name, or which has a combination of ingredients some or all of which have separate established names, the Director shall prescribe regulations which shall specify the extent to which such drug shall be considered a separate drug product, for the purpose of the posting under subsection (a) hereof. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed as to delay the requirement that the price of drugs not covered by this subsection be posted.

(2) The term ‘prescription drug‘ means a drug for which a prescription is required under local or federal law, or under regulations established by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.

(3) The term ‘drug retailer‘ means a person who is engaged, in whole or in part, in the business of selling prescription drugs at retail.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 123 Posting of retail drug prices(a) Each drug retailer shall prominently post a list of the prices of the one hundred prescription drug products that had the highest volume of retail sales by such drug retailer during the previous year. The posting for each such drug shall list the drug product under its established name (if any) and its proprietary name (if any) and shall contain the lowest price at which such drug product is offered for sale by such retailer for a quantity which is a quantity in which the drug product is most commonly dispensed.

(b)

(1) No drug retailer may sell any prescription drug product, the price of which he has posted in accordance with subsection (a) of this section:

(A) In the case of a sale of the drug product in a quantity which is equal to or greater than the quantity which is posted, at a unit price that is greater than the unit price of the drug sold in the quantity which is posted; or

(B) In the case of a sale of the drug product in a quantity which is less than that which is posted, at a unit price that is more than one hundred and ten per centum of the unit price of the drug sold in the quantity posted.

(2) Any person may commence a civil action to obtain a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any drug retailer from violating paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(c) For the purposes of this section:

(1)

(A) The term ‘prescription drug product‘ means a prescription drug sold in a particular dosage form.

(B) In the case of a prescription drug product which has an established name, if a drug retailer sells such drug product under one or more proprietary names, then such drug product, as sold under each such proprietary name, shall be considered to be a separate drug product for the purposes of posting under subsection

(a).

For the purposes of this section, the term ‘established name‘ has the same meaning as that established under 21 U.S.C.A., section 352(e)(2) and the term ‘proprietary name‘ shall be defined under regulations of the Director.

(C) In the case of a prescription drug product which does not have an established name, which is not sold under a proprietary name, or which has a combination of ingredients some or all of which have separate established names, the Director shall prescribe regulations which shall specify the extent to which such drug shall be considered a separate drug product, for the purpose of the posting under subsection (a) hereof. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed as to delay the requirement that the price of drugs not covered by this subsection be posted.

(2) The term ‘prescription drug‘ means a drug for which a prescription is required under local or federal law, or under regulations established by the Federal Food and Drug Administration.

(3) The term ‘drug retailer‘ means a person who is engaged, in whole or in part, in the business of selling prescription drugs at retail.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 130 DefinitionsAs used in this subchapter:

(1) ‘Person‘ means a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, or any other form of business organization.

(2) ‘Franchise‘ means a contract or agreement, either expressed or implied, whether oral or written, between two or more persons, excluding credit or financing arrangements, relationships between manufacturers, agreements of a bona fide and express interim or trial nature requiring a relatively small new investment by the franchise (as hereinafter described), and warranty, cooperative advertising, training, and other programs provided by one person to another person which other person receives his franchise from a third party-

(a) wherein a commercial relationship of definite duration or continuing indefinite duration is involved;

(b) wherein one person, hereinafter called the ‘franchisee‘, is granted the right to offer, sell, and distribute goods or services to the extent that they are manufactured, processed, distributed, or (in the case of services) organized and directed by the other person, hereinafter called the ‘franchisor‘;

(c) wherein the franchisee as an independent business constitutes a component of franchisor's distribution system;

(d) wherein the operation of franchisee's business franchise is substantially associated with a franchisor's trademark, service mark, trade name, advertising or other commercial symbol designating the franchisor; and

(e) wherein the operation of franchisee's business is substantially reliant on franchisor for the continued supply of goods or services.

(3) ‘Goods‘ means any article or thing without limitation, or any part of such article or thing, including any article or thing used or consumed by a franchisee in rendering a service established, organized, directed, or approved by a franchisor.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 130 DefinitionsAs used in this subchapter:

(1) ‘Person‘ means a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, or any other form of business organization.

(2) ‘Franchise‘ means a contract or agreement, either expressed or implied, whether oral or written, between two or more persons, excluding credit or financing arrangements, relationships between manufacturers, agreements of a bona fide and express interim or trial nature requiring a relatively small new investment by the franchise (as hereinafter described), and warranty, cooperative advertising, training, and other programs provided by one person to another person which other person receives his franchise from a third party-

(a) wherein a commercial relationship of definite duration or continuing indefinite duration is involved;

(b) wherein one person, hereinafter called the ‘franchisee‘, is granted the right to offer, sell, and distribute goods or services to the extent that they are manufactured, processed, distributed, or (in the case of services) organized and directed by the other person, hereinafter called the ‘franchisor‘;

(c) wherein the franchisee as an independent business constitutes a component of franchisor's distribution system;

(d) wherein the operation of franchisee's business franchise is substantially associated with a franchisor's trademark, service mark, trade name, advertising or other commercial symbol designating the franchisor; and

(e) wherein the operation of franchisee's business is substantially reliant on franchisor for the continued supply of goods or services.

(3) ‘Goods‘ means any article or thing without limitation, or any part of such article or thing, including any article or thing used or consumed by a franchisee in rendering a service established, organized, directed, or approved by a franchisor.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 131 Notice of termination of franchiseIt shall be a violation of this subchapter for any franchisor engaged in commerce, directly or through any officer, agent, or employee to terminate, cancel, or fail to renew a franchise for any reason whatsoever without having first given written notice of such termination, cancellation, or intent not to renew to the franchisee at least 120 days in advance of such termination, cancellation, or failure to renew.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 131 Notice of termination of franchiseIt shall be a violation of this subchapter for any franchisor engaged in commerce, directly or through any officer, agent, or employee to terminate, cancel, or fail to renew a franchise for any reason whatsoever without having first given written notice of such termination, cancellation, or intent not to renew to the franchisee at least 120 days in advance of such termination, cancellation, or failure to renew.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 132 Good cause for termination of franchiseNotwithstanding the terms, provisions, or conditions of any franchise, except as provided in section 133, it shall be a violation of this subchapter for any franchisor directly or through any officer, agent, or employee to terminate, cancel, or fail to renew a franchise except that it shall be a complete defense under this subchapter for the franchisor to prove that the cancellation was for good cause. For purposes of this subchapter, good cause for terminating, canceling, or failing to renew a franchise shall be-

(1) failure by the franchisee to substantially comply with those requirements imposed upon him by the franchise which requirements are both essential and reasonable; or

(2) use of bad faith by the franchisee in carrying out the terms of the franchise.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 132 Good cause for termination of franchiseNotwithstanding the terms, provisions, or conditions of any franchise, except as provided in section 133, it shall be a violation of this subchapter for any franchisor directly or through any officer, agent, or employee to terminate, cancel, or fail to renew a franchise except that it shall be a complete defense under this subchapter for the franchisor to prove that the cancellation was for good cause. For purposes of this subchapter, good cause for terminating, canceling, or failing to renew a franchise shall be-

(1) failure by the franchisee to substantially comply with those requirements imposed upon him by the franchise which requirements are both essential and reasonable; or

(2) use of bad faith by the franchisee in carrying out the terms of the franchise.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 133 ArbitrationThe provisions of section 132 of this subchapter shall not apply to any written franchise containing provisions for the binding arbitration of disputes concerning the terms covered in section 132 in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association or other similar rules; provided, that the criteria for determining whether good cause existed for the termination, cancellation, or refusal to renew the written franchise shall be no less than that outlined in section 132 of this subchapter; and, provided further, that the allowable compensation to a franchisee terminated for other than good cause shall be no less than that provided in section 135.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 133 ArbitrationThe provisions of section 132 of this subchapter shall not apply to any written franchise containing provisions for the binding arbitration of disputes concerning the terms covered in section 132 in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association or other similar rules; provided, that the criteria for determining whether good cause existed for the termination, cancellation, or refusal to renew the written franchise shall be no less than that outlined in section 132 of this subchapter; and, provided further, that the allowable compensation to a franchisee terminated for other than good cause shall be no less than that provided in section 135.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 134 Unfair methods of competitionIt shall be a violation of this subchapter for any franchisor, directly or through any officer, agent, or employee to engage directly or indirectly in methods of competition with any franchisee that constitute unfair methods of competition within the meaning of the Federal Trade Commission Act.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 134 Unfair methods of competitionIt shall be a violation of this subchapter for any franchisor, directly or through any officer, agent, or employee to engage directly or indirectly in methods of competition with any franchisee that constitute unfair methods of competition within the meaning of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 135 Recovery of damagesAny franchisee may bring an action against a franchisor for violation of this subchapter in the District Court of the Virgin Islands, and shall recover the damages by him sustained by reason of the franchisor's failure to comply with this subchapter, together with the costs of the action, including reasonable attorney fees.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 135 Recovery of damagesAny franchisee may bring an action against a franchisor for violation of this subchapter in the District Court of the Virgin Islands, and shall recover the damages by him sustained by reason of the franchisor's failure to comply with this subchapter, together with the costs of the action, including reasonable attorney fees.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 136 Limitations of actionsAny action brought pursuant to this subchapter shall be forever barred unless commenced within two years after the cause of action shall have accrued.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 136 Limitations of actionsAny action brought pursuant to this subchapter shall be forever barred unless commenced within two years after the cause of action shall have accrued.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 137 Antimonopoly laws applicable
No provision of this subchapter shall repeal, modify, or supersede, directly or indirectly, any provision of the antimonopoly laws of the United States Virgin Islands. This subchapter is and shall be deemed supplementary to, but not a part of, the antimonopoly laws of the United States Virgin Islands.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 137 Antimonopoly laws applicable
No provision of this subchapter shall repeal, modify, or supersede, directly or indirectly, any provision of the antimonopoly laws of the United States Virgin Islands. This subchapter is and shall be deemed supplementary to, but not a part of, the antimonopoly laws of the United States Virgin Islands.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 138 Other laws not invalidatedThis subchapter shall not invalidate any provision of the laws of the United States Virgin Islands except insofar as there is a direct conflict between an expressed provision of this subchapter and an express provision of the laws of the United States Virgin Islands which cannot be reconciled.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 138 Other laws not invalidatedThis subchapter shall not invalidate any provision of the laws of the United States Virgin Islands except insofar as there is a direct conflict between an expressed provision of this subchapter and an express provision of the laws of the United States Virgin Islands which cannot be reconciled.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 139 EnforcementThe Consumers Services Administration shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this subchapter.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 139 EnforcementThe Consumers Services Administration shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this subchapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 150 DefinitionsAs used in this subchapter:

(1) ‘Weights and measures‘ means weights and measures of any kind, instruments and devices for weighing and measuring, and any appliances and accessories associated with any or all such instruments and devices, except that the term shall not be construed to include meters for the measurement of electricity or water or devices to measure the usage of communication's services when the same are operated in a public utility system. Such devices or any appliances or accessories associated therewith, are excluded from this subchapter.

(2) ‘Sell‘ or ‘sale‘ means barter or exchange.

(3) ‘Director‘ means the Director of the Consumer Services Administration.

(4) ‘Inspector‘ means an inspector of weights and measures.

(5) ‘Commodity in package form‘ means a commodity put up or packaged in any manner in advance of sale in units suitable for either wholesale or retail sale, exclusive, however, of auxiliary shipping container enclosing packages that individually conform to the requirements of this subchapter. An individual item or lot of any commodity not in package form as defined in this section but on which there is marked a selling price based on an established price per unit of weight or of measure, shall be construed to be commodity in package form.

(6) ‘Weight‘, in connection with any commodity, means net weight.

(7) ‘Consumer package‘ or ‘package of consumer commodity‘ means a commodity in package form that is customarily produced or distributed for sale through retail sales agencies or instrumentalities for consumption by individuals, or use by individuals for the purposes of personal care or in the performance of services ordinarily rendered in or about the household or in connection with personal possessions, and which usually is consumed or expended in the course of such consumption or use.

(8) ‘Nonconsumer package‘ or ‘package of nonconsumer commodity‘ means any commodity in package form other than a consumer package, and particularly a package designed solely for institutional or industrial use or for wholesale distribution only.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 150 DefinitionsAs used in this subchapter:

(1) ‘Weights and measures‘ means weights and measures of any kind, instruments and devices for weighing and measuring, and any appliances and accessories associated with any or all such instruments and devices, except that the term shall not be construed to include meters for the measurement of electricity or water or devices to measure the usage of communication's services when the same are operated in a public utility system. Such devices or any appliances or accessories associated therewith, are excluded from this subchapter.

(2) ‘Sell‘ or ‘sale‘ means barter or exchange.

(3) ‘Director‘ means the Director of the Consumer Services Administration.

(4) ‘Inspector‘ means an inspector of weights and measures.

(5) ‘Commodity in package form‘ means a commodity put up or packaged in any manner in advance of sale in units suitable for either wholesale or retail sale, exclusive, however, of auxiliary shipping container enclosing packages that individually conform to the requirements of this subchapter. An individual item or lot of any commodity not in package form as defined in this section but on which there is marked a selling price based on an established price per unit of weight or of measure, shall be construed to be commodity in package form.

(6) ‘Weight‘, in connection with any commodity, means net weight.

(7) ‘Consumer package‘ or ‘package of consumer commodity‘ means a commodity in package form that is customarily produced or distributed for sale through retail sales agencies or instrumentalities for consumption by individuals, or use by individuals for the purposes of personal care or in the performance of services ordinarily rendered in or about the household or in connection with personal possessions, and which usually is consumed or expended in the course of such consumption or use.

(8) ‘Nonconsumer package‘ or ‘package of nonconsumer commodity‘ means any commodity in package form other than a consumer package, and particularly a package designed solely for institutional or industrial use or for wholesale distribution only.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 151 Systems and definitions recognizedThe system of weights and measures in customary use in the United States and the metric system of weights and measures are jointly recognized and one or the other of these systems shall be used for all commercial purposes in the United States Virgin Islands. The definitions of basic units of weights and measure, the tables of weights and measure, and weights and measures equivalents, as published by the National Bureau of Standards, are recognized and shall govern weighing and measuring equipment and transactions in the United States Virgin Islands.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 151 Systems and definitions recognizedThe system of weights and measures in customary use in the United States and the metric system of weights and measures are jointly recognized and one or the other of these systems shall be used for all commercial purposes in the United States Virgin Islands. The definitions of basic units of weights and measure, the tables of weights and measure, and weights and measures equivalents, as published by the National Bureau of Standards, are recognized and shall govern weighing and measuring equipment and transactions in the United States Virgin Islands.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 152 Standards; location, removal, certificationWeights and measures in conformity with the standards of the United States as have been supplied to the Government of the United States Virgin Islands by the federal government or otherwise obtained by the Director for use as territorial standards, when the same have been certified as being satisfactory for use as such by the National Bureau of Standards, shall be the standards of weights and measures for the United States Virgin Islands. The territorial standards shall be kept in a safe and suitable place in the Consumer Services Administration. They shall not be removed therefrom except for repairs or certification. They shall be submitted at least once every ten years to the National Bureau of Standards for certification. The territorial standards shall be used only in verifying the office standards and for scientific purposes.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 152 Standards; location, removal, certificationWeights and measures in conformity with the standards of the United States as have been supplied to the Government of the United States Virgin Islands by the federal government or otherwise obtained by the Director for use as territorial standards, when the same have been certified as being satisfactory for use as such by the National Bureau of Standards, shall be the standards of weights and measures for the United States Virgin Islands. The territorial standards shall be kept in a safe and suitable place in the Consumer Services Administration. They shall not be removed therefrom except for repairs or certification. They shall be submitted at least once every ten years to the National Bureau of Standards for certification. The territorial standards shall be used only in verifying the office standards and for scientific purposes.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 153 Office standards, field standards, verificationIn addition to the territorial standards provided for in the preceding section of the subchapter, there shall be at least one complete set of copies of these standards to be kept in the office or laboratory of the Consumer Services Administration to be known as office standards, and also such field standards and such equipment as may be found necessary to carry out the provisions of this subchapter. The office standards shall be verified upon their initial receipt and at least once each year thereafter. The field standards shall be verified upon their initial receipt and at least once every five years thereafter, the office standards by direct comparison with the territorial standards and the field standards by direct comparison with the office standards.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 153 Office standards, field standards, verificationIn addition to the territorial standards provided for in the preceding section of the subchapter, there shall be at least one complete set of copies of these standards to be kept in the office or laboratory of the Consumer Services Administration to be known as office standards, and also such field standards and such equipment as may be found necessary to carry out the provisions of this subchapter. The office standards shall be verified upon their initial receipt and at least once each year thereafter. The field standards shall be verified upon their initial receipt and at least once every five years thereafter, the office standards by direct comparison with the territorial standards and the field standards by direct comparison with the office standards.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 154 Director of weights and measures; deputies, inspectorsThe Director of the Consumer Services Administration by virtue of his office shall be the Director of Weights and Measures during his term of office. Subject to the provisions of chapter 25 of Title 3 of this Code, the Director shall appoint a deputy director of weights and measures and such inspectors and sealers of weights and measures as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this subchapter.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 154 Director of weights and measures; deputies, inspectorsThe Director of the Consumer Services Administration by virtue of his office shall be the Director of Weights and Measures during his term of office. Subject to the provisions of chapter 25 of Title 3 of this Code, the Director shall appoint a deputy director of weights and measures and such inspectors and sealers of weights and measures as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this subchapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 155 Standards, custody, enforcement, supervision and reportsThe Director shall have the custody of the territorial standards of weights and measures and of the other standards and equipment provided for by this subchapter, and shall keep accurate records of the same. The director shall enforce the provisions of this subchapter. He shall have general supervision over the weights and measures offered for sale, sold or in use in the United States Virgin Islands. After the close of each fiscal year, he shall submit a written report to the Governor and the Legislature on all activities of his office.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 155 Standards, custody, enforcement, supervision and reportsThe Director shall have the custody of the territorial standards of weights and measures and of the other standards and equipment provided for by this subchapter, and shall keep accurate records of the same. The director shall enforce the provisions of this subchapter. He shall have general supervision over the weights and measures offered for sale, sold or in use in the United States Virgin Islands. After the close of each fiscal year, he shall submit a written report to the Governor and the Legislature on all activities of his office.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 155a Determination of price and quantities of petroleum, food and generalThe Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs may determine the prices and quantities at which all petroleum derivatives, including gasoline, any article of food, and general supplies may be sold by wholesalers, retailers, producers, or manufacturers. These measures include gross profit measures or any other measure necessary to accomplish the purpose and objective of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, provided:

(a) a reasonable margin of profit is allowed; and

(b) a wholesale price and a retail price is set for each item.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 155a Determination of price and quantities of petroleum, food and generalThe Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs may determine the prices and quantities at which all petroleum derivatives, including gasoline, any article of food, and general supplies may be sold by wholesalers, retailers, producers, or manufacturers. These measures include gross profit measures or any other measure necessary to accomplish the purpose and objective of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, provided:

(a) a reasonable margin of profit is allowed; and

(b) a wholesale price and a retail price is set for each item.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 156 Rules and regulations(a) The Director may issue from time to time reasonable rules and regulations necessary to administer and for the enforcement of this subchapter, which regulations shall have the force and effect of law after filing and publication in accordance with the provisions of chapter 35 of Title 3 of this Code. These regulations may include:

(1) standards of net weight, measure or count.

(2) rules governing technical and reporting procedures and the report and record forms and marks of approval and rejection to be used by inspectors of weights and measures in the discharge of their official duties.

(3) exemptions from the ceiling or marking requirements of section 162 with respect to weights and measures of such character or size that such ceiling or marking would be inappropriate, impractical or damaging to the apparatus in question.

(4) with respect to classes of weights and measures found to be of such character that frequent retesting is unnecessary to continued accuracy, exemptions from the requirements of section 158 of this title-testing and schedules fixing the frequency of required retests for classes of devices so exempted.

(5) rules governing the registration of servicemen and service agencies involved in scale inspection.

(b) The regulations shall include specifications, tolerances and regulations for weights and measures of the character of those specified in section 158 designed to eliminate from use without prejudice to the apparatus that conforms as closely as practical to the official standards, those that (i) are not accurate, (ii) are of such construction that they are not reasonably permanent in their adjustment or will not repeat their indications correctly, and (iii) facilitate the perpetration of fraud. The specifications, tolerances and regulations for commercial weighing and measuring devices, together with amendments thereto, as recommended by the National Bureau of Standards and published in the National Bureau of Standards Handbook 44 and supplements thereto, or in any publication revising or superseding Handbook 44, shall be the specifications, tolerances and regulations for commercial weighing and measuring devices of the United States Virgin Islands, except as specifically modified, amended or rejected by a regulation issued by the Director. For the purposes of this subchapter, apparatus shall be deemed to be ‘correct‘ when it conforms to all applicable requirements promulgated as specified in this section; other apparatus shall be deemed to be ‘incorrect‘.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 156 Rules and regulations(a) The Director may issue from time to time reasonable rules and regulations necessary to administer and for the enforcement of this subchapter, which regulations shall have the force and effect of law after filing and publication in accordance with the provisions of chapter 35 of Title 3 of this Code. These regulations may include:

(1) standards of net weight, measure or count.

(2) rules governing technical and reporting procedures and the report and record forms and marks of approval and rejection to be used by inspectors of weights and measures in the discharge of their official duties.

(3) exemptions from the ceiling or marking requirements of section 162 with respect to weights and measures of such character or size that such ceiling or marking would be inappropriate, impractical or damaging to the apparatus in question.

(4) with respect to classes of weights and measures found to be of such character that frequent retesting is unnecessary to continued accuracy, exemptions from the requirements of section 158 of this title-testing and schedules fixing the frequency of required retests for classes of devices so exempted.

(5) rules governing the registration of servicemen and service agencies involved in scale inspection.

(b) The regulations shall include specifications, tolerances and regulations for weights and measures of the character of those specified in section 158 designed to eliminate from use without prejudice to the apparatus that conforms as closely as practical to the official standards, those that (i) are not accurate, (ii) are of such construction that they are not reasonably permanent in their adjustment or will not repeat their indications correctly, and (iii) facilitate the perpetration of fraud. The specifications, tolerances and regulations for commercial weighing and measuring devices, together with amendments thereto, as recommended by the National Bureau of Standards and published in the National Bureau of Standards Handbook 44 and supplements thereto, or in any publication revising or superseding Handbook 44, shall be the specifications, tolerances and regulations for commercial weighing and measuring devices of the United States Virgin Islands, except as specifically modified, amended or rejected by a regulation issued by the Director. For the purposes of this subchapter, apparatus shall be deemed to be ‘correct‘ when it conforms to all applicable requirements promulgated as specified in this section; other apparatus shall be deemed to be ‘incorrect‘.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 158 Inspection and testingThe Director may inspect, and test to ascertain if they are correct, all weights and measures kept, offered or exposed for sale. He shall inspect, and test to ascertain if they are correct, all weights and measures commercially used in:

(1) determining the weight, measurement or count of commodities or things sold or offered or exposed for sale on the basis of weight or of measure or count;

(2) computing the basic charge or payment for services rendered on the basis of weight or of measure or of count; or

(3) determining the weight or measurement when a charge is made for such determination.

With respect to devices designed to be used commercially only once and to then be discarded, and with respect to devices uniformly mass-produced as by means of a mold or die and not susceptible of individual adjustment, the inspection and testing of each individual device shall not be required and the inspecting and testing requirement of this section shall be satisfied when inspections and tests are made on representative samples of such devices; and the lots of which such samples are representative shall be held to be correct or incorrect upon the basis of the results of the inspection and tests on such samples.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 158 Inspection and testingThe Director may inspect, and test to ascertain if they are correct, all weights and measures kept, offered or exposed for sale. He shall inspect, and test to ascertain if they are correct, all weights and measures commercially used in:

(1) determining the weight, measurement or count of commodities or things sold or offered or exposed for sale on the basis of weight or of measure or count;

(2) computing the basic charge or payment for services rendered on the basis of weight or of measure or of count; or

(3) determining the weight or measurement when a charge is made for such determination.

With respect to devices designed to be used commercially only once and to then be discarded, and with respect to devices uniformly mass-produced as by means of a mold or die and not susceptible of individual adjustment, the inspection and testing of each individual device shall not be required and the inspecting and testing requirement of this section shall be satisfied when inspections and tests are made on representative samples of such devices; and the lots of which such samples are representative shall be held to be correct or incorrect upon the basis of the results of the inspection and tests on such samples.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 159 Investigation of complaintsThe Director shall investigate complaints made to him concerning violations of the provisions of this subchapter, and shall, upon his own initiative, conduct such investigations as he deems advisable to develop information on prevailing procedures in commercial quantity determination and on possible violations of the provisions of this subchapter and to promote the general objective of accuracy in the determination and representation of quantity in commercial transactions.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 159 Investigation of complaintsThe Director shall investigate complaints made to him concerning violations of the provisions of this subchapter, and shall, upon his own initiative, conduct such investigations as he deems advisable to develop information on prevailing procedures in commercial quantity determination and on possible violations of the provisions of this subchapter and to promote the general objective of accuracy in the determination and representation of quantity in commercial transactions.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 160 InspectionsThe Director, as often as he deems advisable, shall weigh, measure or inspect packages or amounts of commodities offered or exposed for sale, sold, or in the process of delivery, to determine whether they contain the amounts represented and whether they be offered or exposed for sale, or sold in accordance with law. When such packages or amounts of commodities are found not to contain the amounts represented, or are found to be kept, or offered or exposed for sale in violation of law, the Director may order their sale discontinued and may so mark or tag them as to show them to be illegal. The Director may employ recognized sampling procedures under which the compliance of a given lot of packages will be determined on the basis of the result obtained on a sample selected from and represented above such lot.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 160 InspectionsThe Director, as often as he deems advisable, shall weigh, measure or inspect packages or amounts of commodities offered or exposed for sale, sold, or in the process of delivery, to determine whether they contain the amounts represented and whether they be offered or exposed for sale, or sold in accordance with law. When such packages or amounts of commodities are found not to contain the amounts represented, or are found to be kept, or offered or exposed for sale in violation of law, the Director may order their sale discontinued and may so mark or tag them as to show them to be illegal. The Director may employ recognized sampling procedures under which the compliance of a given lot of packages will be determined on the basis of the result obtained on a sample selected from and represented above such lot.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 161 Stop-use ordersThe Director may issue stop-use orders, stop-removal orders with respect to weights and measures being or susceptible of being commercially used. He may issue stop-removal orders or removal orders with respect to packages or amounts of commodities kept, offered or exposed for sale, sold, or in the process of delivery, whenever in the course of his enforcement of the provisions of this subchapter he deems it necessary or expedient to issue such orders. No person shall use, remove from the premises specified, or fail to remove from the premises specified any weight, measure, package or amount of commodity contrary to the terms of any order issued pursuant to this section.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 161 Stop-use ordersThe Director may issue stop-use orders, stop-removal orders with respect to weights and measures being or susceptible of being commercially used. He may issue stop-removal orders or removal orders with respect to packages or amounts of commodities kept, offered or exposed for sale, sold, or in the process of delivery, whenever in the course of his enforcement of the provisions of this subchapter he deems it necessary or expedient to issue such orders. No person shall use, remove from the premises specified, or fail to remove from the premises specified any weight, measure, package or amount of commodity contrary to the terms of any order issued pursuant to this section.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 162 Approval of weights and measuresThe Director shall approve for use and seal or mark with appropriate devices such weights and measures as he finds upon inspection or test to be ‘correct‘ as defined in section 156 of this title. He shall reject or condemn in seal or mark as ‘rejected‘ or ‘condemned‘ such weights and measures as he finds upon inspection or test to be ‘incorrect‘ as defined in section 156. Sealing or marking shall not be required with respect to weights and measures which are exempted by a regulation of the Director issued under the authority of section 156. The Director shall reject or condemn and may seize and destroy weights and measures found to be incorrect. Weights and measures that have been rejected or condemned and ordered corrected or disposed of may be confiscated and may be destroyed by the Director if not corrected as required by, or if disposed of contrary to the requirements of section 164.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 162 Approval of weights and measuresThe Director shall approve for use and seal or mark with appropriate devices such weights and measures as he finds upon inspection or test to be ‘correct‘ as defined in section 156 of this title. He shall reject or condemn in seal or mark as ‘rejected‘ or ‘condemned‘ such weights and measures as he finds upon inspection or test to be ‘incorrect‘ as defined in section 156. Sealing or marking shall not be required with respect to weights and measures which are exempted by a regulation of the Director issued under the authority of section 156. The Director shall reject or condemn and may seize and destroy weights and measures found to be incorrect. Weights and measures that have been rejected or condemned and ordered corrected or disposed of may be confiscated and may be destroyed by the Director if not corrected as required by, or if disposed of contrary to the requirements of section 164.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 163 Administrative fines, enforcement, seizure(a) Upon previous notice and an opportunity for a fair hearing, the Director may impose administrative fines of not less than $25 or more than $100 for each violation of the provisions of this subchapter or regulations issued pursuant to this subchapter. To accomplish the purposes of this subsection, the Director may issue a summons requiring an individual to appear at an administrative hearing. The powers contained in this subsection are granted to the Director without power to delegate. A decision to impose an administrative fine hereunder shall be subject to judicial review by filing with the Superior Court a notice of appeal within 30 days after the date of entry of said decision.

(b) The Director is vested with special police powers with respect to the enforcement of this subchapter and any other acts dealing with weights and measures that he is or may be empowered to enforce. He may seize, for use as evidence, without formal warrant, incorrect or unsealed weights or measures or amounts or packages of commodities found to be used, retained, offered or exposed for sale, or sold in violation of law. In the performance of his official duties, he may enter and go into or upon, without formal warrant, any structure or premises for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this subchapter. The powers and duties given to and imposed upon the Director by this subchapter are given to and imposed upon Deputy Directors and Inspectors when acting under the instructions and at the direction of the Director.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 163 Administrative fines, enforcement, seizure(a) Upon previous notice and an opportunity for a fair hearing, the Director may impose administrative fines of not less than $25 or more than $100 for each violation of the provisions of this subchapter or regulations issued pursuant to this subchapter. To accomplish the purposes of this subsection, the Director may issue a summons requiring an individual to appear at an administrative hearing. The powers contained in this subsection are granted to the Director without power to delegate. A decision to impose an administrative fine hereunder shall be subject to judicial review by filing with the Superior Court a notice of appeal within 30 days after the date of entry of said decision.

(b) The Director is vested with special police powers with respect to the enforcement of this subchapter and any other acts dealing with weights and measures that he is or may be empowered to enforce. He may seize, for use as evidence, without formal warrant, incorrect or unsealed weights or measures or amounts or packages of commodities found to be used, retained, offered or exposed for sale, or sold in violation of law. In the performance of his official duties, he may enter and go into or upon, without formal warrant, any structure or premises for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this subchapter. The powers and duties given to and imposed upon the Director by this subchapter are given to and imposed upon Deputy Directors and Inspectors when acting under the instructions and at the direction of the Director.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 164 Rejected or condemned weights and measuresWeights and measures that have been rejected or condemned and ordered corrected or disposed of under the authority of the Director shall remain subject to his control until such time as suitable repair or disposition thereof has been made pursuant to this section. The owners of such rejected or condemned weights and measures shall cause the same to be made correct within a specified period authorized by the Director, or may dispose of the same but only in such manner as specifically authorized by the Director.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 164 Rejected or condemned weights and measuresWeights and measures that have been rejected or condemned and ordered corrected or disposed of under the authority of the Director shall remain subject to his control until such time as suitable repair or disposition thereof has been made pursuant to this section. The owners of such rejected or condemned weights and measures shall cause the same to be made correct within a specified period authorized by the Director, or may dispose of the same but only in such manner as specifically authorized by the Director.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 165 Liquid and nonliquid measurementCommodities in liquid form shall be sold only by liquid measure or by weight, and commodities not in liquid form shall be sold only by weight, measure, or by count, and shall be sold and marked in terms of the largest unit. However, liquid commodities may be sold by weight and nonliquid commodities may be sold by count only if such methods give accurate information as to the quantity of commodity sold. This section shall not apply to:

(1) commodities sold for immediate consumption on the premises where sold;

(2) vegetables sold by the head or bunch;

(3) commodities in containers standardized by a law of the United States Virgin Islands or by federal law; or

(4) commodities in package form where there exists a general consumer usage to express the quantity in some other manner. The Director may issue regulations necessary to assure that amounts of commodities sold are determined in accordance with good commercial practice and are so determined and represented as to be accurate and informative to all parties and interest.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 165 Liquid and nonliquid measurementCommodities in liquid form shall be sold only by liquid measure or by weight, and commodities not in liquid form shall be sold only by weight, measure, or by count, and shall be sold and marked in terms of the largest unit. However, liquid commodities may be sold by weight and nonliquid commodities may be sold by count only if such methods give accurate information as to the quantity of commodity sold. This section shall not apply to:

(1) commodities sold for immediate consumption on the premises where sold;

(2) vegetables sold by the head or bunch;

(3) commodities in containers standardized by a law of the United States Virgin Islands or by federal law; or

(4) commodities in package form where there exists a general consumer usage to express the quantity in some other manner. The Director may issue regulations necessary to assure that amounts of commodities sold are determined in accordance with good commercial practice and are so determined and represented as to be accurate and informative to all parties and interest.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 165a Scale for customers' useWhen commodities are packaged on the premises of a store, shop, or other establishment selling foodstuffs and when such commodities are offered for sale by weight, a scale or other weighing device that shows the weight shall be placed within plain view and conveniently near the display, counter, or case containing said commodities, which scale or weighing device shall be for use by prospective purchasers of the commodities. Such scale or weighing device shall be inspected and tested by the Director or his designee as frequently as he determines is necessary.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 165a Scale for customers' useWhen commodities are packaged on the premises of a store, shop, or other establishment selling foodstuffs and when such commodities are offered for sale by weight, a scale or other weighing device that shows the weight shall be placed within plain view and conveniently near the display, counter, or case containing said commodities, which scale or weighing device shall be for use by prospective purchasers of the commodities. Such scale or weighing device shall be inspected and tested by the Director or his designee as frequently as he determines is necessary.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 166 Packaged commoditiesExcept as otherwise provided in this subchapter, any commodity in package form kept for the purpose of sale or offered or exposed for sale, shall bear on the outside of the package such definite, plain, legible and conspicuous declarations of:

(1) the identity of the commodity in the package unless the same can easily be identified through the wrapper or container;

(2) the net quantity of the contents in terms of weight, measure or count, but the term ‘when packed‘ or any words of similar import, or any term qualifying a unit of weight, measure or count, such as ‘jumbo‘, ‘giant‘, ‘full‘ or the like that tend to exaggerate the amount of commodity in a package, shall not be used; and

(3) the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor in the case of any package kept, offered or exposed for sale, or sold any place other than on the premises where packed as may be prescribed by regulation promulgated by the Director.

The Director shall, by regulation, establish reasonable variations to be allowed, which may include variations below the declared weight or measure caused by ordinary and customary exposure to conditions that normally occur in good distribution practice and that unavoidably result in decreased weight or measure. Such regulation shall provide for exemptions for small packages and for commodities put up in variable weights or sizes for sale intact and either customarily not sold as individual units or customarily weighed or measured at the time of sale to the customer.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 166 Packaged commoditiesExcept as otherwise provided in this subchapter, any commodity in package form kept for the purpose of sale or offered or exposed for sale, shall bear on the outside of the package such definite, plain, legible and conspicuous declarations of:

(1) the identity of the commodity in the package unless the same can easily be identified through the wrapper or container;

(2) the net quantity of the contents in terms of weight, measure or count, but the term ‘when packed‘ or any words of similar import, or any term qualifying a unit of weight, measure or count, such as ‘jumbo‘, ‘giant‘, ‘full‘ or the like that tend to exaggerate the amount of commodity in a package, shall not be used; and

(3) the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor in the case of any package kept, offered or exposed for sale, or sold any place other than on the premises where packed as may be prescribed by regulation promulgated by the Director.

The Director shall, by regulation, establish reasonable variations to be allowed, which may include variations below the declared weight or measure caused by ordinary and customary exposure to conditions that normally occur in good distribution practice and that unavoidably result in decreased weight or measure. Such regulation shall provide for exemptions for small packages and for commodities put up in variable weights or sizes for sale intact and either customarily not sold as individual units or customarily weighed or measured at the time of sale to the customer.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 167 Random weightsIn addition to the declarations required by the preceding section of this subchapter, any commodity in package form, which package is one of a lot containing random weights, measures or counts of the same commodity and bears the total selling price of the package, shall bear on the outside of the package a plain and conspicuous declaration of the price per single unit of weight, measure or count.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 167 Random weightsIn addition to the declarations required by the preceding section of this subchapter, any commodity in package form, which package is one of a lot containing random weights, measures or counts of the same commodity and bears the total selling price of the package, shall bear on the outside of the package a plain and conspicuous declaration of the price per single unit of weight, measure or count.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 168 Misleading wrappersAny commodity in package form shall not be so wrapped, nor shall it be in a container so made, formed or filled as to mislead the purchaser as to the quantity of the contents of the package.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 168 Misleading wrappersAny commodity in package form shall not be so wrapped, nor shall it be in a container so made, formed or filled as to mislead the purchaser as to the quantity of the contents of the package.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 169 AdvertisementsWhenever a commodity in package form is advertised in any manner and the retail price of the package is stated in the advertisement, there shall be closely and conspicuously associated with such statement of price a declaration of the basic quantity of contents of the package as it is required by law or regulation to appear on the package, except that this section shall not apply to products for agriculture or horticultural use where the custom is to state the number of objects or amount of area which can be treated per package unit and the number or area is so stated. Where the law or regulation requires the declaration of the net quantity to appear on the package in terms of more than one unit of weight or measure, only the smallest unit of weight or measure need be stated in the advertisement. In connection with the declaration, the qualifying term ‘when packaged‘ or any other words of similar import, or any term of qualifying a unit of weight, measure or count, for example, ‘jumbo‘, ‘giant‘, ‘full‘ and the like that tends to exaggerate the amount of commodity in the package, shall not be used.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 169 AdvertisementsWhenever a commodity in package form is advertised in any manner and the retail price of the package is stated in the advertisement, there shall be closely and conspicuously associated with such statement of price a declaration of the basic quantity of contents of the package as it is required by law or regulation to appear on the package, except that this section shall not apply to products for agriculture or horticultural use where the custom is to state the number of objects or amount of area which can be treated per package unit and the number or area is so stated. Where the law or regulation requires the declaration of the net quantity to appear on the package in terms of more than one unit of weight or measure, only the smallest unit of weight or measure need be stated in the advertisement. In connection with the declaration, the qualifying term ‘when packaged‘ or any other words of similar import, or any term of qualifying a unit of weight, measure or count, for example, ‘jumbo‘, ‘giant‘, ‘full‘ and the like that tends to exaggerate the amount of commodity in the package, shall not be used.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 170 Meat, poultry and seafoodExcept for immediate consumption on the premises where sold, or as one of several elements comprising a ready-to-eat meal sold as a unit for consumption elsewhere that on the premises where sold, all meat, meat-products, poultry, whole or parts, and all seafood except shellfish, offered or exposed for sale or sold, as food shall be offered or exposed for sale and sold by weight. When meat, poultry or seafood is combined with or associated with some other food element or elements to form either a distinctive food product or a food combination, such food product or combination shall be offered or exposed for sale and sold by weight, and the quantity representation may be the total weight of the product or combination, and a quantity representation need not be made for each of the several elements of the product or combination.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 170 Meat, poultry and seafoodExcept for immediate consumption on the premises where sold, or as one of several elements comprising a ready-to-eat meal sold as a unit for consumption elsewhere that on the premises where sold, all meat, meat-products, poultry, whole or parts, and all seafood except shellfish, offered or exposed for sale or sold, as food shall be offered or exposed for sale and sold by weight. When meat, poultry or seafood is combined with or associated with some other food element or elements to form either a distinctive food product or a food combination, such food product or combination shall be offered or exposed for sale and sold by weight, and the quantity representation may be the total weight of the product or combination, and a quantity representation need not be made for each of the several elements of the product or combination.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 171 Misrepresentations; display of price(a) Whenever any commodity or service is sold, or is offered, exposed or advertised for sale, by weight, measure or count, the price shall not be misrepresented, nor shall the price be represented in any manner calculated or tending to mislead or deceive an actual or prospective purchaser. Whenever an advertised, posted or labeled price per unit of weight, measure or count includes a fraction of a cent, all elements of the fraction shall be prominently displayed and the numeral or numerals expressing the fraction shall be immediately adjacent to, of the same general design and style as, and at least one-half the height and width of the numerals representing the whole cents.

(b) The packaged commodities listed in subsection (c) of this section which are necessary for personal, family or household use, shall not be offered for sale at retail, unless there is posted in a conspicuous place at or near the point of sale, the price per ounce, inch, pint, or other applicable unit of measurement of the contents and the total sale price. Any packaged commodity whose net weight is one whole unit or two units and which has the retail price plainly marked thereon, shall be exempt from the requirements of this section. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be subject to an administrative fine imposed pursuant to the provisions of section 3(4) of this title, except that the amount shall be not less than $50.00 nor more than $300.00. Each commodity not properly labeled shall be considered a separate violation. The Director shall submit an annual report to the Governor and Legislature relative to action taken by him pursuant to this subsection.

(c) The packaged commodities which shall not be sold in retail stores unless there is posted, as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the price per unit shall include:

(1) Canned and bottled vegetables and fruits which do not require refrigerated storage.

(2) Canned and bottled real and imitation vegetable and fruit juices, which do not require refrigerated storage.

(3) Canned and bottled tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomato puree and other related tomato products which do not require refrigerated storage.

(4) Canned and bottled baby foods which do not require refrigerated storage.

(5) Cooking and salad oils.

(6) Canned and bottled salmon, tuna and sardines which do not require refrigerated storage.

(7) Jams, jellies and preserves.

(8) Peanut butter.

(9) Carbonated beverages.

(10) Coffee, instant and regular.

(11) Dog and cat food.

(12) Breakfast cereals

(does not include corn meal, rice, maize).

(13) Cake, pie crust and other pastry mixes.

(14) Macaroni, spaghetti and other pasta products

(does not include prepared or preflavored convenience pasta foods).

(15) Paper towels, napkins, facial tissues, plates, paper cups and toilet paper.

(16) Dishwashing and laundry soaps and detergents.

(17) Scouring powder.

(18) Bread.

(19) Meat.

(20) Poultry.

(21) Fish.

(22) Dairy products.

(23) Eggs.

(24) Fruits and vegetables.

(25) Baked beans.

(26) Rice, corn meal and maize.

(d) Price per measure shall be expressed as follows:

(1) Price per ounce, for commodities whose net quantity is stated in units of ounces or pounds, and whose total weight is less than one pound.

(2) Price per pound for commodities whose net quantity is stated in units of pounds and whose total weight exceeds one pound.

(3) Price per unit for commodities whose net quantity is stated by numerical count.

(4) Price per fluid ounce for commodities sold by fluid ounces, pints, quarts or gallons, or combinations thereof.

(5) Prices per foot, yard, per square foot, or per square yard, for commodities whose net quantities are stated in units of length or area.

(e) All required price information shall be clear and conspicuous and shall be on a stamp, tag or label, directly above, below, adjacent to, or on the consumer commodity to which it relates, in such a manner as to clearly indicate the commodity to which it applies.

(f) The stamp, tag or label shall include the unit price on the left side of a horizontal label, or on the lower part of a vertical label, and shall state the unit being utilized. The total selling price shall be included on the right side of a horizontal label, or the upper portion of a vertical label.

(g) The packaged commodities listed in subsection (c) of this section, to which these provisions apply, shall be periodically reviewed by the Director who shall, by regulation, make additions thereto where he determines that additional commodities are necessary for personal, family or household use.

(h) The provisions of subsections (b) and (f) of this section shall not apply to any business establishment whose gross receipts from all sources in the preceding calendar year did not exceed $1,000,000.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 171 Misrepresentations; display of price(a) Whenever any commodity or service is sold, or is offered, exposed or advertised for sale, by weight, measure or count, the price shall not be misrepresented, nor shall the price be represented in any manner calculated or tending to mislead or deceive an actual or prospective purchaser. Whenever an advertised, posted or labeled price per unit of weight, measure or count includes a fraction of a cent, all elements of the fraction shall be prominently displayed and the numeral or numerals expressing the fraction shall be immediately adjacent to, of the same general design and style as, and at least one-half the height and width of the numerals representing the whole cents.

(b) The packaged commodities listed in subsection (c) of this section which are necessary for personal, family or household use, shall not be offered for sale at retail, unless there is posted in a conspicuous place at or near the point of sale, the price per ounce, inch, pint, or other applicable unit of measurement of the contents and the total sale price. Any packaged commodity whose net weight is one whole unit or two units and which has the retail price plainly marked thereon, shall be exempt from the requirements of this section. Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection shall be subject to an administrative fine imposed pursuant to the provisions of section 3(4) of this title, except that the amount shall be not less than $50.00 nor more than $300.00. Each commodity not properly labeled shall be considered a separate violation. The Director shall submit an annual report to the Governor and Legislature relative to action taken by him pursuant to this subsection.

(c) The packaged commodities which shall not be sold in retail stores unless there is posted, as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the price per unit shall include:

(1) Canned and bottled vegetables and fruits which do not require refrigerated storage.

(2) Canned and bottled real and imitation vegetable and fruit juices, which do not require refrigerated storage.

(3) Canned and bottled tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomato puree and other related tomato products which do not require refrigerated storage.

(4) Canned and bottled baby foods which do not require refrigerated storage.

(5) Cooking and salad oils.

(6) Canned and bottled salmon, tuna and sardines which do not require refrigerated storage.

(7) Jams, jellies and preserves.

(8) Peanut butter.

(9) Carbonated beverages.

(10) Coffee, instant and regular.

(11) Dog and cat food.

(12) Breakfast cereals

(does not include corn meal, rice, maize).

(13) Cake, pie crust and other pastry mixes.

(14) Macaroni, spaghetti and other pasta products

(does not include prepared or preflavored convenience pasta foods).

(15) Paper towels, napkins, facial tissues, plates, paper cups and toilet paper.

(16) Dishwashing and laundry soaps and detergents.

(17) Scouring powder.

(18) Bread.

(19) Meat.

(20) Poultry.

(21) Fish.

(22) Dairy products.

(23) Eggs.

(24) Fruits and vegetables.

(25) Baked beans.

(26) Rice, corn meal and maize.

(d) Price per measure shall be expressed as follows:

(1) Price per ounce, for commodities whose net quantity is stated in units of ounces or pounds, and whose total weight is less than one pound.

(2) Price per pound for commodities whose net quantity is stated in units of pounds and whose total weight exceeds one pound.

(3) Price per unit for commodities whose net quantity is stated by numerical count.

(4) Price per fluid ounce for commodities sold by fluid ounces, pints, quarts or gallons, or combinations thereof.

(5) Prices per foot, yard, per square foot, or per square yard, for commodities whose net quantities are stated in units of length or area.

(e) All required price information shall be clear and conspicuous and shall be on a stamp, tag or label, directly above, below, adjacent to, or on the consumer commodity to which it relates, in such a manner as to clearly indicate the commodity to which it applies.

(f) The stamp, tag or label shall include the unit price on the left side of a horizontal label, or on the lower part of a vertical label, and shall state the unit being utilized. The total selling price shall be included on the right side of a horizontal label, or the upper portion of a vertical label.

(g) The packaged commodities listed in subsection (c) of this section, to which these provisions apply, shall be periodically reviewed by the Director who shall, by regulation, make additions thereto where he determines that additional commodities are necessary for personal, family or household use.

(h) The provisions of subsections (b) and (f) of this section shall not apply to any business establishment whose gross receipts from all sources in the preceding calendar year did not exceed $1,000,000.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 171a Meters required on trucks transporting and dispensing liquidsAll tank trucks used in the transportation and sale of water, petroleum products or any other liquids to United States Virgin Islands' consumers shall be equipped with meters to accurately measure the number of gallons or other appropriate liquid measure being dispensed to the consumer. Each purchaser of water, petroleum products or other liquid dispensed from a tank truck shall be furnished with a written statement at the point of sale setting forth the number of gallons or other appropriate liquid measure furnished to him and the price thereof, including total purchase price. Any person, including corporations, partnerships, or other business entities, which sells water, petroleum products or other liquids by tank truck or similar vehicle in violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) and imprisonment for not more than thirty days. The Director shall adopt rules and regulations establishing minimum performance standards for the meters to be utilized in complying with the provisions of this section.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 171a Meters required on trucks transporting and dispensing liquidsAll tank trucks used in the transportation and sale of water, petroleum products or any other liquids to United States Virgin Islands' consumers shall be equipped with meters to accurately measure the number of gallons or other appropriate liquid measure being dispensed to the consumer. Each purchaser of water, petroleum products or other liquid dispensed from a tank truck shall be furnished with a written statement at the point of sale setting forth the number of gallons or other appropriate liquid measure furnished to him and the price thereof, including total purchase price. Any person, including corporations, partnerships, or other business entities, which sells water, petroleum products or other liquids by tank truck or similar vehicle in violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) and imprisonment for not more than thirty days. The Director shall adopt rules and regulations establishing minimum performance standards for the meters to be utilized in complying with the provisions of this section.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 172 Instruction of enforcement officersAny person who shall hinder or obstruct in any way the Director, deputy directors or any inspector in the performance of his official duties shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 172 Instruction of enforcement officersAny person who shall hinder or obstruct in any way the Director, deputy directors or any inspector in the performance of his official duties shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 173 Prohibited actsAny person who, by himself or by his employee or agent or as the employee or agent of another person, performs any of the following enumerated acts shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(1) Use or have in possession for the purpose of using for any commercial purpose specified in section 158 of this title, sell, offer or expose for sale or hire, or have in possession for the purpose of selling or hiring an incorrect weight or measure or any device or instrument used or calculated to falsify any weight or measure.

(2) Use or have in possession for current use in the buying or selling of any commodity or thing, or for the hire or award, or in the computation of any basic charge or payment for services rendered on the basis of weight or measure, or in the determination of weight and measure when a charge is made for such determination, any weight or measure that has not been tested and sealed by the Director unless:

(A) Written notice has been given to the Director to the effect that such weight or measure is available for examination, or is due for reexamination;

(B) Permission to use such weight or measure has been received from the Director; or

(C) Such weight or measure has been exempted from sealing or testing requirements by the provisions of section 158 or by regulation of the Director issued under the authority of section 156 of this section.

(3) Dispose of any rejected or condemned weight or measure in a manner contrary to law or regulation.

(4) Removal from any weight or measure, contrary to law or regulation, any tag, seal or mark placed thereon by the Director.

(5) Sell, or offer or expose for sale, less than the quantity he represents of any commodity, thing or service.

(6) Take more than the quantity he represents of any commodity, thing or service when, as buyer, he furnishes the weight or measure by means of which the amount of the commodity, thing or service is determined.

(7) Advertise, or offer, or expose for sale, or sell any commodity, thing or service in a condition or manner contrary to law.

(8) Use in retail trade, except in the preparation of packages put up in advance of sale and of medical prescriptions, a weight or measure that is not so positioned that its indications may be accurately read and the weighing or measuring operation observed from some position which may reasonably be occupied by a customer.

(9) Violate any provision of this subchapter or of any rule or regulation duly promulgated under the provisions of this subchapter for which a specific penalty has not been prescribed.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 173 Prohibited actsAny person who, by himself or by his employee or agent or as the employee or agent of another person, performs any of the following enumerated acts shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(1) Use or have in possession for the purpose of using for any commercial purpose specified in section 158 of this title, sell, offer or expose for sale or hire, or have in possession for the purpose of selling or hiring an incorrect weight or measure or any device or instrument used or calculated to falsify any weight or measure.

(2) Use or have in possession for current use in the buying or selling of any commodity or thing, or for the hire or award, or in the computation of any basic charge or payment for services rendered on the basis of weight or measure, or in the determination of weight and measure when a charge is made for such determination, any weight or measure that has not been tested and sealed by the Director unless:

(A) Written notice has been given to the Director to the effect that such weight or measure is available for examination, or is due for reexamination;

(B) Permission to use such weight or measure has been received from the Director; or

(C) Such weight or measure has been exempted from sealing or testing requirements by the provisions of section 158 or by regulation of the Director issued under the authority of section 156 of this section.

(3) Dispose of any rejected or condemned weight or measure in a manner contrary to law or regulation.

(4) Removal from any weight or measure, contrary to law or regulation, any tag, seal or mark placed thereon by the Director.

(5) Sell, or offer or expose for sale, less than the quantity he represents of any commodity, thing or service.

(6) Take more than the quantity he represents of any commodity, thing or service when, as buyer, he furnishes the weight or measure by means of which the amount of the commodity, thing or service is determined.

(7) Advertise, or offer, or expose for sale, or sell any commodity, thing or service in a condition or manner contrary to law.

(8) Use in retail trade, except in the preparation of packages put up in advance of sale and of medical prescriptions, a weight or measure that is not so positioned that its indications may be accurately read and the weighing or measuring operation observed from some position which may reasonably be occupied by a customer.

(9) Violate any provision of this subchapter or of any rule or regulation duly promulgated under the provisions of this subchapter for which a specific penalty has not been prescribed.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 174 InjunctionThe Director is authorized to apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for, and such court upon hearing and for cause shown may grant, a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating any provisions of this subchapter.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 174 InjunctionThe Director is authorized to apply to any court of competent jurisdiction for, and such court upon hearing and for cause shown may grant, a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating any provisions of this subchapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 175 PresumptionsProof of the existence of a weight, measure or a weighing or measuring device in or about any building, enclosure, stand or vehicle in which or from which it is shown that buying or selling is commonly carried on, in the absence of conclusive evidence to the contrary, shall be presumptive proof of the regular use of such weight, measure or weighing or measuring device for commercial purposes and of such use by the person in charge of such building, enclosure, stand or vehicle.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 175 PresumptionsProof of the existence of a weight, measure or a weighing or measuring device in or about any building, enclosure, stand or vehicle in which or from which it is shown that buying or selling is commonly carried on, in the absence of conclusive evidence to the contrary, shall be presumptive proof of the regular use of such weight, measure or weighing or measuring device for commercial purposes and of such use by the person in charge of such building, enclosure, stand or vehicle.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 176 Certain price increases prohibited(a) Price increases for consumer goods previously offered for sale to consumers are prohibited.

(b) Definitions-as used in this section:

(1) ‘Retail establishment‘ means a store selling primarily items packaged individually, including food.

(2) ‘Consumer goods‘ means tangible items that are used or brought for use primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

(3) ‘Offered for sale‘ means any attempt by advertisement or other means to induce consumers to purchase consumer goods by placing the consumer goods on display in a retail establishment.

(c) Limitations:

(1) Where consumer goods were offered for sale at a reduced price immediately prior to the contemplated price increase, this section shall not apply if the price at which the consumer goods are sold does not exceed the price at which such consumer goods were offered for sale immediately prior to the sale at reduced prices.

(2) When retail establishments offer consumer goods for sale and such goods are displayed at more than one price, through the use of signs or displays or by any other method, then the lower price shall control.

(3) No retail establishment shall offer or display consumer goods for retail sale unless such goods or the shelf on which they are displayed indicates the purchase price of such goods.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 176 Certain price increases prohibited(a) Price increases for consumer goods previously offered for sale to consumers are prohibited.

(b) Definitions-as used in this section:

(1) ‘Retail establishment‘ means a store selling primarily items packaged individually, including food.

(2) ‘Consumer goods‘ means tangible items that are used or brought for use primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

(3) ‘Offered for sale‘ means any attempt by advertisement or other means to induce consumers to purchase consumer goods by placing the consumer goods on display in a retail establishment.

(c) Limitations:

(1) Where consumer goods were offered for sale at a reduced price immediately prior to the contemplated price increase, this section shall not apply if the price at which the consumer goods are sold does not exceed the price at which such consumer goods were offered for sale immediately prior to the sale at reduced prices.

(2) When retail establishments offer consumer goods for sale and such goods are displayed at more than one price, through the use of signs or displays or by any other method, then the lower price shall control.

(3) No retail establishment shall offer or display consumer goods for retail sale unless such goods or the shelf on which they are displayed indicates the purchase price of such goods.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 177 Pull dated items(a) As used in this section:

(1) ‘Food commodity in package form‘ means a food commodity put up or packaged in any manner in advance of sale suitable for either wholesale or retail sale.

(2) ‘Label‘ means any written, printed, or graphic matter affixed to, applied to, attached to, blown into, formed, molded into, embossed on, or appearing upon or adjacent to a consumer package containing any consumer commodity, for purposes of branding, identifying, or giving any information with respect to the commodity or the contents of the package.

(3) ‘Package‘ means any container or wrapper enclosing any commodity for sale, delivery, or display, but does not include shipping containers or wrappings used solely for the transportation of that commodity.

(4) ‘Perishable or semi-perishable food commodity‘ means any food commodity in package form which the manufacturer or packer determines as having a significant risk of spoilage, loss of value, or loss of palatability within 60 days of the date of packaging, any food commodity in package form which is required to be packaged with a pull date by the federal government, or any food commodity in package form which the Director determines is a perishable or semiperishable food as defined by the Federal Pure Food and Drug Act.

(5) ‘Pull date‘ means the last date on which a consumer package or perishable or semiperishable food commodity should be sold without the risk of spoilage, loss of value or of palatability.

(b) Selling or offering any consumer package, food commodity in package form or perishable or semiperishable food commodity in package form which is labeled with an expired pull date is prohibited.

(c) Commodities subject to the provisions of this section shall be labeled with the month and then the date of the month followed by the year in which the risk of spoilage, loss of value, or loss of palatability can reasonably be expected to occur. The month must be identified by letters or by digits 1 through 12. The day of the month must be separated from the letters or digits indicating the month and the year by a space, dash, asterisk or other symbol. With respect to pasteurized milk, the pull-date shall not exceed ten (10) days beginning after midnight on the day on which the milk was pasteurized. However, the ten (10) day pull-date requirement shall not apply to sterile milk.

(d) The date required by this section must be placed on each package made available to purchasers. This date shall be presented in a size, manner and style clearly and easily legible to the purchaser at the time of making or accepting a selection for purchase.

(e) The Director shall inspect packages or amounts of commodities kept, offered, or exposed for sale, sold, or in the process of delivery to determine whether they possess expired pull dates and whether they are kept, offered, or exposed for sale or sold in accordance with law. When such packages or commodities are found to possess expired pull dates, or are found to be kept, offered or exposed for sale in violation of law, the Director shall order that the items not be sold and shall mark or tag said items to show them to be in violation of law. The Director may employ sampling procedures whereby compliance of a given lot of packages will be determined on the basis of the result obtained on a sample selected from and representative of such lot. No person shall: (1) sell or keep, offer or expose for sale any package or commodity in package from which has been ordered not for sale or marked or tagged as provided in this section, unless and until such package or amount of commodity in package form is or has been brought into full compliance with all legal requirements, or (2) dispose of any package or amount of commodity in package form that has been ordered not for sale or marked and tagged as provided in this section and that has subsequently been brought into full compliance with all legal requirements until written authorization for such disposal has been issued by the Director; provided, that nothing in this section shall prohibit the Director from authorizing disposal when, in his discretion, the best interests of the public will be served by such authorization, and provided, further, that nothing in this section shall prohibit the supplier of the packaged or commodity found to be in violation of law from removing the product from sale and returning same to the manufacturer for credit or refund. Proof of such return by the supplier to the manufacturer shall be submitted to the Director within 15 working days after removal of the product for sale.

(f) Should any person be found in violation of the Director's stop-use or stop-removal Order, as provided in this subchapter, 24 hours after receipt of said Order, the Director shall immediately revoke said person's business license and shall insure that said person cease operation until found in compliance with the Order by the Director; provided, that no administrative fine or punishment may be levied under this section for any item which is designated perishable or semiperishable by the Director until a hearing has been held upon notice to all interested parties 90 days after the Director orders said item to be labeled with a pull date by publishing said Order in two newspapers of general circulation within the United States Virgin Islands for three (3) consecutive days. Any hearing or review of the Director's decisions or orders by any court of competent jurisdiction shall be limited to insure that the Director's actions complied with the law. Upon a finding of compliance the Director's decisions and order shall be valid and enforced.

(g) The United States Virgin Islands Government, the Consumer Services Administration, its Director and employees shall not be held liable for the removal or destruction of consumer packages, food commodities in package form, or perishable or semiperishable food commodities in package form that are in violation of this section.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 177 Pull dated items(a) As used in this section:

(1) ‘Food commodity in package form‘ means a food commodity put up or packaged in any manner in advance of sale suitable for either wholesale or retail sale.

(2) ‘Label‘ means any written, printed, or graphic matter affixed to, applied to, attached to, blown into, formed, molded into, embossed on, or appearing upon or adjacent to a consumer package containing any consumer commodity, for purposes of branding, identifying, or giving any information with respect to the commodity or the contents of the package.

(3) ‘Package‘ means any container or wrapper enclosing any commodity for sale, delivery, or display, but does not include shipping containers or wrappings used solely for the transportation of that commodity.

(4) ‘Perishable or semi-perishable food commodity‘ means any food commodity in package form which the manufacturer or packer determines as having a significant risk of spoilage, loss of value, or loss of palatability within 60 days of the date of packaging, any food commodity in package form which is required to be packaged with a pull date by the federal government, or any food commodity in package form which the Director determines is a perishable or semiperishable food as defined by the Federal Pure Food and Drug Act.

(5) ‘Pull date‘ means the last date on which a consumer package or perishable or semiperishable food commodity should be sold without the risk of spoilage, loss of value or of palatability.

(b) Selling or offering any consumer package, food commodity in package form or perishable or semiperishable food commodity in package form which is labeled with an expired pull date is prohibited.

(c) Commodities subject to the provisions of this section shall be labeled with the month and then the date of the month followed by the year in which the risk of spoilage, loss of value, or loss of palatability can reasonably be expected to occur. The month must be identified by letters or by digits 1 through 12. The day of the month must be separated from the letters or digits indicating the month and the year by a space, dash, asterisk or other symbol. With respect to pasteurized milk, the pull-date shall not exceed ten (10) days beginning after midnight on the day on which the milk was pasteurized. However, the ten (10) day pull-date requirement shall not apply to sterile milk.

(d) The date required by this section must be placed on each package made available to purchasers. This date shall be presented in a size, manner and style clearly and easily legible to the purchaser at the time of making or accepting a selection for purchase.

(e) The Director shall inspect packages or amounts of commodities kept, offered, or exposed for sale, sold, or in the process of delivery to determine whether they possess expired pull dates and whether they are kept, offered, or exposed for sale or sold in accordance with law. When such packages or commodities are found to possess expired pull dates, or are found to be kept, offered or exposed for sale in violation of law, the Director shall order that the items not be sold and shall mark or tag said items to show them to be in violation of law. The Director may employ sampling procedures whereby compliance of a given lot of packages will be determined on the basis of the result obtained on a sample selected from and representative of such lot. No person shall: (1) sell or keep, offer or expose for sale any package or commodity in package from which has been ordered not for sale or marked or tagged as provided in this section, unless and until such package or amount of commodity in package form is or has been brought into full compliance with all legal requirements, or (2) dispose of any package or amount of commodity in package form that has been ordered not for sale or marked and tagged as provided in this section and that has subsequently been brought into full compliance with all legal requirements until written authorization for such disposal has been issued by the Director; provided, that nothing in this section shall prohibit the Director from authorizing disposal when, in his discretion, the best interests of the public will be served by such authorization, and provided, further, that nothing in this section shall prohibit the supplier of the packaged or commodity found to be in violation of law from removing the product from sale and returning same to the manufacturer for credit or refund. Proof of such return by the supplier to the manufacturer shall be submitted to the Director within 15 working days after removal of the product for sale.

(f) Should any person be found in violation of the Director's stop-use or stop-removal Order, as provided in this subchapter, 24 hours after receipt of said Order, the Director shall immediately revoke said person's business license and shall insure that said person cease operation until found in compliance with the Order by the Director; provided, that no administrative fine or punishment may be levied under this section for any item which is designated perishable or semiperishable by the Director until a hearing has been held upon notice to all interested parties 90 days after the Director orders said item to be labeled with a pull date by publishing said Order in two newspapers of general circulation within the United States Virgin Islands for three (3) consecutive days. Any hearing or review of the Director's decisions or orders by any court of competent jurisdiction shall be limited to insure that the Director's actions complied with the law. Upon a finding of compliance the Director's decisions and order shall be valid and enforced.

(g) The United States Virgin Islands Government, the Consumer Services Administration, its Director and employees shall not be held liable for the removal or destruction of consumer packages, food commodities in package form, or perishable or semiperishable food commodities in package form that are in violation of this section.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 178 Prescription drugs(a) Any Pharmacist, when dispensing a prescription, shall indicate on the container, the month, followed by the year, in which the risk of spoilage, loss of value, or loss of effectiveness of the prescription can reasonably be expected to occur.

(b) The date required by subsection (a) of this section shall be identical to the pull date of the dispensing bottle and shall be presented in a size, manner and style easily legible to the purchaser.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 178 Prescription drugs(a) Any Pharmacist, when dispensing a prescription, shall indicate on the container, the month, followed by the year, in which the risk of spoilage, loss of value, or loss of effectiveness of the prescription can reasonably be expected to occur.

(b) The date required by subsection (a) of this section shall be identical to the pull date of the dispensing bottle and shall be presented in a size, manner and style easily legible to the purchaser.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 180 DefinitionsAs used in this subchapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a) ‘Authorized distributor‘ means every person who is engaged in the wholesale or retail sale or distribution of motor vehicles by concession or agreement with the manufacturer; for purposes of this chapter the term ‘distributor‘ includes a ‘manufacturer‘.

(b) ‘Commissioner‘ means the Commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs of the Virgin Islands of the United States.

(c) ‘Comparable motor vehicle‘ means a new motor vehicle which is identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced.

(d) ‘Consumer‘ or ‘customer‘ means any person:

(1) who purchases, other than for resale, a motor vehicle for personal, family, or household use;

(2) to whom a motor vehicle is transferred for personal, family, or household use during the term of the express warranty applicable to the motor vehicle; or

(3) any other person entitled by the terms of the express warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.

(e) ‘New car dealer‘ means any person or business selling or offering motor vehicles for sale which has an express or implied contractual relationship with a manufacturer or distributor, or which holds itself out to the public as having an express or implied contractual relationship with a manufacturer.

In order to operate as a ‘new car dealer‘ there must be a permanent licensed place of business with personnel, sales areas, service areas, and technical equipment appropriate to the needs arising from the responsibilities to the consumer resulting from this chapter.

(f) ‘Demo or demonstrator‘ means a motor vehicle, the title of which has not been transferred to a buyer, but which has been driven more than 500 miles by the dealer for demonstration or promotional purposes. Such demonstrator (demo) shall have affixed proper documentation indicating that the vehicle is a demonstrator. The purchaser of such a vehicle shall be entitled to the applicable manufacturer's warranty.

(g) ‘Express warranty‘ means any written warranty, of the manufacturer. The term warranty pertains to the obligations of the manufacturer in relation to the use of an automobile for personal, family or household purposes throughout the duration of the warranty period.

(h) ‘Manufacturer‘ means any person or business, which is engaged in the manufacture, making, assembly and distribution of motor vehicles, including its subsidiaries and affiliates.

(i) ‘Manufacturer's representative‘ means any person who is employed by the manufacturer or any subsidiary or affiliated corporations thereof.

(j) ‘Motor vehicle‘ means any self propelled vehicle primarily designed for transportation of persons or property on highways and roads. This does not include vehicles run only upon tracks, off road vehicles, trucks over 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight, or the live-in facilities of recreational vehicles.

(k) ‘New motor vehicle‘ means a motor vehicle, the equitable or legal title to which has never been transferred by a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer to an ultimate purchaser.

(l) ‘Nonconformity‘ means a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle, but does not include a defect or condition which is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of a new motor vehicle.

(m) ‘Purchase Price‘ means the price the consumer paid for his vehicle, including cash and the value of any trade-in.

(n) ‘Reasonable allowance for use‘ means that amount directly attributed to use by the consumer at the time of replacement or refund. This amount shall be an amount equal to the depreciation in the value of the motor vehicle for the period during which the motor vehicle is used by the consumer, calculated by the straight line depreciation method over seven years.

(o) ‘Reasonable number of attempts‘ means that the dealer has under the express warranty three attempts and the manufacturer one attempt, for a total of four attempts, or 40 cumulative business days out of service, to successfully repair nonconformities.

(p) ‘Repair shop‘ means a person or company who, for compensation, offers to the public, and engages in the business of, diagnosing or repairing malfunctions of, or damage to, motor vehicles, or who performs maintenance services on motor vehicles.

(q) ‘Extended warranty plan‘ means a contract in writing which becomes effective at the termination of the manufacturer's base warranty period, and which extends warranty coverage, for any period of time or for any specific mileage, to refund, repair, replace, maintain or take other action with respect to a motor vehicle, which contract is provided at an extra charge beyond the price of the motor vehicle.

(r) ‘Substantial impairment‘ results when a new or used motor vehicle is rendered unreliable, or unsafe for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes, arising from the design or manufacture of the vehicle.

(s) ‘Ultimate purchaser‘ means, with respect to any new motor vehicle, the first person, other than a dealer, who purchases a new motor vehicle for other than commercial or resale purposes.

(t) ‘Used car dealer‘ means any person or business which sells or offers for sale, on a continuing basis, used motor vehicles.

In order to operate as a ‘used car dealer‘ there must be a permanent licensed place of business with personnel, sales areas, service areas, and technical equipment appropriate to the need arising from the responsibilities to the consumer as stated in this chapter, or the person or business operating as a ‘use car dealer‘ must have in effect a contractual agreement, satisfactory to the Commissioner, to satisfy the purpose of this section.

This does not include businesses or individuals who sell vehicles that they purchased for their own use which they have used personally or commercially other than in a new or used car business.

(u) ‘Used motor vehicle‘ means any motor vehicle which has been previously titled or registered.

(v) ‘Used motor vehicle warranty‘ means any written undertaking, in connection with the sale by a dealer of a used motor vehicle, to refund, repair, replace, maintain or take other action with respect to the used motor vehicle.

(w) ‘Warranty period‘ or ‘warranty term‘ means the period ending one year after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of a new motor vehicle, or the term specified in the ‘base‘ warranty offered by the respective manufacturer, whichever is greater.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 180 DefinitionsAs used in this subchapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a) ‘Authorized distributor‘ means every person who is engaged in the wholesale or retail sale or distribution of motor vehicles by concession or agreement with the manufacturer; for purposes of this chapter the term ‘distributor‘ includes a ‘manufacturer‘.

(b) ‘Commissioner‘ means the Commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs of the Virgin Islands of the United States.

(c) ‘Comparable motor vehicle‘ means a new motor vehicle which is identical or reasonably equivalent to the motor vehicle to be replaced.

(d) ‘Consumer‘ or ‘customer‘ means any person:

(1) who purchases, other than for resale, a motor vehicle for personal, family, or household use;

(2) to whom a motor vehicle is transferred for personal, family, or household use during the term of the express warranty applicable to the motor vehicle; or

(3) any other person entitled by the terms of the express warranty to enforce the obligations of the warranty.

(e) ‘New car dealer‘ means any person or business selling or offering motor vehicles for sale which has an express or implied contractual relationship with a manufacturer or distributor, or which holds itself out to the public as having an express or implied contractual relationship with a manufacturer.

In order to operate as a ‘new car dealer‘ there must be a permanent licensed place of business with personnel, sales areas, service areas, and technical equipment appropriate to the needs arising from the responsibilities to the consumer resulting from this chapter.

(f) ‘Demo or demonstrator‘ means a motor vehicle, the title of which has not been transferred to a buyer, but which has been driven more than 500 miles by the dealer for demonstration or promotional purposes. Such demonstrator (demo) shall have affixed proper documentation indicating that the vehicle is a demonstrator. The purchaser of such a vehicle shall be entitled to the applicable manufacturer's warranty.

(g) ‘Express warranty‘ means any written warranty, of the manufacturer. The term warranty pertains to the obligations of the manufacturer in relation to the use of an automobile for personal, family or household purposes throughout the duration of the warranty period.

(h) ‘Manufacturer‘ means any person or business, which is engaged in the manufacture, making, assembly and distribution of motor vehicles, including its subsidiaries and affiliates.

(i) ‘Manufacturer's representative‘ means any person who is employed by the manufacturer or any subsidiary or affiliated corporations thereof.

(j) ‘Motor vehicle‘ means any self propelled vehicle primarily designed for transportation of persons or property on highways and roads. This does not include vehicles run only upon tracks, off road vehicles, trucks over 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight, or the live-in facilities of recreational vehicles.

(k) ‘New motor vehicle‘ means a motor vehicle, the equitable or legal title to which has never been transferred by a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer to an ultimate purchaser.

(l) ‘Nonconformity‘ means a defect or condition that substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of a new motor vehicle, but does not include a defect or condition which is the result of abuse, neglect, or unauthorized modification or alteration of a new motor vehicle.

(m) ‘Purchase Price‘ means the price the consumer paid for his vehicle, including cash and the value of any trade-in.

(n) ‘Reasonable allowance for use‘ means that amount directly attributed to use by the consumer at the time of replacement or refund. This amount shall be an amount equal to the depreciation in the value of the motor vehicle for the period during which the motor vehicle is used by the consumer, calculated by the straight line depreciation method over seven years.

(o) ‘Reasonable number of attempts‘ means that the dealer has under the express warranty three attempts and the manufacturer one attempt, for a total of four attempts, or 40 cumulative business days out of service, to successfully repair nonconformities.

(p) ‘Repair shop‘ means a person or company who, for compensation, offers to the public, and engages in the business of, diagnosing or repairing malfunctions of, or damage to, motor vehicles, or who performs maintenance services on motor vehicles.

(q) ‘Extended warranty plan‘ means a contract in writing which becomes effective at the termination of the manufacturer's base warranty period, and which extends warranty coverage, for any period of time or for any specific mileage, to refund, repair, replace, maintain or take other action with respect to a motor vehicle, which contract is provided at an extra charge beyond the price of the motor vehicle.

(r) ‘Substantial impairment‘ results when a new or used motor vehicle is rendered unreliable, or unsafe for ordinary use or reasonable intended purposes, arising from the design or manufacture of the vehicle.

(s) ‘Ultimate purchaser‘ means, with respect to any new motor vehicle, the first person, other than a dealer, who purchases a new motor vehicle for other than commercial or resale purposes.

(t) ‘Used car dealer‘ means any person or business which sells or offers for sale, on a continuing basis, used motor vehicles.

In order to operate as a ‘used car dealer‘ there must be a permanent licensed place of business with personnel, sales areas, service areas, and technical equipment appropriate to the need arising from the responsibilities to the consumer as stated in this chapter, or the person or business operating as a ‘use car dealer‘ must have in effect a contractual agreement, satisfactory to the Commissioner, to satisfy the purpose of this section.

This does not include businesses or individuals who sell vehicles that they purchased for their own use which they have used personally or commercially other than in a new or used car business.

(u) ‘Used motor vehicle‘ means any motor vehicle which has been previously titled or registered.

(v) ‘Used motor vehicle warranty‘ means any written undertaking, in connection with the sale by a dealer of a used motor vehicle, to refund, repair, replace, maintain or take other action with respect to the used motor vehicle.

(w) ‘Warranty period‘ or ‘warranty term‘ means the period ending one year after the date of the original delivery to the consumer of a new motor vehicle, or the term specified in the ‘base‘ warranty offered by the respective manufacturer, whichever is greater.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 181 New motor vehicles; manufacturer's express warranties; buy-backs and replacements(a) New motor vehicles

(1) Each new motor vehicle which is sold in the United States Virgin Islands must conform to all applicable warranties issued by the manufacturer.

(2) If a new motor vehicle sold in the United States Virgin Islands does not conform to all express applicable warranties, and the consumer reports the nonconformity, in writing, to the manufacturer, its distributor, or dealer, during the term of the express warranty, then the manufacturer, its agent, distributor, or dealer shall, in accordance with the terms of the express warranty, make the repairs necessary to conform the motor vehicle to the express warranty at no charge to the consumer, provided that the manufacturer's warranty does not require a charge, and notwithstanding the fact that the repairs may occur after the expiration of the term of the express warranty. If the effort to repair represents or is the third attempt to cure the same nonconformity, and the buyer has notified the manufacturer's authorized agent, distributor, or dealer, then the agent, distributor, or dealer shall forward written notice thereof to the manufacturer.

(3) If a new motor vehicle, not sold in the United States Virgin Islands, does not conform to any applicable express warranty, and the express warranty stipulated that any authorized dealer will make repairs to the vehicle, then no authorized dealer may refuse to make repairs to the vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's warranty and in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (2) stated above.

(b) The manufacturer's standard warranty applicable in the United States shall apply to all vehicles imported into the United States Virgin Islands.

(c)

(1) If the manufacturer, distributor, or dealer is unable to conform any motor vehicle sold in the United States Virgin Islands to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition which substantially impairs the use and market value of the motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of documented attempts, then the manufacturer shall replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle. The replacement vehicle will be assigned the license plates and registration of the original vehicle. The records at the Motor Vehicle Bureau shall be changed to show the description of the replacement vehicle. If the consumer chooses reimbursement, then the manufacturer shall accept return of the motor vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price, including all trade-in allowances, incidental costs, including interest and less a reasonable allowance for any damage not attributable to normal wear or usage which shall be determined by an appraiser if the parties fail to agree. Taxes resulting from any difference in the price or vehicle weight shall be paid by the consumer or refunded to the consumer at the time of transfer. A reasonable allowance for use shall include that amount directly attributable to the use by the consumer up to the time of replacement or refund. This amount may not exceed an amount equal to the depreciation in value of the motor vehicle for the period during which the motor vehicle is used by the consumer, calculated by a straight line depreciation method over seven years.

(2) Refunds shall be made to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear in the records of the lien held at the office of the Lieutenant Governor. The consumer shall provide the manufacturer/dealer with evidence of clear title or with copies of any security instruments or agreements. In the event of clear title, a refund shall be made to the consumer. In the event of a lien, the refund shall be made jointly to the consumer and the lienholder.

(3) In the alternative, if the consumer chooses replacement, the manufacturer may elect to replace the motor vehicle with a comparably priced motor vehicle, with such adjustments in price as the parties may agree to. An adjustment for reasonable use as defined in section 180, subsection (n), of this chapter, shall be made after the first 90 days. In the event the vehicle to be replaced is subject to a lien, the consumer shall present evidence to the dealer of free and clear title prior to receipt of a replacement or refund. The dealer shall provide the consumer with all documents necessary to facilitate production of free and clear title. It is an affirmative defense to any claim under this section that the nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, unauthorized modifications or alteration of the motor vehicle.

(d)

(1) It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of documented attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties, if:

(A) The dealer has, under express warranty, made three attempts and the manufacturer one attempt, for a total of four attempts, to successfully repair nonconformities; or

(B) The motor vehicle is out of service to successfully repair nonconformities for a cumulative total of 40 business days, whichever comes first. It shall be presumed that a nonconformity has been successfully repaired if it does not reoccur within 90 days of its alleged repair or 3,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Any reoccurrence of the same nonconformity after the expiration of the above stated period shall be considered a new conformity.

(2) The term of the express warranty and the 40 day repair period provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection, shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of war, invasion, earthquake, hurricane, strike, fire, flood or other disaster, which delays repair service. The presumption regarding a reasonable number of attempts provided for in this subsection shall not apply against a manufacturer if the manufacturer, or its agent, distributor, or dealer has been denied a reasonable opportunity to repair the alleged nonconformity.

(e) Nothing in this subchapter shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available to the consumer under any other law.

(f) Any agreement entered into by a consumer for the purchase of a new motor vehicle, which purports to waive, limit, or disclaim the rights set forth in this section shall be void as contrary to public policy. This right shall inure to a subsequent transferee of a new motor vehicle, except where such a transfer of warranty is specifically prohibited by the terms of the express warranty. If a dealer fails to provide a written warranty as required by this section, the dealer shall nevertheless be deemed to have given the warranty as a matter of law.

(g) A court may award to a prevailing consumer, as part of the judgment, a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred by the consumer in connection with the commencement and prosecution of action.

(h) A court may assess costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, against a consumer who is deemed to have filed a claim in bad faith, or in the absence of a justifiable issue of fact or law, or for the sole purpose of harassment.

(i) Whenever the repair work must take more than five business days from the written notification of the nonconformity, the manufacturer, or distributor, shall be required to compensate the consumer in an amount sufficient to rent a vehicle until the nonconformity is successfully repaired.

(j) If the car dealer successfully repairs a nonconformity, the repair shall be guaranteed for a period of 90 days or the remainder of the warranty, whichever is greater.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 181 New motor vehicles; manufacturer's express warranties; buy-backs and replacements(a) New motor vehicles

(1) Each new motor vehicle which is sold in the United States Virgin Islands must conform to all applicable warranties issued by the manufacturer.

(2) If a new motor vehicle sold in the United States Virgin Islands does not conform to all express applicable warranties, and the consumer reports the nonconformity, in writing, to the manufacturer, its distributor, or dealer, during the term of the express warranty, then the manufacturer, its agent, distributor, or dealer shall, in accordance with the terms of the express warranty, make the repairs necessary to conform the motor vehicle to the express warranty at no charge to the consumer, provided that the manufacturer's warranty does not require a charge, and notwithstanding the fact that the repairs may occur after the expiration of the term of the express warranty. If the effort to repair represents or is the third attempt to cure the same nonconformity, and the buyer has notified the manufacturer's authorized agent, distributor, or dealer, then the agent, distributor, or dealer shall forward written notice thereof to the manufacturer.

(3) If a new motor vehicle, not sold in the United States Virgin Islands, does not conform to any applicable express warranty, and the express warranty stipulated that any authorized dealer will make repairs to the vehicle, then no authorized dealer may refuse to make repairs to the vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's warranty and in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (2) stated above.

(b) The manufacturer's standard warranty applicable in the United States shall apply to all vehicles imported into the United States Virgin Islands.

(c)

(1) If the manufacturer, distributor, or dealer is unable to conform any motor vehicle sold in the United States Virgin Islands to any applicable express warranty by repairing or correcting any defect or condition which substantially impairs the use and market value of the motor vehicle to the consumer after a reasonable number of documented attempts, then the manufacturer shall replace the motor vehicle with a comparable motor vehicle. The replacement vehicle will be assigned the license plates and registration of the original vehicle. The records at the Motor Vehicle Bureau shall be changed to show the description of the replacement vehicle. If the consumer chooses reimbursement, then the manufacturer shall accept return of the motor vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price, including all trade-in allowances, incidental costs, including interest and less a reasonable allowance for any damage not attributable to normal wear or usage which shall be determined by an appraiser if the parties fail to agree. Taxes resulting from any difference in the price or vehicle weight shall be paid by the consumer or refunded to the consumer at the time of transfer. A reasonable allowance for use shall include that amount directly attributable to the use by the consumer up to the time of replacement or refund. This amount may not exceed an amount equal to the depreciation in value of the motor vehicle for the period during which the motor vehicle is used by the consumer, calculated by a straight line depreciation method over seven years.

(2) Refunds shall be made to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear in the records of the lien held at the office of the Lieutenant Governor. The consumer shall provide the manufacturer/dealer with evidence of clear title or with copies of any security instruments or agreements. In the event of clear title, a refund shall be made to the consumer. In the event of a lien, the refund shall be made jointly to the consumer and the lienholder.

(3) In the alternative, if the consumer chooses replacement, the manufacturer may elect to replace the motor vehicle with a comparably priced motor vehicle, with such adjustments in price as the parties may agree to. An adjustment for reasonable use as defined in section 180, subsection (n), of this chapter, shall be made after the first 90 days. In the event the vehicle to be replaced is subject to a lien, the consumer shall present evidence to the dealer of free and clear title prior to receipt of a replacement or refund. The dealer shall provide the consumer with all documents necessary to facilitate production of free and clear title. It is an affirmative defense to any claim under this section that the nonconformity is the result of abuse, neglect, unauthorized modifications or alteration of the motor vehicle.

(d)

(1) It shall be presumed that a reasonable number of documented attempts have been undertaken to conform a motor vehicle to the applicable express warranties, if:

(A) The dealer has, under express warranty, made three attempts and the manufacturer one attempt, for a total of four attempts, to successfully repair nonconformities; or

(B) The motor vehicle is out of service to successfully repair nonconformities for a cumulative total of 40 business days, whichever comes first. It shall be presumed that a nonconformity has been successfully repaired if it does not reoccur within 90 days of its alleged repair or 3,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Any reoccurrence of the same nonconformity after the expiration of the above stated period shall be considered a new conformity.

(2) The term of the express warranty and the 40 day repair period provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection, shall be extended by any period of time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of war, invasion, earthquake, hurricane, strike, fire, flood or other disaster, which delays repair service. The presumption regarding a reasonable number of attempts provided for in this subsection shall not apply against a manufacturer if the manufacturer, or its agent, distributor, or dealer has been denied a reasonable opportunity to repair the alleged nonconformity.

(e) Nothing in this subchapter shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available to the consumer under any other law.

(f) Any agreement entered into by a consumer for the purchase of a new motor vehicle, which purports to waive, limit, or disclaim the rights set forth in this section shall be void as contrary to public policy. This right shall inure to a subsequent transferee of a new motor vehicle, except where such a transfer of warranty is specifically prohibited by the terms of the express warranty. If a dealer fails to provide a written warranty as required by this section, the dealer shall nevertheless be deemed to have given the warranty as a matter of law.

(g) A court may award to a prevailing consumer, as part of the judgment, a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred by the consumer in connection with the commencement and prosecution of action.

(h) A court may assess costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, against a consumer who is deemed to have filed a claim in bad faith, or in the absence of a justifiable issue of fact or law, or for the sole purpose of harassment.

(i) Whenever the repair work must take more than five business days from the written notification of the nonconformity, the manufacturer, or distributor, shall be required to compensate the consumer in an amount sufficient to rent a vehicle until the nonconformity is successfully repaired.

(j) If the car dealer successfully repairs a nonconformity, the repair shall be guaranteed for a period of 90 days or the remainder of the warranty, whichever is greater.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 182 Sale of used motor vehicles; warranty(a) This section does not apply to sales by private individuals or financial institutions pursuant to security agreement. In all cases of sales by a used car dealer, the consumer shall be provided a written statement indicating whether or not the manufacturer's express warranty applies to the used motor vehicle being purchased.

(b) No used car dealer shall sell a used motor vehicle to a consumer without giving the consumer a written warranty which shall, at a minimum, conform to the following terms:

(1) If the used motor vehicle has less than 24,000 miles, the warranty must be, at a minimum, four months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first;

(2) If the used motor vehicle has more than 24,000 miles, but less than 50,000 miles, the warranty must be, at a minimum, 60 days or 1,500 miles, whichever comes first.

(3) If the motor vehicle has more than 50,000 miles, no warranty shall apply to the sale of the vehicle.

(c) Nothing contained in this section shall prevent or prohibit a used car dealer from granting a warranty, if no warranty is provided for, or from granting a warranty greater than the warranty provided for in this section.

(d) The written warranty shall require the used car dealer, or the dealer's agent, to repair or, at the election of the consumer, reimburse the consumer for the reasonable cost of repairing the failure of a covered part. Covered parts shall, at a minimum, include the following items:

(1) Engine: all lubricated parts, manifold, engine block, cylinder head, rotary engine housings, and flywheel;

(2) Transmission: the transmission case, internal parts, and the torque converter;

(3) Drive axle: shafts, propeller shafts;

(4) Brakes: master cylinder, vacuum assist booster, wheel cylinder, hydraulic lines and fittings and disc brake calipers;

(5) Radiator;

(6) Steering: the steering gear housing and all internal parts, valve body, piston and rack;

(7) Electrical: alternator, starter, and ignition system, excluding the battery.

(e) The repair or reimbursement shall be made by the used car dealer, notwithstanding the fact that the warranty period has expired, provided, however, the consumer notifies the used car dealer of the failure of a covered part within the specified warranty period.

(f) If the express warranty period provided for in section 181 of this chapter is in effect at the time of the sale of the used motor vehicle, then the warranty specified in this section shall be required only for the remaining period of time, if any, between the expiration of the section 181 express warranty and the period specified in this section.

(g) The written warranty may contain additional language excluding coverage for the following:

(1) A failure of a covered part caused by a lack of customary maintenance;

(2) A failure of a covered part caused by collision, abuse, negligence, theft, vandalism, fire or other casualty;

(3) If the odometer has been stopped or altered such that the vehicle's actual mileage cannot be readily determined or if any covered part has been altered such that a covered part was thereby caused to fail;

(4) Maintenance services and the parts used in connection with such services such as seals, gaskets, oil or grease, unless required in connection with the repair of a covered part;

(5) A motor tune-up;

(6) A failure resulting from racing or other competition;

(7) A failure caused by towing a trailer or another vehicle, unless the used motor vehicle is equipped for this as recommended by the manufacturer;

(8) If the used motor vehicle is used to carry passengers for hire;

(9) If the used motor vehicle is rented to someone else;

(10) The repair of valves and/or rings to correct low compression and/or oil consumption which are considered normal wear, unless failure of valves or low compression occurs within 15 days of purchase;

(11) To the extent otherwise permitted by law, property damage arising out of the failure of a covered part;

(12) To the extent otherwise permitted by law, loss of use of the used motor vehicle, loss of time, inconvenience, commercial loss or consequential damages.

(h) If the used car dealer, or his agent, after receiving written notice of the nonconformity or defect fails to correct a malfunction or defect as required by the warranty specified in this section after a period of time, but not more than 30 days, and such malfunction or defect substantially impairs the value of the used motor vehicle to the consumer, the used car dealer shall accept return of the used motor vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price, including taxes, less a reasonable allowance for any modification which either increases or decreases the market value of the motor vehicle. In determining the purchase price to be refunded, the purchase price shall be deemed equal to the sum of the actual cash difference paid for the used motor vehicle plus, if the used car dealer elects not to return any motor vehicle trade-in by the consumer, the wholesale value of any such traded-in motor vehicle as listed in the National Automobile Dealers Association Used Car Guide, or such other guide as may be specified in regulations promulgated by the Commissioner, as adjusted for mileage, improvements, and any other physical or mechanical defects, rather than the value listed in the sales contract.

(i)

(1) The contract of sale for the used motor vehicle shall include conspicuous language indicating how the value of any vehicle traded in by the consumer is to be determined if the consumer should become entitled to a refund pursuant to this section, because the dealer elected not to return the trade-in to the consumer. The amount of such refund shall be determined by reference to the National Automobile Dealers Association Used Car Guide wholesale value or such other guide as may be approved by the Commissioner, as adjusted for mileage, improvements and any physical or mechanical defects, rather than the value listed in the sales contract.

(2) Refunds shall be made jointly to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear in the records of the lien held at the office of the Lieutenant Governor. The consumer shall provide the manufacturer/dealer with evidence of clear title or with copies of any security instruments or agreements. In the event of clear title, a refund shall be made to the consumer. In the event of a lien, the refund shall be made jointly to the consumer and lienholder.

(3) In the alternative, the dealer may elect to replace the motor vehicle with a comparably priced motor vehicle, with such adjustments in price as the parties may agree to. An adjustment for reasonable use as defined in section 180, subsection (n), of this chapter, shall be allowed. In the event the vehicle to be replaced is subject to a lien, the consumer shall present evidence to the dealer of free and clear title prior to receipt of a replacement or refund. The dealer shall provide the consumer with all documents necessary to facilitate production of free and clear title for the replacement vehicle.

(j) It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under this section that the malfunction or defect is the result of abuse, neglect, or unreasonable modifications or alterations of the used motor vehicle.

(k) It shall be presumed that a dealer has had a reasonable opportunity to correct a malfunction or defect in the used motor vehicle if:

(1) The same malfunction or defect has been subject to repair three or more times by the selling dealer or his agent, within the warranty period, but the malfunction or defect continues to exist; or

(2) The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair or malfunction or defect for a cumulative total of 30 or more business days during the warranty period.

(l) In the event the used car dealer repairs a nonconformity, the repair must be guaranteed for a period of 30 days or the remainder of the warranty, whichever is greater.

(m) The term of any warranty, the term of the service contract, and the 30 business day out-of-service period, shall be extended by any time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of war, invasion, earthquake, hurricane, strike, fire, flood or other disaster, or any event which delays repair services.

(n) Any agreement, except when selling through a dealer, entered in by consumers for purchase of a used motor vehicle which waives, limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in this section shall be void as contrary to public policy. If a used car dealer fails to give the written warranty required by this section, the used car dealer shall nevertheless be deemed to have given the warranty as a matter of law.

(o) Nothing in this section shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available under any other law.

(p) This section shall not apply to used motor vehicles with 50,000 miles or more or motor vehicles which are sold for less than $2,300. Such vehicles may be sold ‘AS-IS‘. For vehicles sold under this subsection, the dealer shall post a notice, unobstructed and conspicuously on the vehicle to be sold such as the ‘Buyer's Guide Form‘ set out in Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Rules 16 CFR 455. This form must be signed by the consumer.

(q) In an action brought to enforce the provisions of this section, the court may award reasonable attorney's fees and costs to a prevailing plaintiff.

(r) Any legal action brought pursuant to this section shall be commenced within two years following the expiration of any express warranty term.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 182 Sale of used motor vehicles; warranty(a) This section does not apply to sales by private individuals or financial institutions pursuant to security agreement. In all cases of sales by a used car dealer, the consumer shall be provided a written statement indicating whether or not the manufacturer's express warranty applies to the used motor vehicle being purchased.

(b) No used car dealer shall sell a used motor vehicle to a consumer without giving the consumer a written warranty which shall, at a minimum, conform to the following terms:

(1) If the used motor vehicle has less than 24,000 miles, the warranty must be, at a minimum, four months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first;

(2) If the used motor vehicle has more than 24,000 miles, but less than 50,000 miles, the warranty must be, at a minimum, 60 days or 1,500 miles, whichever comes first.

(3) If the motor vehicle has more than 50,000 miles, no warranty shall apply to the sale of the vehicle.

(c) Nothing contained in this section shall prevent or prohibit a used car dealer from granting a warranty, if no warranty is provided for, or from granting a warranty greater than the warranty provided for in this section.

(d) The written warranty shall require the used car dealer, or the dealer's agent, to repair or, at the election of the consumer, reimburse the consumer for the reasonable cost of repairing the failure of a covered part. Covered parts shall, at a minimum, include the following items:

(1) Engine: all lubricated parts, manifold, engine block, cylinder head, rotary engine housings, and flywheel;

(2) Transmission: the transmission case, internal parts, and the torque converter;

(3) Drive axle: shafts, propeller shafts;

(4) Brakes: master cylinder, vacuum assist booster, wheel cylinder, hydraulic lines and fittings and disc brake calipers;

(5) Radiator;

(6) Steering: the steering gear housing and all internal parts, valve body, piston and rack;

(7) Electrical: alternator, starter, and ignition system, excluding the battery.

(e) The repair or reimbursement shall be made by the used car dealer, notwithstanding the fact that the warranty period has expired, provided, however, the consumer notifies the used car dealer of the failure of a covered part within the specified warranty period.

(f) If the express warranty period provided for in section 181 of this chapter is in effect at the time of the sale of the used motor vehicle, then the warranty specified in this section shall be required only for the remaining period of time, if any, between the expiration of the section 181 express warranty and the period specified in this section.

(g) The written warranty may contain additional language excluding coverage for the following:

(1) A failure of a covered part caused by a lack of customary maintenance;

(2) A failure of a covered part caused by collision, abuse, negligence, theft, vandalism, fire or other casualty;

(3) If the odometer has been stopped or altered such that the vehicle's actual mileage cannot be readily determined or if any covered part has been altered such that a covered part was thereby caused to fail;

(4) Maintenance services and the parts used in connection with such services such as seals, gaskets, oil or grease, unless required in connection with the repair of a covered part;

(5) A motor tune-up;

(6) A failure resulting from racing or other competition;

(7) A failure caused by towing a trailer or another vehicle, unless the used motor vehicle is equipped for this as recommended by the manufacturer;

(8) If the used motor vehicle is used to carry passengers for hire;

(9) If the used motor vehicle is rented to someone else;

(10) The repair of valves and/or rings to correct low compression and/or oil consumption which are considered normal wear, unless failure of valves or low compression occurs within 15 days of purchase;

(11) To the extent otherwise permitted by law, property damage arising out of the failure of a covered part;

(12) To the extent otherwise permitted by law, loss of use of the used motor vehicle, loss of time, inconvenience, commercial loss or consequential damages.

(h) If the used car dealer, or his agent, after receiving written notice of the nonconformity or defect fails to correct a malfunction or defect as required by the warranty specified in this section after a period of time, but not more than 30 days, and such malfunction or defect substantially impairs the value of the used motor vehicle to the consumer, the used car dealer shall accept return of the used motor vehicle from the consumer and refund to the consumer the full purchase price, including taxes, less a reasonable allowance for any modification which either increases or decreases the market value of the motor vehicle. In determining the purchase price to be refunded, the purchase price shall be deemed equal to the sum of the actual cash difference paid for the used motor vehicle plus, if the used car dealer elects not to return any motor vehicle trade-in by the consumer, the wholesale value of any such traded-in motor vehicle as listed in the National Automobile Dealers Association Used Car Guide, or such other guide as may be specified in regulations promulgated by the Commissioner, as adjusted for mileage, improvements, and any other physical or mechanical defects, rather than the value listed in the sales contract.

(i)

(1) The contract of sale for the used motor vehicle shall include conspicuous language indicating how the value of any vehicle traded in by the consumer is to be determined if the consumer should become entitled to a refund pursuant to this section, because the dealer elected not to return the trade-in to the consumer. The amount of such refund shall be determined by reference to the National Automobile Dealers Association Used Car Guide wholesale value or such other guide as may be approved by the Commissioner, as adjusted for mileage, improvements and any physical or mechanical defects, rather than the value listed in the sales contract.

(2) Refunds shall be made jointly to the consumer and lienholder, if any, as their interests may appear in the records of the lien held at the office of the Lieutenant Governor. The consumer shall provide the manufacturer/dealer with evidence of clear title or with copies of any security instruments or agreements. In the event of clear title, a refund shall be made to the consumer. In the event of a lien, the refund shall be made jointly to the consumer and lienholder.

(3) In the alternative, the dealer may elect to replace the motor vehicle with a comparably priced motor vehicle, with such adjustments in price as the parties may agree to. An adjustment for reasonable use as defined in section 180, subsection (n), of this chapter, shall be allowed. In the event the vehicle to be replaced is subject to a lien, the consumer shall present evidence to the dealer of free and clear title prior to receipt of a replacement or refund. The dealer shall provide the consumer with all documents necessary to facilitate production of free and clear title for the replacement vehicle.

(j) It shall be an affirmative defense to any claim under this section that the malfunction or defect is the result of abuse, neglect, or unreasonable modifications or alterations of the used motor vehicle.

(k) It shall be presumed that a dealer has had a reasonable opportunity to correct a malfunction or defect in the used motor vehicle if:

(1) The same malfunction or defect has been subject to repair three or more times by the selling dealer or his agent, within the warranty period, but the malfunction or defect continues to exist; or

(2) The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair or malfunction or defect for a cumulative total of 30 or more business days during the warranty period.

(l) In the event the used car dealer repairs a nonconformity, the repair must be guaranteed for a period of 30 days or the remainder of the warranty, whichever is greater.

(m) The term of any warranty, the term of the service contract, and the 30 business day out-of-service period, shall be extended by any time during which repair services are not available to the consumer because of war, invasion, earthquake, hurricane, strike, fire, flood or other disaster, or any event which delays repair services.

(n) Any agreement, except when selling through a dealer, entered in by consumers for purchase of a used motor vehicle which waives, limits, or disclaims the rights set forth in this section shall be void as contrary to public policy. If a used car dealer fails to give the written warranty required by this section, the used car dealer shall nevertheless be deemed to have given the warranty as a matter of law.

(o) Nothing in this section shall in any way limit the rights or remedies which are otherwise available under any other law.

(p) This section shall not apply to used motor vehicles with 50,000 miles or more or motor vehicles which are sold for less than $2,300. Such vehicles may be sold ‘AS-IS‘. For vehicles sold under this subsection, the dealer shall post a notice, unobstructed and conspicuously on the vehicle to be sold such as the ‘Buyer's Guide Form‘ set out in Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Rules 16 CFR 455. This form must be signed by the consumer.

(q) In an action brought to enforce the provisions of this section, the court may award reasonable attorney's fees and costs to a prevailing plaintiff.

(r) Any legal action brought pursuant to this section shall be commenced within two years following the expiration of any express warranty term.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 183 Unfair or deceptive trade acts or practices; unfair methods of competition; new or used vehicles(a) The following shall be considered unfair methods of competition, or unfair or deceptive trade acts and practices, where applicable, as they relate to any motor vehicle manufacturer, distributor, or used or new car dealer:

(1) A manufacturer or dealer failing to honor and accept, where applicable, any manufacturer's express warranty on a new vehicle or dealer warranty on a used motor vehicle or refusing to conform a new motor vehicle to an applicable express warranty;

(2) A dealer representing that a motor vehicle offered for sale can or will be delivered on or about a certain date, or within a specified period, when the dealer knows or should know that the motor vehicle cannot be delivered by the time specified or when the dealer has no information on which to base such a representation;

(3) A dealer failing to refund the full amount of a consumer deposit promptly when:

(A) the consumer cancels the contract prior to its acceptance by an authorized dealer representative;

(B) the contract is conditioned upon the consumer obtaining financing of his choice and the consumer cannot obtain such financing after exerting reasonable efforts to do so;

(C) the dealer does not accept the contract;

(D) the dealer fails to deliver to the consumer a motor vehicle which conforms to the terms of the contract; or

(E) the consumer cancels the contract because the dealer fails to deliver the motor vehicle within the time specified in the contract of sale, unless the delay is caused by acts beyond the control of the dealer and the manufacturer. All contracts shall have a delivery date specified.

(4) A dealer increasing the contract price of a motor vehicle after the contract has been accepted by the dealer or the authorized dealer representative;

(5) A dealer reappraising the value of a trade-in motor vehicle if a firm value is stated in the contract, unless the dealer can establish that the motor vehicle has suffered damage or serious mechanical deterioration since the date of the valuation but prior to its delivery to the dealer, or unless parts or accessories, or both, including tires, have been removed or replaced with parts or accessories of inferior quality;

(6) Where no express warranty is given, a dealer or manufacturer attempting to exclude the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose in the sale of a motor vehicle purchased primarily for personal, family, or household purposes;

(7) Responsibility for fire, theft or damage to a motor vehicle left in the custody of a dealer or repair shop rests with the dealer or repair shop and no signs to the contrary are permitted;

(8) A manufacturer failing to provide consumers with a warranty comparable to that offered on the U.S. mainland;

(9) A manufacturer failing to provide an alternative service facility for warranty work within 30 days of closure or termination of a dealership or maintenance service center;

(10) A manufacturer failing to properly and promptly reimburse the dealer for bona-fide warranty repairs performed on behalf of the manufacturer;

(11) A dealer failing to provide the Commissioner, upon request, with copies of all applicable warranties for every type and model of automobile being sold in the territory;

(12) A manufacturer failing to provide dealers or distributors in the United States Virgin Islands with manufacturer financing, rebate programs and reimbursement for warranty work similar to those offered on the U.S. mainland;

(13) A manufacturer, dealer, distributor or agent failing to give to the purchaser of any new or used motor vehicle a certificate of warranty, or the FTC ‘Buyer's Guide‘ (16 CFR 455), where applicable, at the time of delivery;

(14) A dealer or distributor failing to disclose, in writing attached to any new or used car, the history of the vehicle as known to the dealer, including odometer disclosure and whether the vehicle was the subject of a buy-back;

(15) The manufacturer or dealer removing from the vehicle the price information disclosure sticker adhered thereon as required by Title 11, section 1301 et seq., of the Virgin Islands Code, and Title 15, section 2301 et seq., of the United States Code, before the vehicle has been delivered to the consumer;

(16) The manufacturer or dealer failing to place on each new vehicle for sale in the Territory of the United States Virgin Islands, the vehicle information disclosure sticker as required by Title 11, section 1301 et seq., Virgin Islands Code;

(17) A manufacturer failing to make available all warranty information in Spanish and English when requested;

(18) A dealer failing to provide a sales invoice or order form to the consumer/buyer at the time of purchase, the terms of which shall be binding on both parties;

(19) A manufacturer or dealer selling, as new, a car that is defined by this chapter as a demonstrator, or used car, or a car that has been the subject of a buy-back.

(b) Responsibility for fire, theft or damage to a motor vehicle left in the custody of a dealer or repair shop rests with the dealer or repair shop and no signs to the contrary are permitted.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 183 Unfair or deceptive trade acts or practices; unfair methods of competition; new or used vehicles(a) The following shall be considered unfair methods of competition, or unfair or deceptive trade acts and practices, where applicable, as they relate to any motor vehicle manufacturer, distributor, or used or new car dealer:

(1) A manufacturer or dealer failing to honor and accept, where applicable, any manufacturer's express warranty on a new vehicle or dealer warranty on a used motor vehicle or refusing to conform a new motor vehicle to an applicable express warranty;

(2) A dealer representing that a motor vehicle offered for sale can or will be delivered on or about a certain date, or within a specified period, when the dealer knows or should know that the motor vehicle cannot be delivered by the time specified or when the dealer has no information on which to base such a representation;

(3) A dealer failing to refund the full amount of a consumer deposit promptly when:

(A) the consumer cancels the contract prior to its acceptance by an authorized dealer representative;

(B) the contract is conditioned upon the consumer obtaining financing of his choice and the consumer cannot obtain such financing after exerting reasonable efforts to do so;

(C) the dealer does not accept the contract;

(D) the dealer fails to deliver to the consumer a motor vehicle which conforms to the terms of the contract; or

(E) the consumer cancels the contract because the dealer fails to deliver the motor vehicle within the time specified in the contract of sale, unless the delay is caused by acts beyond the control of the dealer and the manufacturer. All contracts shall have a delivery date specified.

(4) A dealer increasing the contract price of a motor vehicle after the contract has been accepted by the dealer or the authorized dealer representative;

(5) A dealer reappraising the value of a trade-in motor vehicle if a firm value is stated in the contract, unless the dealer can establish that the motor vehicle has suffered damage or serious mechanical deterioration since the date of the valuation but prior to its delivery to the dealer, or unless parts or accessories, or both, including tires, have been removed or replaced with parts or accessories of inferior quality;

(6) Where no express warranty is given, a dealer or manufacturer attempting to exclude the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose in the sale of a motor vehicle purchased primarily for personal, family, or household purposes;

(7) Responsibility for fire, theft or damage to a motor vehicle left in the custody of a dealer or repair shop rests with the dealer or repair shop and no signs to the contrary are permitted;

(8) A manufacturer failing to provide consumers with a warranty comparable to that offered on the U.S. mainland;

(9) A manufacturer failing to provide an alternative service facility for warranty work within 30 days of closure or termination of a dealership or maintenance service center;

(10) A manufacturer failing to properly and promptly reimburse the dealer for bona-fide warranty repairs performed on behalf of the manufacturer;

(11) A dealer failing to provide the Commissioner, upon request, with copies of all applicable warranties for every type and model of automobile being sold in the territory;

(12) A manufacturer failing to provide dealers or distributors in the United States Virgin Islands with manufacturer financing, rebate programs and reimbursement for warranty work similar to those offered on the U.S. mainland;

(13) A manufacturer, dealer, distributor or agent failing to give to the purchaser of any new or used motor vehicle a certificate of warranty, or the FTC ‘Buyer's Guide‘ (16 CFR 455), where applicable, at the time of delivery;

(14) A dealer or distributor failing to disclose, in writing attached to any new or used car, the history of the vehicle as known to the dealer, including odometer disclosure and whether the vehicle was the subject of a buy-back;

(15) The manufacturer or dealer removing from the vehicle the price information disclosure sticker adhered thereon as required by Title 11, section 1301 et seq., of the Virgin Islands Code, and Title 15, section 2301 et seq., of the United States Code, before the vehicle has been delivered to the consumer;

(16) The manufacturer or dealer failing to place on each new vehicle for sale in the Territory of the United States Virgin Islands, the vehicle information disclosure sticker as required by Title 11, section 1301 et seq., Virgin Islands Code;

(17) A manufacturer failing to make available all warranty information in Spanish and English when requested;

(18) A dealer failing to provide a sales invoice or order form to the consumer/buyer at the time of purchase, the terms of which shall be binding on both parties;

(19) A manufacturer or dealer selling, as new, a car that is defined by this chapter as a demonstrator, or used car, or a car that has been the subject of a buy-back.

(b) Responsibility for fire, theft or damage to a motor vehicle left in the custody of a dealer or repair shop rests with the dealer or repair shop and no signs to the contrary are permitted.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 184 Motor vehicle repair shop practicesThe following shall be considered unfair trade practice when operating a motor vehicle repair shop:

(1) A dealer or repair shop representative or agent making direct or indirect statements which to the best of his knowledge are not true or well founded to the effect:

(A) that repairs are necessary or desirable, or that repairs are unnecessary or undesirable, when such a declaration is, to the best of his knowledge not true;

(B) that a motor vehicle is in a dangerous condition or use of such motor vehicle may produce harm to the consumer, or that a motor vehicle is not in a dangerous condition or use of such a motor vehicle will not produce harm to the consumer, when such a declaration is not true, to the best of his knowledge;

(C) that repairs have been performed on a motor vehicle when such a declaration is not, in fact, true.

(2) A dealer, agent, or representative of a motor vehicle shop fails to record the required information in writing on an industry standard repair form, and fails to provide a copy of such record to the consumer prior to commencing repairs on the motor vehicle. The requisite information which the consumer must sign prior to the commencement of the requested repairs shall include, but not be limited to:

(A) the name and address of the consumer and a telephone number, if any, at which the consumer may be reached;

(B) the date the motor vehicle was delivered for repairs;

(C) the year, make, and vehicle identification number of the motor vehicle;

(D) the odometer reading on the motor vehicle;

(E) the specific repairs requested by the consumer or, if there is no specific request, a brief description of the problems the consumer experienced with the motor vehicle;

(F) the estimated labor hours and price per hour for completion of the repairs when practicable; and

(G) the total estimated cost for repairs, when practicable.

(3) If the dealer or repair shop is unable to obtain advance written authorization because the specific repairs or costs are not known when the motor vehicle is delivered for repair, the consumer must be so informed and must be afforded the opportunity to select one of the following options:

(A) no repairs shall be performed until the consumer is notified of the exact nature of the repairs to be performed and the total price to be charged, including parts and labor, and the written authorization of the consumer to perform such repairs is obtained;

(B) if the consumer decides not to have the motor vehicle repair shop repair the vehicle after being informed of the exact nature of the repairs and the total price, the motor vehicle repair shop shall be entitled to a reasonable diagnostic charge, provided the consumer was advised of the amount of that charge prior to commencement of the diagnostic work.

(4) A dealer or motor vehicle repair shop charges a consumer an amount in excess of that stated in a written estimate unless one of the following conditions apply:

(A) repairs may be initiated, but if repairs will exceed by 10% the price agreed to in advance by the consumer, the oral or written authorization of the consumer to proceed further must be obtained; or

(B) the consumer may give oral authorization to amend a previously written authorization, provided the authorization does not exceed $499.99 for the complete repair service.

(5) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop fails to display in a clear and conspicuous manner on the premises or fails to disclose to a consumer prior to obtaining written authorization for repairs:

(A) the labor costs for the repairs;

(B) that the consumer has the right, upon request, to have any parts which were replaced returned to the consumer at the completion of the service, or to inspect such parts, where possible, if such parts must be returned to the manufacturer or some other person under the terms of the warranty or rebuilding arrangement;

(C) that any part to be supplied is new, used, reconditioned, rebuilt, or genuine parts approved by the automobile manufacturer;

(D) the conditions under which the repair shop may impose daily or hourly storage charges for a motor vehicle and the amount of such charges;

(E) the amount of any charge to a consumer for an estimate or diagnosis; or

(F) the total estimated cost of repairs, when practicable.

(6) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop fails to complete repairs on a motor vehicle within the time specified by the repair shop or dealer, unless the consumer is informed of a reasonable delay, or when no time for repairs is specified, failing to complete repairs within a reasonable period of time.

(7) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop fails to guarantee and remedy promptly, at no charge to the consumer, any repair or maintenance service authorized on a standard repair order which was not performed in a skilled and workmanlike manner; provided, however, that the consumer complains or brings the disrepair to the attention of the repair shop within 30 days.

(8) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop fails to provide at the completion of repair or maintenance work, a dated, written invoice containing the following information:

(A) the name and address of the consumer and repair shop;

(B) the year, make and Vehicle Identification Number of the motor vehicle;

(C) the date the motor vehicle was delivered for service;

(D) an itemized list of the specific repair or maintenance services performed on the motor vehicle;

(E) a list of the parts supplied, by name or number, and except for warranty work, the price charged by the repair shop for such parts, and the total amount charged the consumer for such parts;

(F) if any part not supplied by the manufacturer of the vehicle was reconditioned, used or rebuilt, it should be so stated on the repair order;

(G) the number of hours and the total amount charged the consumer for labor.

(9) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop charges a consumer for repairs which have not actually been performed.

(10) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop refuses to provide a consumer with an exact copy of the completed repair order containing the information as required by this section.

(11) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop uses a motor vehicle of a consumer for any purposes other than a test drive or pick-up or delivery to the consumer unless the express written authorization of the consumer is obtained in advance.

(12) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop fails to obtain prior approval of the consumer when used, reconditioned, or rebuilt parts not supplied by the manufacturer are to be used.

(13) When a vehicle enters storage without the consent of the owner (such as after an accident when the car is towed away without instruction from the owner) the dealer, motor vehicle repair shop or other storage facility must contact the owner or owner's agent as soon as possible to advise as to the vehicle's location and the proposed fees and charges. In these circumstances, towing fees or storage charges in excess of $25 shall not accrue against a vehicle until 24 hours after such notification. The burden of proof of notification is upon the storing facility. If the consumer or his agent does not move the vehicle elsewhere within 24 hours of notification, consent to store the vehicle shall be presumed.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 184 Motor vehicle repair shop practicesThe following shall be considered unfair trade practice when operating a motor vehicle repair shop:

(1) A dealer or repair shop representative or agent making direct or indirect statements which to the best of his knowledge are not true or well founded to the effect:

(A) that repairs are necessary or desirable, or that repairs are unnecessary or undesirable, when such a declaration is, to the best of his knowledge not true;

(B) that a motor vehicle is in a dangerous condition or use of such motor vehicle may produce harm to the consumer, or that a motor vehicle is not in a dangerous condition or use of such a motor vehicle will not produce harm to the consumer, when such a declaration is not true, to the best of his knowledge;

(C) that repairs have been performed on a motor vehicle when such a declaration is not, in fact, true.

(2) A dealer, agent, or representative of a motor vehicle shop fails to record the required information in writing on an industry standard repair form, and fails to provide a copy of such record to the consumer prior to commencing repairs on the motor vehicle. The requisite information which the consumer must sign prior to the commencement of the requested repairs shall include, but not be limited to:

(A) the name and address of the consumer and a telephone number, if any, at which the consumer may be reached;

(B) the date the motor vehicle was delivered for repairs;

(C) the year, make, and vehicle identification number of the motor vehicle;

(D) the odometer reading on the motor vehicle;

(E) the specific repairs requested by the consumer or, if there is no specific request, a brief description of the problems the consumer experienced with the motor vehicle;

(F) the estimated labor hours and price per hour for completion of the repairs when practicable; and

(G) the total estimated cost for repairs, when practicable.

(3) If the dealer or repair shop is unable to obtain advance written authorization because the specific repairs or costs are not known when the motor vehicle is delivered for repair, the consumer must be so informed and must be afforded the opportunity to select one of the following options:

(A) no repairs shall be performed until the consumer is notified of the exact nature of the repairs to be performed and the total price to be charged, including parts and labor, and the written authorization of the consumer to perform such repairs is obtained;

(B) if the consumer decides not to have the motor vehicle repair shop repair the vehicle after being informed of the exact nature of the repairs and the total price, the motor vehicle repair shop shall be entitled to a reasonable diagnostic charge, provided the consumer was advised of the amount of that charge prior to commencement of the diagnostic work.

(4) A dealer or motor vehicle repair shop charges a consumer an amount in excess of that stated in a written estimate unless one of the following conditions apply:

(A) repairs may be initiated, but if repairs will exceed by 10% the price agreed to in advance by the consumer, the oral or written authorization of the consumer to proceed further must be obtained; or

(B) the consumer may give oral authorization to amend a previously written authorization, provided the authorization does not exceed $499.99 for the complete repair service.

(5) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop fails to display in a clear and conspicuous manner on the premises or fails to disclose to a consumer prior to obtaining written authorization for repairs:

(A) the labor costs for the repairs;

(B) that the consumer has the right, upon request, to have any parts which were replaced returned to the consumer at the completion of the service, or to inspect such parts, where possible, if such parts must be returned to the manufacturer or some other person under the terms of the warranty or rebuilding arrangement;

(C) that any part to be supplied is new, used, reconditioned, rebuilt, or genuine parts approved by the automobile manufacturer;

(D) the conditions under which the repair shop may impose daily or hourly storage charges for a motor vehicle and the amount of such charges;

(E) the amount of any charge to a consumer for an estimate or diagnosis; or

(F) the total estimated cost of repairs, when practicable.

(6) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop fails to complete repairs on a motor vehicle within the time specified by the repair shop or dealer, unless the consumer is informed of a reasonable delay, or when no time for repairs is specified, failing to complete repairs within a reasonable period of time.

(7) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop fails to guarantee and remedy promptly, at no charge to the consumer, any repair or maintenance service authorized on a standard repair order which was not performed in a skilled and workmanlike manner; provided, however, that the consumer complains or brings the disrepair to the attention of the repair shop within 30 days.

(8) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop fails to provide at the completion of repair or maintenance work, a dated, written invoice containing the following information:

(A) the name and address of the consumer and repair shop;

(B) the year, make and Vehicle Identification Number of the motor vehicle;

(C) the date the motor vehicle was delivered for service;

(D) an itemized list of the specific repair or maintenance services performed on the motor vehicle;

(E) a list of the parts supplied, by name or number, and except for warranty work, the price charged by the repair shop for such parts, and the total amount charged the consumer for such parts;

(F) if any part not supplied by the manufacturer of the vehicle was reconditioned, used or rebuilt, it should be so stated on the repair order;

(G) the number of hours and the total amount charged the consumer for labor.

(9) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop charges a consumer for repairs which have not actually been performed.

(10) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop refuses to provide a consumer with an exact copy of the completed repair order containing the information as required by this section.

(11) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop uses a motor vehicle of a consumer for any purposes other than a test drive or pick-up or delivery to the consumer unless the express written authorization of the consumer is obtained in advance.

(12) The dealer or motor vehicle repair shop fails to obtain prior approval of the consumer when used, reconditioned, or rebuilt parts not supplied by the manufacturer are to be used.

(13) When a vehicle enters storage without the consent of the owner (such as after an accident when the car is towed away without instruction from the owner) the dealer, motor vehicle repair shop or other storage facility must contact the owner or owner's agent as soon as possible to advise as to the vehicle's location and the proposed fees and charges. In these circumstances, towing fees or storage charges in excess of $25 shall not accrue against a vehicle until 24 hours after such notification. The burden of proof of notification is upon the storing facility. If the consumer or his agent does not move the vehicle elsewhere within 24 hours of notification, consent to store the vehicle shall be presumed.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 185 Enforcement(a) Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.

(1) Before bringing a civil action on a matter subject to subchapter V of this chapter, the consumer shall first submit his dispute to the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs for review. If a formal administrative hearing is required, the Commissioner, or his designee, shall hear the matter and may award the remedies under this chapter if the nonconformity, defect, or condition substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the motor vehicle and a reasonable number of attempts have been taken to correct the nonconformity, defect, or condition without correction of the problem. All such awards shall be approved by the Commissioner.

(2) All manufacturers of automobiles shall submit to any administrative hearing conducted by the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.

(3) The Commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs may reject for hearing any dispute that he determines to be without merit, frivolous, fraudulent or beyond his authority. Any dispute deemed by the Commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs to be ineligible for hearing due to insufficient evidence under the requirements of this chapter may be reconsidered by the Commissioner upon the submission of other information or documents regarding the dispute that would qualify for relief under this chapter, only if there is proof that the evidence could not have been presented at the original hearing. Following a second review, if necessary, the Commissioner may reject the dispute for hearing if evidence is still clearly insufficient to qualify the dispute for relief under this chapter. Any dispute rejected for hearing by the Commissioner shall be sent by certified mail to the consumer and the manufacturer and shall contain a brief explanation as to the reason therefor.

(4) The decision of the Commissioner shall be sent by certified mail to the consumer and the manufacturer and shall contain a written finding of whether the new motor vehicle meets the standards set forth under this chapter. A copy of the consumer's acceptance of the decision shall also be sent by the Commissioner to the manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested. The manufacturer shall have 60 calendar days from its receipt of the consumer's acceptance of the decision to comply with the terms of the decision. Compliance shall be deemed to have occurred on the date the consumer either receives the delivery of an acceptable replacement motor vehicle or the refund stipulated in the Administrative Hearing.

(b) Appeal.

If the Commissioner rejects a dispute for hearing or if a dispute is heard and any party rejects the hearing decision, the party may bring an action in court to seek the remedies provided under this chapter. A petition to the Superior Court without jury to appeal a decision shall be made within 30 calendar days of receipt of the Commissioner's decision. In any civil action arising under this chapter and relating to a matter considered by the Commissioner, any determination made to reject a dispute for hearing or any decision rendered by the Commissioner may be admissible evidence. At the time the petition to appeal is filed, the appellant shall send, by certified mail, a copy of such petition to the Commissioner.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 185 Enforcement(a) Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.

(1) Before bringing a civil action on a matter subject to subchapter V of this chapter, the consumer shall first submit his dispute to the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs for review. If a formal administrative hearing is required, the Commissioner, or his designee, shall hear the matter and may award the remedies under this chapter if the nonconformity, defect, or condition substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the motor vehicle and a reasonable number of attempts have been taken to correct the nonconformity, defect, or condition without correction of the problem. All such awards shall be approved by the Commissioner.

(2) All manufacturers of automobiles shall submit to any administrative hearing conducted by the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.

(3) The Commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs may reject for hearing any dispute that he determines to be without merit, frivolous, fraudulent or beyond his authority. Any dispute deemed by the Commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs to be ineligible for hearing due to insufficient evidence under the requirements of this chapter may be reconsidered by the Commissioner upon the submission of other information or documents regarding the dispute that would qualify for relief under this chapter, only if there is proof that the evidence could not have been presented at the original hearing. Following a second review, if necessary, the Commissioner may reject the dispute for hearing if evidence is still clearly insufficient to qualify the dispute for relief under this chapter. Any dispute rejected for hearing by the Commissioner shall be sent by certified mail to the consumer and the manufacturer and shall contain a brief explanation as to the reason therefor.

(4) The decision of the Commissioner shall be sent by certified mail to the consumer and the manufacturer and shall contain a written finding of whether the new motor vehicle meets the standards set forth under this chapter. A copy of the consumer's acceptance of the decision shall also be sent by the Commissioner to the manufacturer by certified mail, return receipt requested. The manufacturer shall have 60 calendar days from its receipt of the consumer's acceptance of the decision to comply with the terms of the decision. Compliance shall be deemed to have occurred on the date the consumer either receives the delivery of an acceptable replacement motor vehicle or the refund stipulated in the Administrative Hearing.

(b) Appeal.

If the Commissioner rejects a dispute for hearing or if a dispute is heard and any party rejects the hearing decision, the party may bring an action in court to seek the remedies provided under this chapter. A petition to the Superior Court without jury to appeal a decision shall be made within 30 calendar days of receipt of the Commissioner's decision. In any civil action arising under this chapter and relating to a matter considered by the Commissioner, any determination made to reject a dispute for hearing or any decision rendered by the Commissioner may be admissible evidence. At the time the petition to appeal is filed, the appellant shall send, by certified mail, a copy of such petition to the Commissioner.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 201 Declaration of policyThe Legislature finds that the wording, arrangement and accumulation of signs advertising the quality and the price per gallon of motor fuel and located at or near places of business for the retail sale of motor fuel, in a confusing, exaggerated, deceptive, misleading or otherwise fraudulent manner, is detrimental to the public interest. The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public welfare from fraud of this nature by regulating the size and location of signs displaying the minimum octane rating and the retail sale price of motor fuel.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 201 Declaration of policyThe Legislature finds that the wording, arrangement and accumulation of signs advertising the quality and the price per gallon of motor fuel and located at or near places of business for the retail sale of motor fuel, in a confusing, exaggerated, deceptive, misleading or otherwise fraudulent manner, is detrimental to the public interest. The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public welfare from fraud of this nature by regulating the size and location of signs displaying the minimum octane rating and the retail sale price of motor fuel.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 202 Octane rating and price to be postedIt shall be unlawful for any person to offer to sell at retail and dispense or to sell at retail and dispense motor fuel into fuel supply tanks of motor vehicles unless there is continuously and publicly posted and displayed on or near each pump or other dispensing device the minimum octane rating, the retail price per gallon and, separately stated, the tax per gallon, on each blend of motor fuel dispensed therefrom.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 202 Octane rating and price to be postedIt shall be unlawful for any person to offer to sell at retail and dispense or to sell at retail and dispense motor fuel into fuel supply tanks of motor vehicles unless there is continuously and publicly posted and displayed on or near each pump or other dispensing device the minimum octane rating, the retail price per gallon and, separately stated, the tax per gallon, on each blend of motor fuel dispensed therefrom.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 203 Signs or other advertising devices(a) Any sign or device stating or relating to the minimum octane rating or to the retail price of motor fuel, or designed and calculated to cause the public to believe that they state or relate to the minimum octane rating, or to the retail price of motor fuel, posted or displayed on or about premises where motor fuel is sold at retail, or on public property adjacent thereto, and in view of any public highway, road or street, shall clearly and legibly state in figures the minimum octane and, in figures and fractions of uniform size and prominence, the price per gallon and, separately stated, the per gallon amount of tax to be collected in connection with the sale.

(b) Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prohibit any separate sign or decal posted or displayed on or about premises where motor fuel is sold at retail, relating to premiums, trading stamps, or other promotional devices, or the per gallon amount of tax imposed upon the sale of motor fuel, provided any sign pertaining to price of merchandise other than motor fuel, clearly and legibly states in letters the same size as the figures and fractions stating such price, the name or designations of such merchandise.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 203 Signs or other advertising devices(a) Any sign or device stating or relating to the minimum octane rating or to the retail price of motor fuel, or designed and calculated to cause the public to believe that they state or relate to the minimum octane rating, or to the retail price of motor fuel, posted or displayed on or about premises where motor fuel is sold at retail, or on public property adjacent thereto, and in view of any public highway, road or street, shall clearly and legibly state in figures the minimum octane and, in figures and fractions of uniform size and prominence, the price per gallon and, separately stated, the per gallon amount of tax to be collected in connection with the sale.

(b) Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prohibit any separate sign or decal posted or displayed on or about premises where motor fuel is sold at retail, relating to premiums, trading stamps, or other promotional devices, or the per gallon amount of tax imposed upon the sale of motor fuel, provided any sign pertaining to price of merchandise other than motor fuel, clearly and legibly states in letters the same size as the figures and fractions stating such price, the name or designations of such merchandise.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 204 Octane rating standardsFor the purposes of this section, octane rating shall be determined in the manner described in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) ‘Standard Specification for Gasoline‘, D439-70.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 204 Octane rating standardsFor the purposes of this section, octane rating shall be determined in the manner described in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) ‘Standard Specification for Gasoline‘, D439-70.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 205 PenaltyAny person who wilfully violates the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be subject to a fine of not to exceed $500 or to imprisonment not to exceed 30 days.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 205 PenaltyAny person who wilfully violates the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be subject to a fine of not to exceed $500 or to imprisonment not to exceed 30 days.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 206 Enforcement supervisionThe Director of the Consumer Services Administration shall be responsible for supervising the enforcement of this chapter.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 206 Enforcement supervisionThe Director of the Consumer Services Administration shall be responsible for supervising the enforcement of this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 207 Air hose required in gas stations(a) All gasoline stations in the Territory shall provide a functioning air hose which is accessible to the public during regular business hours of such service stations.

(b) As used in this section, ‘functioning air hose‘ means an air hose that can and does provide air to inflate tires.

(c) All service station owners in the Territory not providing an air hose to the public as required in subsection (a) of this section shall have an air hose installed within sixty (60) days of enactment of this Act.

(d)

(1) The Commissioner is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations governing the provisions of this section.

(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section, or any rule or regulation issued hereunder, shall be subject to an administrative fine not to exceed $100 for each offense, which fine may be imposed by the Commissioner.‘
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 207 Air hose required in gas stations(a) All gasoline stations in the Territory shall provide a functioning air hose which is accessible to the public during regular business hours of such service stations.

(b) As used in this section, ‘functioning air hose‘ means an air hose that can and does provide air to inflate tires.

(c) All service station owners in the Territory not providing an air hose to the public as required in subsection (a) of this section shall have an air hose installed within sixty (60) days of enactment of this Act.

(d)

(1) The Commissioner is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations governing the provisions of this section.

(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section, or any rule or regulation issued hereunder, shall be subject to an administrative fine not to exceed $100 for each offense, which fine may be imposed by the Commissioner.‘

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 251 PolicyIt is the policy of the Government of the United States Virgin Islands to protect consumers in their personal business dealings with sophisticated business entities. Clearly written consumer contracts, as opposed to commercial business contracts, will offer such protection.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 251 PolicyIt is the policy of the Government of the United States Virgin Islands to protect consumers in their personal business dealings with sophisticated business entities. Clearly written consumer contracts, as opposed to commercial business contracts, will offer such protection.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 251a Definitions(a) ‘Consumer contract‘, which includes writings required to complete the consumer transaction, means a written agreement in which a natural person:

(1) leases or licenses personal property or leases real property for residential purposes;

(2) obtains credit;

(3) obtains personal insurance coverage;

(4) borrows money;

(5) purchases personal property; or

(6) contracts for services, including professional services, for cash, or on credit; and the credit, money, property or services are obtained for personal, family or household purposes.

(b) ‘Primary regulator‘ means a territorial agency or person that has licensing or general regulatory authority over a creditor, seller, insurer or lessor. General business license authority shall not be considered the primary regulator, unless no other territorial agency has regulatory authority.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 251a Definitions(a) ‘Consumer contract‘, which includes writings required to complete the consumer transaction, means a written agreement in which a natural person:

(1) leases or licenses personal property or leases real property for residential purposes;

(2) obtains credit;

(3) obtains personal insurance coverage;

(4) borrows money;

(5) purchases personal property; or

(6) contracts for services, including professional services, for cash, or on credit; and the credit, money, property or services are obtained for personal, family or household purposes.

(b) ‘Primary regulator‘ means a territorial agency or person that has licensing or general regulatory authority over a creditor, seller, insurer or lessor. General business license authority shall not be considered the primary regulator, unless no other territorial agency has regulatory authority.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 252 Plain language requiredA consumer contract entered into on or after October 30, 1984 shall be written in clear, simple, understandable and easily readable language. In determining whether a consumer contract has been written in clear, simple, understandable and easily readable language, a court or primary regulator shall take into consideration the guidelines set forth in this chapter. Use of technical terms or words of art shall not in and of itself be a violation of this chapter.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 252 Plain language requiredA consumer contract entered into on or after October 30, 1984 shall be written in clear, simple, understandable and easily readable language. In determining whether a consumer contract has been written in clear, simple, understandable and easily readable language, a court or primary regulator shall take into consideration the guidelines set forth in this chapter. Use of technical terms or words of art shall not in and of itself be a violation of this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 253 DamagesA creditor, seller, insurer or lessor who fails to comply with this chapter shall be liable to a consumer who is a party to the consumer contract for actual damages sustained plus punitive damages up to $1,000. The creditor, seller, insurer or lessor shall also be liable for the consumer's reasonable attorney's fees and costs.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 253 DamagesA creditor, seller, insurer or lessor who fails to comply with this chapter shall be liable to a consumer who is a party to the consumer contract for actual damages sustained plus punitive damages up to $1,000. The creditor, seller, insurer or lessor shall also be liable for the consumer's reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 254 Damages limitedClass actions may be brought under the provisions of this chapter, but the amount of punitive damages shall be limited to $10,000 against any one seller, lessor, insurer or creditor.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 254 Damages limitedClass actions may be brought under the provisions of this chapter, but the amount of punitive damages shall be limited to $10,000 against any one seller, lessor, insurer or creditor.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 255 Exceptions(a) There shall be no liability under sections 253 and 254 of this title if:

(1) Both parties to the contract have performed their obligations under the contract.

(2) The creditor, seller, insurer, or lessor attempts in good faith to comply with this chapter in preparing the consumer contract. Use of a model ‘plain language‘ form from a state or federal agency, Commission on Uniform Laws, or National Trade Association shall be prima facie evidence of good faith.

(3) The contract is in conformity with a rule, regulation, or the opinion or interpretation of a territorial official authorized by this chapter to issue approvals of the form of the contract.

(4) The consumer supplied the contract or the portion of the contract to which the consumer objects.

(b) The use of specific language in a consumer contract required, permitted or approved by a law, regulation, rule or published interpretation of a territorial or federal agency shall not violate this chapter.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 255 Exceptions(a) There shall be no liability under sections 253 and 254 of this title if:

(1) Both parties to the contract have performed their obligations under the contract.

(2) The creditor, seller, insurer, or lessor attempts in good faith to comply with this chapter in preparing the consumer contract. Use of a model ‘plain language‘ form from a state or federal agency, Commission on Uniform Laws, or National Trade Association shall be prima facie evidence of good faith.

(3) The contract is in conformity with a rule, regulation, or the opinion or interpretation of a territorial official authorized by this chapter to issue approvals of the form of the contract.

(4) The consumer supplied the contract or the portion of the contract to which the consumer objects.

(b) The use of specific language in a consumer contract required, permitted or approved by a law, regulation, rule or published interpretation of a territorial or federal agency shall not violate this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 256 Other claims not precludedThis chapter shall not preclude a debtor, buyer, insured or lessee from making any claims which would have been available to him if this chapter were not in effect.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 256 Other claims not precludedThis chapter shall not preclude a debtor, buyer, insured or lessee from making any claims which would have been available to him if this chapter were not in effect.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 257 Opinions and fees(a) A creditor, seller, insurer or lessor may request an opinion from a primary regulator as to whether a consumer contract complies with this chapter. A reasonable fee may be charged by the primary regulator for processing the request. The Chairman of the Banking Board may render an opinion to any banking institution which has a federal charter.

(b) A creditor, seller or lessor who does not have a primary regulator may request an opinion from the Attorney General.

(c) The primary regulator shall furnish the opinion within a reasonable period of time not to exceed 30 days. A refusal to approve shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for the refusal. The failure of a creditor, seller, insurer or lessor to apply for an opinion under this section shall not be used as evidence in an action brought for a violation of this chapter.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 257 Opinions and fees(a) A creditor, seller, insurer or lessor may request an opinion from a primary regulator as to whether a consumer contract complies with this chapter. A reasonable fee may be charged by the primary regulator for processing the request. The Chairman of the Banking Board may render an opinion to any banking institution which has a federal charter.

(b) A creditor, seller or lessor who does not have a primary regulator may request an opinion from the Attorney General.

(c) The primary regulator shall furnish the opinion within a reasonable period of time not to exceed 30 days. A refusal to approve shall be in writing and shall state the reasons for the refusal. The failure of a creditor, seller, insurer or lessor to apply for an opinion under this section shall not be used as evidence in an action brought for a violation of this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 258 Restrictions(a) This chapter shall not apply to consumer contracts involving amounts of more than $25,000, except for homeowners and tenant insurance policies.

(b) Real estate transactions, including title insurance policies, are excluded from this chapter, except that real estate leases for residential purposes are included.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 258 Restrictions(a) This chapter shall not apply to consumer contracts involving amounts of more than $25,000, except for homeowners and tenant insurance policies.

(b) Real estate transactions, including title insurance policies, are excluded from this chapter, except that real estate leases for residential purposes are included.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 259 Guidelines(a) To insure that a consumer contract shall be clear, simple, understandable and easily readable, the following are guidelines that a court or primary regulator may consider in determining whether a consumer contract as a whole fails to comply with this chapter:

(1) Cross-references that are confusing.

(2) Sentences that are of greater length than reasonably necessary.

(3) Sentences that contain double negatives and exceptions to exceptions.

(4) Sentences and sections that are in a confusing or illogical order.

(5) The use of words with obsolete meanings or words that differ in their legal meanings from their common ordinary meaning.

(6) Frequent use of Old English and Middle English words and Latin and French phrases.

(b) The following are guidelines that a court or regulator shall consider in determining whether the consumer contract as a whole complies with this chapter:

(1) Sections shall be logically divided and captioned.

(2) A table of contents or alphabetical index shall be used for all contracts with more than 3,000 words.

(3) Conditions and exceptions to the main promise of the agreement shall be given equal prominence with the main promise and be in at least 10-point type.

(c) The following are guidelines regarding consumer restrictions that must be highlighted:

(1) A statement on the front page of the contract that highlights the following:

(i) Any provision or condition of the consumer contract that restricts or reduces a consumer's rights.

(ii) Any provision or condition of the consumer contract designed for the protection of the seller, insurer, creditor or lessor.

(2) The statement required by subsection (c)(1) of this section shall be in 10-point boldface type and not in all capitals, with the following caption in all capitals: ‘PLEASE READ THIS‘ in 12-point boldface type. If the contract is typewritten, the text of the statement must be underlined and the caption ‘PLEASE READ THIS‘ in all capitals.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 259 Guidelines(a) To insure that a consumer contract shall be clear, simple, understandable and easily readable, the following are guidelines that a court or primary regulator may consider in determining whether a consumer contract as a whole fails to comply with this chapter:

(1) Cross-references that are confusing.

(2) Sentences that are of greater length than reasonably necessary.

(3) Sentences that contain double negatives and exceptions to exceptions.

(4) Sentences and sections that are in a confusing or illogical order.

(5) The use of words with obsolete meanings or words that differ in their legal meanings from their common ordinary meaning.

(6) Frequent use of Old English and Middle English words and Latin and French phrases.

(b) The following are guidelines that a court or regulator shall consider in determining whether the consumer contract as a whole complies with this chapter:

(1) Sections shall be logically divided and captioned.

(2) A table of contents or alphabetical index shall be used for all contracts with more than 3,000 words.

(3) Conditions and exceptions to the main promise of the agreement shall be given equal prominence with the main promise and be in at least 10-point type.

(c) The following are guidelines regarding consumer restrictions that must be highlighted:

(1) A statement on the front page of the contract that highlights the following:

(i) Any provision or condition of the consumer contract that restricts or reduces a consumer's rights.

(ii) Any provision or condition of the consumer contract designed for the protection of the seller, insurer, creditor or lessor.

(2) The statement required by subsection (c)(1) of this section shall be in 10-point boldface type and not in all capitals, with the following caption in all capitals: ‘PLEASE READ THIS‘ in 12-point boldface type. If the contract is typewritten, the text of the statement must be underlined and the caption ‘PLEASE READ THIS‘ in all capitals.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 260 No WaiverNo consumer contract shall contain a waiver of any rights under this chapter. A violation of this chapter shall not render any consumer contract void or voidable, or serve as a defense in an action breach thereof unless enforcement of the contract which violates this chapter would be unconscionable.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 260 No WaiverNo consumer contract shall contain a waiver of any rights under this chapter. A violation of this chapter shall not render any consumer contract void or voidable, or serve as a defense in an action breach thereof unless enforcement of the contract which violates this chapter would be unconscionable.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 261 Injunctive reliefThe Director of the Consumer Services Administration or a Primary Regulator or any interested person may seek injunctive relief in the territorial or district court. The court may authorize reasonable attorney's fees and court costs in such a proceeding.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 261 Injunctive reliefThe Director of the Consumer Services Administration or a Primary Regulator or any interested person may seek injunctive relief in the territorial or district court. The court may authorize reasonable attorney's fees and court costs in such a proceeding.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 281 DefinitionsFor purposes of the chapter:

(a) The term ‘advertisement‘ means a commercial message in any medium that aids, promotes or assists, directly or indirectly, a rental-purchase agreement.

(b) The term ‘agricultural purpose‘ includes:

(1) the production, harvest, exhibition, marketing transformation, processing or manufacture of agricultural products by a natural person who cultivates plants or propagates or nurtures agricultural products; and

(2) the acquisition of farmlands, real property with a farm residence, or personal property and services used primarily in farming.

(c) A term or clause is ‘clear and conspicuous‘ when it is so written that a reasonable person against whom it is to operate ought to have noticed it. A printed heading in capitals is conspicuous. Language in the body of a form is conspicuous if it is in a larger or other contrasting type or color. Whether a term or clause is clear and conspicuous is for decision by the court.

(d) The term ‘consumer‘ means a natural person who leases or rents personal property pursuant to a rental purchase agreement.

(e) The term ‘date of consummation‘ means the date on which a consumer becomes contractually obligated under a rental-purchase agreement.

(f) The term ‘merchant‘ means a person who regularly provides the use of property through a rental-purchase agreement in the ordinary course of business and to whom a consumer's initial obligation under the agreement is payable.

(g) The term ‘personal property‘ means property that is not real property under the laws of the state or territory where the property is located when it is offered or made available under a rental-purchase agreement, unless otherwise stated.

(h) The term ‘rental-purchase agreement‘ means a contract between a consumer and a merchant:

(1) under which the merchant agrees to provide the consumer the use of the personal property for an initial period of four months or less;

(2) that is automatically renewable with each payment by the consumer; and

(3) that permits, but does not obligate, the consumer to become the owner of the property.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 281 DefinitionsFor purposes of the chapter:

(a) The term ‘advertisement‘ means a commercial message in any medium that aids, promotes or assists, directly or indirectly, a rental-purchase agreement.

(b) The term ‘agricultural purpose‘ includes:

(1) the production, harvest, exhibition, marketing transformation, processing or manufacture of agricultural products by a natural person who cultivates plants or propagates or nurtures agricultural products; and

(2) the acquisition of farmlands, real property with a farm residence, or personal property and services used primarily in farming.

(c) A term or clause is ‘clear and conspicuous‘ when it is so written that a reasonable person against whom it is to operate ought to have noticed it. A printed heading in capitals is conspicuous. Language in the body of a form is conspicuous if it is in a larger or other contrasting type or color. Whether a term or clause is clear and conspicuous is for decision by the court.

(d) The term ‘consumer‘ means a natural person who leases or rents personal property pursuant to a rental purchase agreement.

(e) The term ‘date of consummation‘ means the date on which a consumer becomes contractually obligated under a rental-purchase agreement.

(f) The term ‘merchant‘ means a person who regularly provides the use of property through a rental-purchase agreement in the ordinary course of business and to whom a consumer's initial obligation under the agreement is payable.

(g) The term ‘personal property‘ means property that is not real property under the laws of the state or territory where the property is located when it is offered or made available under a rental-purchase agreement, unless otherwise stated.

(h) The term ‘rental-purchase agreement‘ means a contract between a consumer and a merchant:

(1) under which the merchant agrees to provide the consumer the use of the personal property for an initial period of four months or less;

(2) that is automatically renewable with each payment by the consumer; and

(3) that permits, but does not obligate, the consumer to become the owner of the property.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 282 Exempted transactions(a) Rental-purchase agreements that comply with this chapter are not governed by the laws relating to:

(1) a security interest as defined in title 11A Virgin Islands Code, Article 1, § 1-201(35) and governed by Article 9 of title 11A Virgin Islands Code.

(b) This chapter does not apply to the following:

(1) rental purchase agreements primarily for business, commercial or agricultural purposes;

(2) a lease made to any governmental agency or instrumentality or organization;

(3) a lease of a safe deposit box; money or intangible personal property;

(4) a lease of an automobile, motor home, mobile home or manufactured housing; or

(5) a lease or bailment of personal property that is incidental to the lease of real property, and which does not provide that the consumer has an option to purchase the leased property.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 282 Exempted transactions(a) Rental-purchase agreements that comply with this chapter are not governed by the laws relating to:

(1) a security interest as defined in title 11A Virgin Islands Code, Article 1, § 1-201(35) and governed by Article 9 of title 11A Virgin Islands Code.

(b) This chapter does not apply to the following:

(1) rental purchase agreements primarily for business, commercial or agricultural purposes;

(2) a lease made to any governmental agency or instrumentality or organization;

(3) a lease of a safe deposit box; money or intangible personal property;

(4) a lease of an automobile, motor home, mobile home or manufactured housing; or

(5) a lease or bailment of personal property that is incidental to the lease of real property, and which does not provide that the consumer has an option to purchase the leased property.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 283 General disclosure requirements(a) In general.The merchant under a rental-purchase agreement shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner to the consumer the information required by sections 284, 285 and 286 of this chapter. In an agreement involving more than one merchant, only one merchant is required to make the disclosures.

(b) Disclosure.The disclosures required under sections 284 and 285 of this chapter and the agreement provisions required to be included under section 286 of this chapter shall be made or included:

(1) at or before the date of consummation of the rental-purchase agreement;

(2) clearly and conspicuously in writing and in a form that the consumer may keep; and

(3) in a case of disclosures required under section 284 of this chapter, segregated from all other terms, data or information provided to the consumer.

(c) Inaccuracy.If a disclosure required to be made by a merchant to a consumer under section 284 of this chapter becomes inaccurate as the result of any mutual written agreement between the merchant and the consumer occurring after delivery of the required disclosure to the consumer under this chapter, the resulting inaccuracy is not a violation of this chapter.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 283 General disclosure requirements(a) In general.The merchant under a rental-purchase agreement shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner to the consumer the information required by sections 284, 285 and 286 of this chapter. In an agreement involving more than one merchant, only one merchant is required to make the disclosures.

(b) Disclosure.The disclosures required under sections 284 and 285 of this chapter and the agreement provisions required to be included under section 286 of this chapter shall be made or included:

(1) at or before the date of consummation of the rental-purchase agreement;

(2) clearly and conspicuously in writing and in a form that the consumer may keep; and

(3) in a case of disclosures required under section 284 of this chapter, segregated from all other terms, data or information provided to the consumer.

(c) Inaccuracy.If a disclosure required to be made by a merchant to a consumer under section 284 of this chapter becomes inaccurate as the result of any mutual written agreement between the merchant and the consumer occurring after delivery of the required disclosure to the consumer under this chapter, the resulting inaccuracy is not a violation of this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 284 Rental purchase disclosuresFor each rental-purchase agreement, the merchant shall disclose to the consumer, to the extent applicable under the agreement, the following:

(a) the total amount of the first periodic payment and the total amount of advance payments, delivery charges, trade-in allowances, fees, taxes or other charges that may be required at or before the date of consummation of the agreement.

(b) the amount and timing of rental payments;

(c) the total number and the total dollar amount of rental payments and other charges necessary to acquire ownership of the property;

(d) a statement that the consumer will not own the property until the consumer has paid the total dollar amount necessary to acquire ownership;

(e) a disclosure that the total dollar amount payments do not include certain other charges;

(f) a statement that the consumer may be responsible for the fair market value of the property if it is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed;

(g) a statement indicating whether the property is new or used, except a statement indicating that new property is used property is not a violation of this chapter;

(h) A statement of:

(1) the manufacturer's suggested retail price, where applicable, or

(2) the price for which the property is available from the merchant in a cash sale;

(i) a clear statement of the terms of the consumer's option to purchase;

(j) a statement

(1) identifying the party responsible for maintaining or servicing the property while it is being rented;

(2) describing the responsibility for maintenance or service of the rental property; and

(3) disclosing that if any part of a manufacturer's express warranty covers the property at the time the consumer acquires ownership of the property, the warranty will be transferred to the consumer if allowed by the terms of the warranty;

(k) the date of consummation of the transaction and the identities of the merchant and consumer; and

(l) late fees for past due rental charges.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 284 Rental purchase disclosuresFor each rental-purchase agreement, the merchant shall disclose to the consumer, to the extent applicable under the agreement, the following:

(a) the total amount of the first periodic payment and the total amount of advance payments, delivery charges, trade-in allowances, fees, taxes or other charges that may be required at or before the date of consummation of the agreement.

(b) the amount and timing of rental payments;

(c) the total number and the total dollar amount of rental payments and other charges necessary to acquire ownership of the property;

(d) a statement that the consumer will not own the property until the consumer has paid the total dollar amount necessary to acquire ownership;

(e) a disclosure that the total dollar amount payments do not include certain other charges;

(f) a statement that the consumer may be responsible for the fair market value of the property if it is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed;

(g) a statement indicating whether the property is new or used, except a statement indicating that new property is used property is not a violation of this chapter;

(h) A statement of:

(1) the manufacturer's suggested retail price, where applicable, or

(2) the price for which the property is available from the merchant in a cash sale;

(i) a clear statement of the terms of the consumer's option to purchase;

(j) a statement

(1) identifying the party responsible for maintaining or servicing the property while it is being rented;

(2) describing the responsibility for maintenance or service of the rental property; and

(3) disclosing that if any part of a manufacturer's express warranty covers the property at the time the consumer acquires ownership of the property, the warranty will be transferred to the consumer if allowed by the terms of the warranty;

(k) the date of consummation of the transaction and the identities of the merchant and consumer; and

(l) late fees for past due rental charges.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 285 Point of rental disclosuresEach item of property displayed or offered in connection with a rental-purchase agreement must have stamped or affixed to the property a card, tag or label that clearly and conspicuously discloses only the following:

(a) whether the property is new or used;

(b) the price of the property in a cash sale;

(c) the amount of each rental payment;

(d) the total number of rental payments necessary to acquire ownership of the property; and

(e) the total dollar amount of rental payments necessary to acquire ownership of the property.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 285 Point of rental disclosuresEach item of property displayed or offered in connection with a rental-purchase agreement must have stamped or affixed to the property a card, tag or label that clearly and conspicuously discloses only the following:

(a) whether the property is new or used;

(b) the price of the property in a cash sale;

(c) the amount of each rental payment;

(d) the total number of rental payments necessary to acquire ownership of the property; and

(e) the total dollar amount of rental payments necessary to acquire ownership of the property.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 286 Agreement provisions(a) In general.Each rental-purchase agreement must:

(1) provide a brief description of the rented property sufficient to identify the rented property to the consumer and merchant. If a rental is for multiple items of property, a description of each item may be provided in a separate statement incorporated by reference agreement;

(2) state that the consumer is not required to purchase insurance or liability damage waiver for the property that is the subject of the agreement from the merchant or from any other party owned or controlled by the merchant;

(3) provide a statement of any obligation of the consumer and the merchant under the agreement to repair any defect or malfunction of the property covered by the agreement, and any limitation of those obligations;

(4) provide that the consumer may terminate the agreement without penalty by voluntarily surrendering or returning the property covered by the agreement upon expiration of any rental term; and

(5) contain a provision for reinstatement of the agreement which at a minimum:

(A) permits a consumer who fails to make a timely rental renewal payment to reinstate the agreement, without losing any rights or options that exist under the agreement, by the payment of all past due rental charges and any late fee or other charge, within seven business days after the renewal date if the consumer pays monthly, or within three business days after the renewal date if the consumer pays more frequently than monthly;

(B) if the consumer returns or voluntarily surrenders the property covered by the agreement, other than through judicial process, during the applicable reinstatement period set forth in subparagraph (A), permits the consumer to reinstate the agreement during a period of at least thirty days after the date of the return or surrender of the property by the payment of all past due rental charges, and any applicable redelivery, repair or late fees; and

(C) if the consumer has paid sixty percent or more of the total dollar amount of payments necessary to acquire ownership of the property under the agreement and returns or voluntarily surrenders the property, other than through judicial process, during the applicable reinstatement set forth in subparagraph (A), permits the consumer to reinstate the agreement during a period of at least ninety days after the date of the return of the property by the payment of all past due rental charges and any applicable redelivery, repair or late fees.

(b) Construction.Subsection (a) shall not be construed to prevent a merchant from attempting to repossess property during the reinstatement period pursuant to subsection (a)(5)(A), but such a repossession does not affect the consumer's right to reinstate. Upon reinstatement, the merchant shall provide the consumer with the same property, if available; if it is not available the merchant shall substitute property of comparable quality and condition.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 286 Agreement provisions(a) In general.Each rental-purchase agreement must:

(1) provide a brief description of the rented property sufficient to identify the rented property to the consumer and merchant. If a rental is for multiple items of property, a description of each item may be provided in a separate statement incorporated by reference agreement;

(2) state that the consumer is not required to purchase insurance or liability damage waiver for the property that is the subject of the agreement from the merchant or from any other party owned or controlled by the merchant;

(3) provide a statement of any obligation of the consumer and the merchant under the agreement to repair any defect or malfunction of the property covered by the agreement, and any limitation of those obligations;

(4) provide that the consumer may terminate the agreement without penalty by voluntarily surrendering or returning the property covered by the agreement upon expiration of any rental term; and

(5) contain a provision for reinstatement of the agreement which at a minimum:

(A) permits a consumer who fails to make a timely rental renewal payment to reinstate the agreement, without losing any rights or options that exist under the agreement, by the payment of all past due rental charges and any late fee or other charge, within seven business days after the renewal date if the consumer pays monthly, or within three business days after the renewal date if the consumer pays more frequently than monthly;

(B) if the consumer returns or voluntarily surrenders the property covered by the agreement, other than through judicial process, during the applicable reinstatement period set forth in subparagraph (A), permits the consumer to reinstate the agreement during a period of at least thirty days after the date of the return or surrender of the property by the payment of all past due rental charges, and any applicable redelivery, repair or late fees; and

(C) if the consumer has paid sixty percent or more of the total dollar amount of payments necessary to acquire ownership of the property under the agreement and returns or voluntarily surrenders the property, other than through judicial process, during the applicable reinstatement set forth in subparagraph (A), permits the consumer to reinstate the agreement during a period of at least ninety days after the date of the return of the property by the payment of all past due rental charges and any applicable redelivery, repair or late fees.

(b) Construction.Subsection (a) shall not be construed to prevent a merchant from attempting to repossess property during the reinstatement period pursuant to subsection (a)(5)(A), but such a repossession does not affect the consumer's right to reinstate. Upon reinstatement, the merchant shall provide the consumer with the same property, if available; if it is not available the merchant shall substitute property of comparable quality and condition.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 287 Prohibited provisions of rental-purchase agreementA rental-purchase agreement or any document that the merchant requests the consumer to execute may not contain:

(a) a confession of judgment;

(b) a negotiable instrument;

(c) a security interest or any other claim of a property interest in any goods, except those goods the use of which is provided by the merchant pursuant to the agreement;

(d) a wage assignment;

(e) a waiver by the consumer of a claim, counterclaim or defense; or

(f) a requirement that the consumer purchase insurance or liability waiver against loss or damage to the rental property from the merchant. This subsection shall not, however, be construed to prohibit a merchant from offering insurance or a liability waiver to a consumer, if the merchant clearly discloses that acceptance of the offer of insurance or a liability waiver is optional.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 287 Prohibited provisions of rental-purchase agreementA rental-purchase agreement or any document that the merchant requests the consumer to execute may not contain:

(a) a confession of judgment;

(b) a negotiable instrument;

(c) a security interest or any other claim of a property interest in any goods, except those goods the use of which is provided by the merchant pursuant to the agreement;

(d) a wage assignment;

(e) a waiver by the consumer of a claim, counterclaim or defense; or

(f) a requirement that the consumer purchase insurance or liability waiver against loss or damage to the rental property from the merchant. This subsection shall not, however, be construed to prohibit a merchant from offering insurance or a liability waiver to a consumer, if the merchant clearly discloses that acceptance of the offer of insurance or a liability waiver is optional.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 288A merchant shall provide the consumer a written receipt for each payment made by cash, check or money order, the date, the total number of rental payments made and the total number of payments necessary to acquire ownership of the property.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 288A merchant shall provide the consumer a written receipt for each payment made by cash, check or money order, the date, the total number of rental payments made and the total number of payments necessary to acquire ownership of the property.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 289 Renegotiations and extensionsA renegotiation of a rental-purchase agreement is deemed to be a new agreement for purposes of this chapter, requiring new disclosures under sections 284 and 286. A renegotiation shall be considered to occur when an existing rental-purchase agreement is satisfied and replaced by a new agreement undertaken by the same merchant. Events such as the following may not be treated as renegotiations:

(a) the addition or return of property in a multiple-item agreement or the substitution of property, if in either case the average payment allocable to a payment period is not changed by more than twenty-five percent;

(b) a deferral or extension of one or more periodic payments, or portions of a periodic payment;

(c) a reduction in charges in the agreement; or

(d) an agreement involving a court proceeding.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 289 Renegotiations and extensionsA renegotiation of a rental-purchase agreement is deemed to be a new agreement for purposes of this chapter, requiring new disclosures under sections 284 and 286. A renegotiation shall be considered to occur when an existing rental-purchase agreement is satisfied and replaced by a new agreement undertaken by the same merchant. Events such as the following may not be treated as renegotiations:

(a) the addition or return of property in a multiple-item agreement or the substitution of property, if in either case the average payment allocable to a payment period is not changed by more than twenty-five percent;

(b) a deferral or extension of one or more periodic payments, or portions of a periodic payment;

(c) a reduction in charges in the agreement; or

(d) an agreement involving a court proceeding.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 290 Rental-purchase adverstising(a) Advertisements.If an advertisement for a rental-purchase agreement refers to, or states, the amount of any payment or the right to acquire ownership, the merchant that makes the advertisement shall also clearly and conspicuously state in the advertisement the following information:

(1) the transaction advertised is to occur under a rental-purchase agreement;

(2) the total number and total dollar amount of rental payments necessary to acquire ownership under the agreement; and

(3) the consumer acquires no ownership rights in the property if the total dollar amount of rental payments necessary to acquire ownership is not paid.

(b) Liability.The owner or personnel of any medium in which an advertisement appears or through which it is disseminated is not liable for a violation of subsection

(a).

(c) Exemptions.Subsection (a) does not apply to an advertisement that:

(1) is published in the yellow pages of a telephone directory or in any similar directory of businesses; or

(2) is displayed in the merchant's place of business.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 290 Rental-purchase adverstising(a) Advertisements.If an advertisement for a rental-purchase agreement refers to, or states, the amount of any payment or the right to acquire ownership, the merchant that makes the advertisement shall also clearly and conspicuously state in the advertisement the following information:

(1) the transaction advertised is to occur under a rental-purchase agreement;

(2) the total number and total dollar amount of rental payments necessary to acquire ownership under the agreement; and

(3) the consumer acquires no ownership rights in the property if the total dollar amount of rental payments necessary to acquire ownership is not paid.

(b) Liability.The owner or personnel of any medium in which an advertisement appears or through which it is disseminated is not liable for a violation of subsection

(a).

(c) Exemptions.Subsection (a) does not apply to an advertisement that:

(1) is published in the yellow pages of a telephone directory or in any similar directory of businesses; or

(2) is displayed in the merchant's place of business.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 291 Civil liability(a) Liability amount.Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a merchant who willfully violates this chapter with respect to a consumer is liable to the consumer in an amount equal to the following:

(1) In an action by an individual consumer, the sum of:

(A) actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the violation; and

(B) not less than $100.

(2) In a class action, the amount the court determines to be appropriate with no minimum recovery as to each member. The total recovery in any class action or series of class actions arising out of the same violation may not be more than the lesser of $500,000 or one percent of the net worth of the merchant.

(3) If a particular rental-purchase agreement has more than one consumer, only one recovery of damages is allowed for a violation of this chapter. Multiple violations in connection with a single rental-purchase agreement entitle the consumer, or multiple consumers, to only one recovery under this chapter.

(b) Statute of limitations.

(1) Actions to enforce chapter.An action under this section may be brought in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, but not later than three years after the date of the occurrence of the violation.

(2) Defense.Except as otherwise provided by Virgin Islands law, this subsection does not bar a consumer from asserting a violation of this chapter in an action to collect a debt brought more than one year after the date of the occurrence of the violation as a matter of defense by recoupment or set off.

(c) Offset.

(1) Limitations.A consumer may not take any action to offset any amount for which a merchant is potentially liable under subsection (a) against any amount owed by the consumer, unless the amount of the merchant's liability has been determined by judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction in an action in which the merchant was a party.

(2) Constructions.This subsection does not bar a consumer who is in default on the obligation from asserting a violation of this chapter as an original action, or as a defense or counterclaim to an action brought by the merchant to collect amounts owed by the consumer.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 291 Civil liability(a) Liability amount.Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a merchant who willfully violates this chapter with respect to a consumer is liable to the consumer in an amount equal to the following:

(1) In an action by an individual consumer, the sum of:

(A) actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the violation; and

(B) not less than $100.

(2) In a class action, the amount the court determines to be appropriate with no minimum recovery as to each member. The total recovery in any class action or series of class actions arising out of the same violation may not be more than the lesser of $500,000 or one percent of the net worth of the merchant.

(3) If a particular rental-purchase agreement has more than one consumer, only one recovery of damages is allowed for a violation of this chapter. Multiple violations in connection with a single rental-purchase agreement entitle the consumer, or multiple consumers, to only one recovery under this chapter.

(b) Statute of limitations.

(1) Actions to enforce chapter.An action under this section may be brought in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, but not later than three years after the date of the occurrence of the violation.

(2) Defense.Except as otherwise provided by Virgin Islands law, this subsection does not bar a consumer from asserting a violation of this chapter in an action to collect a debt brought more than one year after the date of the occurrence of the violation as a matter of defense by recoupment or set off.

(c) Offset.

(1) Limitations.A consumer may not take any action to offset any amount for which a merchant is potentially liable under subsection (a) against any amount owed by the consumer, unless the amount of the merchant's liability has been determined by judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction in an action in which the merchant was a party.

(2) Constructions.This subsection does not bar a consumer who is in default on the obligation from asserting a violation of this chapter as an original action, or as a defense or counterclaim to an action brought by the merchant to collect amounts owed by the consumer.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 292 Defenses of merchantsA merchant is not liable:

(a) for any violation of the requirements of this chapter if within sixty days after discovering the violation, and before an action is filed against a merchant or written notice of the violation is received from the consumer, the merchant notifies the consumer of the violation and makes whatever adjustments to the account of the consumer as are necessary to assure that the consumer will not be required to pay an amount in excess of the amounts actually disclosed;

(b) under this chapter for any act done or omitted in good-faith conformity with any rule, regulation, interpretation, or approval promulgated by a government agency or instrumentality; or

(c) under this chapter for a violation if the merchant establishes, and at the time of the violation, is implementing, procedures reasonably calculated to prevent the violation. Subsection (b) of this section applies even if, after the act or omission has occurred, and the rule, regulation, interpretation or approval is amended, rescinded or determined by judicial or other authority to be invalid for any reason.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 292 Defenses of merchantsA merchant is not liable:

(a) for any violation of the requirements of this chapter if within sixty days after discovering the violation, and before an action is filed against a merchant or written notice of the violation is received from the consumer, the merchant notifies the consumer of the violation and makes whatever adjustments to the account of the consumer as are necessary to assure that the consumer will not be required to pay an amount in excess of the amounts actually disclosed;

(b) under this chapter for any act done or omitted in good-faith conformity with any rule, regulation, interpretation, or approval promulgated by a government agency or instrumentality; or

(c) under this chapter for a violation if the merchant establishes, and at the time of the violation, is implementing, procedures reasonably calculated to prevent the violation. Subsection (b) of this section applies even if, after the act or omission has occurred, and the rule, regulation, interpretation or approval is amended, rescinded or determined by judicial or other authority to be invalid for any reason.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 293 Liability of assignees(a) Assignees.For purposes of sections 291 and 292 and this chapter, the term ‘merchant‘ includes an assignee of a merchant. However, an action under section 291 for a violation of this chapter may be brought against an assignee only if the violation is apparent on the face of the rental-purchase agreement to which it relates. A violation apparent on the face of a rental-purchase agreement includes a disclosure that can be determined to be incomplete or inaccurate from the face of the agreement. An assignee has no liability in a case in which the assignment is involuntary.

(b) Consumer acknowledgment.In an action by or against an assignee, the consumer's written acknowledgment of receipt of a disclosure shall be conclusive proof that the disclosure was made, if the assignee had no knowledge that the disclosure had not been made when the assignee acquired the rental-purchase agreement to which it relates.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 293 Liability of assignees(a) Assignees.For purposes of sections 291 and 292 and this chapter, the term ‘merchant‘ includes an assignee of a merchant. However, an action under section 291 for a violation of this chapter may be brought against an assignee only if the violation is apparent on the face of the rental-purchase agreement to which it relates. A violation apparent on the face of a rental-purchase agreement includes a disclosure that can be determined to be incomplete or inaccurate from the face of the agreement. An assignee has no liability in a case in which the assignment is involuntary.

(b) Consumer acknowledgment.In an action by or against an assignee, the consumer's written acknowledgment of receipt of a disclosure shall be conclusive proof that the disclosure was made, if the assignee had no knowledge that the disclosure had not been made when the assignee acquired the rental-purchase agreement to which it relates.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 294 Effect on government agenciesNo civil liability or criminal penalty under this chapter may be imposed on the United States or any of its departments or agencies, any territorial or political subdivision, or any agency of the territory or political subdivision.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 294 Effect on government agenciesNo civil liability or criminal penalty under this chapter may be imposed on the United States or any of its departments or agencies, any territorial or political subdivision, or any agency of the territory or political subdivision.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 302 Purpose; rules of constructionThe provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to protect the consuming public from deceptive and unfair acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 302 Purpose; rules of constructionThe provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to protect the consuming public from deceptive and unfair acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 303 Definitions(a) ‘Advertisement‘ means any public offer of merchandise with the purpose of attracting the attention of the consumer, whether through the press, handbills or other publications, radio, television, or any other informative media.

(b) ‘Chain referral sale‘ means the provision or offer to provide a consumer a prize, discount, rebate, or other compensation as an inducement for a sale which requires the prospective consumer to give names of other prospective consumers to the seller, if earning the prize, discount, rebate, or other compensation is contingent upon a sale to one of the referred consumers.

(c) ‘Commissioner‘ means the Commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.

(d) ‘Consumer‘ means any person who purchases or contracts for the purchase of merchandise not for resale in the ordinary course of his trade or business but for his use or that of a member of his household.

(e) ‘Deceptive business practice‘ means any false, falsely disparaging, or misleading oral or written statement, visual description or other representation of any kind made in connection with the sale, lease, rental, or loan of consumer goods or services, or in the extension of consumer credit or in the collection of consumer debts which has the capacity, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading consumers.

(f) ‘Department‘ means the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.

(g) ‘Merchandise‘ means any article of commerce usually sold directly to the consumer.

(h) ‘Person‘ means any natural person or his legal representative, partnership, corporation, domestic or foreign, company, trust, business entity or association, and any agent, employee, salesman, partner, officer, director, member, stockholder, associate, trustee or cestui que trust thereof.

(i) ‘Pyramid sales scheme‘ means any plan or operation whereby a person in exchange for money or other thing of value acquires the opportunity to receive a benefit or thing of value which is primarily based upon the inducement of additional persons, by himself or others, regardless of number, to participate in the same plan or operation and is not primarily contingent on the volume or quantity of goods, services, or other property sold or distributed or to be sold or distributed to persons for purposes of resale to consumers. For purposes of this subsection, ‘money or other thing of value‘ does not include payments made for sales demonstration equipment and materials furnished on a nonprofit basis for use in making sales and not for resale.

(j) ‘Sale‘ means a revenue transaction where goods or services are delivered to a customer in return for cash or a contractual obligation to pay.

(k) ‘Trade or commerce‘ means the advertising, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any services and any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal or mixed, and any other article, commodity, or thing of value wherever situated.

(l) ‘Telemarketing‘ means a plan, program, or campaign that is conducted to induce the purchase of goods or services by use of one or more telephones and which involves calls to or from more than one consumer.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 303 Definitions(a) ‘Advertisement‘ means any public offer of merchandise with the purpose of attracting the attention of the consumer, whether through the press, handbills or other publications, radio, television, or any other informative media.

(b) ‘Chain referral sale‘ means the provision or offer to provide a consumer a prize, discount, rebate, or other compensation as an inducement for a sale which requires the prospective consumer to give names of other prospective consumers to the seller, if earning the prize, discount, rebate, or other compensation is contingent upon a sale to one of the referred consumers.

(c) ‘Commissioner‘ means the Commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.

(d) ‘Consumer‘ means any person who purchases or contracts for the purchase of merchandise not for resale in the ordinary course of his trade or business but for his use or that of a member of his household.

(e) ‘Deceptive business practice‘ means any false, falsely disparaging, or misleading oral or written statement, visual description or other representation of any kind made in connection with the sale, lease, rental, or loan of consumer goods or services, or in the extension of consumer credit or in the collection of consumer debts which has the capacity, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading consumers.

(f) ‘Department‘ means the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.

(g) ‘Merchandise‘ means any article of commerce usually sold directly to the consumer.

(h) ‘Person‘ means any natural person or his legal representative, partnership, corporation, domestic or foreign, company, trust, business entity or association, and any agent, employee, salesman, partner, officer, director, member, stockholder, associate, trustee or cestui que trust thereof.

(i) ‘Pyramid sales scheme‘ means any plan or operation whereby a person in exchange for money or other thing of value acquires the opportunity to receive a benefit or thing of value which is primarily based upon the inducement of additional persons, by himself or others, regardless of number, to participate in the same plan or operation and is not primarily contingent on the volume or quantity of goods, services, or other property sold or distributed or to be sold or distributed to persons for purposes of resale to consumers. For purposes of this subsection, ‘money or other thing of value‘ does not include payments made for sales demonstration equipment and materials furnished on a nonprofit basis for use in making sales and not for resale.

(j) ‘Sale‘ means a revenue transaction where goods or services are delivered to a customer in return for cash or a contractual obligation to pay.

(k) ‘Trade or commerce‘ means the advertising, offering for sale, sale, or distribution of any services and any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal or mixed, and any other article, commodity, or thing of value wherever situated.

(l) ‘Telemarketing‘ means a plan, program, or campaign that is conducted to induce the purchase of goods or services by use of one or more telephones and which involves calls to or from more than one consumer.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 304 Deceptive business acts or practices; chain referral sales; pyramid salesIt is unlawful for any person to engage in unfair methods of competition or unfair or deceptive trade acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce. In construing this chapter, consideration must be given to the interpretations of the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts relating to 15 U.S.C. § 45 at the time of enactment of this chapter.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 304 Deceptive business acts or practices; chain referral sales; pyramid salesIt is unlawful for any person to engage in unfair methods of competition or unfair or deceptive trade acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce. In construing this chapter, consideration must be given to the interpretations of the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts relating to 15 U.S.C. § 45 at the time of enactment of this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 305 Disclosure of legal name of business and addressIt is unlawful in the sale of consumer goods or service for any person conducting a mail order or catalog business in the Virgin Islands, and utilizing a post office box address or a street address representing a site used primarily for the receipt or delivery of mail or as a telephone answering service, to fail to disclose the legal name under which business is conducted and the complete street address from which business is actually conducted in all advertising and promotional materials, including order blanks and forms.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 305 Disclosure of legal name of business and addressIt is unlawful in the sale of consumer goods or service for any person conducting a mail order or catalog business in the Virgin Islands, and utilizing a post office box address or a street address representing a site used primarily for the receipt or delivery of mail or as a telephone answering service, to fail to disclose the legal name under which business is conducted and the complete street address from which business is actually conducted in all advertising and promotional materials, including order blanks and forms.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 306 Solicitations regarding recordsIt is an unlawful practice for any person to offer for sale or sell to a consumer access to any records or copies of any records pertaining to the consumer which may be obtained at no cost or a nominal cost from a governmental agency as defined in the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1861, unless all offers, solicitations, and applications for any such service include the following statement in capital letters in not less than 10 point type:

‘MANY GOVERNMENT RECORDS ARE AVAILABLE FREE OR AT A NOMINAL COST FROM GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO GIVE YOU A COPY OF YOUR CREDIT RECORD UPON REQUEST, AT NO CHARGE OR FOR A NOMINAL FEE.‘
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 306 Solicitations regarding recordsIt is an unlawful practice for any person to offer for sale or sell to a consumer access to any records or copies of any records pertaining to the consumer which may be obtained at no cost or a nominal cost from a governmental agency as defined in the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1861, unless all offers, solicitations, and applications for any such service include the following statement in capital letters in not less than 10 point type:

‘MANY GOVERNMENT RECORDS ARE AVAILABLE FREE OR AT A NOMINAL COST FROM GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO GIVE YOU A COPY OF YOUR CREDIT RECORD UPON REQUEST, AT NO CHARGE OR FOR A NOMINAL FEE.‘

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 307 Return of down payment or rejectionIf the furnishing of merchandise, whether under purchase order or a contract of sale, is conditioned on the consumer's providing credit references or having a credit rating acceptable to the seller and the seller rejects the credit application of that consumer, the seller must return to the consumer any down payment, whether the down payment is in the form of money, goods, chattels or otherwise, made under that purchase order or contract and may not retain any part of the down-payment. The retention by the seller of part or all of the down payment, whether such down payment is in the form of money, goods, chattels or otherwise, under those circumstances as a fee for investigating the credit of the consumer or as liquidated damages to cover depreciation of the merchandise which was the subject of the purchase order or contract or for any other purpose is an unlawful practice within the meaning of this chapter, whether that fee or those charges are claimed from the down payment, whether such down payment is in the form of money, goods, chattels or otherwise, or made as a separate charge to the consumer.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 307 Return of down payment or rejectionIf the furnishing of merchandise, whether under purchase order or a contract of sale, is conditioned on the consumer's providing credit references or having a credit rating acceptable to the seller and the seller rejects the credit application of that consumer, the seller must return to the consumer any down payment, whether the down payment is in the form of money, goods, chattels or otherwise, made under that purchase order or contract and may not retain any part of the down-payment. The retention by the seller of part or all of the down payment, whether such down payment is in the form of money, goods, chattels or otherwise, under those circumstances as a fee for investigating the credit of the consumer or as liquidated damages to cover depreciation of the merchandise which was the subject of the purchase order or contract or for any other purpose is an unlawful practice within the meaning of this chapter, whether that fee or those charges are claimed from the down payment, whether such down payment is in the form of money, goods, chattels or otherwise, or made as a separate charge to the consumer.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 308 Assignment(a)

(1) If a consumer in a retail installment sales transaction gives the seller a negotiable instrument in part or full payment for the merchandise that is the subject of a purchase order, retail charge agreement or retail installment sales contract before that merchandise is delivered or furnished to him, the assignment of that agreement or contract or the transfer of that negotiable instrument does not bar that consumer from asserting against the assignee or transferee any defense or right of action he may have against the seller, unless the contract or agreement contains, in at least 10-point bold type, the following notice: ‘NOTICE TO BUYER You have the right to give the assignee named (or if no assignee is named, to give the seller) written notice of any defense or right of action that you may have against the seller within 5 days of delivery of the merchandise described herein. If a notice is not received within that time, you may not assert the defense or right of action against the assignee; and such a notice is not given within the time period stated.‘

(2) Notice is received within the meaning of this section, if the seller or assignee has refused to accept delivery by certified or registered mail of such a notice.

(3) It is an unlawful practice within the meaning of this chapter for a seller to transfer, assign or negotiate a negotiable instrument made by and received from a consumer in connection with an order for or a contract involving merchandise to be furnished by that seller to that consumer with the intent of not furnishing or delivering merchandise of the quantity, quality and specifications and at the time and place called for by that order or contract.

(b) This section does not apply where the merchandise that is the subject of the purchase order, retail charge agreement or retail installment sales contract is a motor vehicle, or where the negotiable instrument is made in accordance with the provisions of Subchapter I of the National Housing Act.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 308 Assignment(a)

(1) If a consumer in a retail installment sales transaction gives the seller a negotiable instrument in part or full payment for the merchandise that is the subject of a purchase order, retail charge agreement or retail installment sales contract before that merchandise is delivered or furnished to him, the assignment of that agreement or contract or the transfer of that negotiable instrument does not bar that consumer from asserting against the assignee or transferee any defense or right of action he may have against the seller, unless the contract or agreement contains, in at least 10-point bold type, the following notice: ‘NOTICE TO BUYER You have the right to give the assignee named (or if no assignee is named, to give the seller) written notice of any defense or right of action that you may have against the seller within 5 days of delivery of the merchandise described herein. If a notice is not received within that time, you may not assert the defense or right of action against the assignee; and such a notice is not given within the time period stated.‘

(2) Notice is received within the meaning of this section, if the seller or assignee has refused to accept delivery by certified or registered mail of such a notice.

(3) It is an unlawful practice within the meaning of this chapter for a seller to transfer, assign or negotiate a negotiable instrument made by and received from a consumer in connection with an order for or a contract involving merchandise to be furnished by that seller to that consumer with the intent of not furnishing or delivering merchandise of the quantity, quality and specifications and at the time and place called for by that order or contract.

(b) This section does not apply where the merchandise that is the subject of the purchase order, retail charge agreement or retail installment sales contract is a motor vehicle, or where the negotiable instrument is made in accordance with the provisions of Subchapter I of the National Housing Act.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 309 Offers of free prizes, gifts, or gratuities; disclosure of conditionsIt is an unlawful practice for any person to promote or advertise any business, product, utility service, including but not limited to, the provision of electric, telecommunication, or gas service, or interest in property, by means of offering free prizes, gifts, or gratuities to any consumer, unless all material terms and conditions relating to the offer are clearly and conspicuously disclosed at the outset of the offer so as to leave no reasonable probability that the offering might be misunderstood.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 309 Offers of free prizes, gifts, or gratuities; disclosure of conditionsIt is an unlawful practice for any person to promote or advertise any business, product, utility service, including but not limited to, the provision of electric, telecommunication, or gas service, or interest in property, by means of offering free prizes, gifts, or gratuities to any consumer, unless all material terms and conditions relating to the offer are clearly and conspicuously disclosed at the outset of the offer so as to leave no reasonable probability that the offering might be misunderstood.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 310 Telemarketing; free trials(a) A person or entity that, by means of a telemarketing plan, program, or campaign, offers free goods or services to a Virgin Islands consumer on a trial basis and assesses a periodic fee or charge for the goods or services after the end of the free trial period, must send to the consumer who accepts the free goods or services an invoice that the consumer may use to pay the periodic fee or charge or indicate that the consumer no longer wishes to receive the goods or services after the end of the free trial period. The invoice must contain an address and telephone number the consumer may use to cancel the goods or services, if the consumer no longer wishes to receive the free goods or services after the end of the free trial period.

(b) Violation of this section constitutes an unlawful practice within the meaning of this chapter.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 310 Telemarketing; free trials(a) A person or entity that, by means of a telemarketing plan, program, or campaign, offers free goods or services to a Virgin Islands consumer on a trial basis and assesses a periodic fee or charge for the goods or services after the end of the free trial period, must send to the consumer who accepts the free goods or services an invoice that the consumer may use to pay the periodic fee or charge or indicate that the consumer no longer wishes to receive the goods or services after the end of the free trial period. The invoice must contain an address and telephone number the consumer may use to cancel the goods or services, if the consumer no longer wishes to receive the free goods or services after the end of the free trial period.

(b) Violation of this section constitutes an unlawful practice within the meaning of this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 311 Simulation of checksIt is an unlawful practice for any person to promote or advertise any business, product or interest in property by means of distributing documents designed to simulate checks or other negotiable instruments, unless such instrument has printed upon both the front and back, the following statement: ‘This is not a Check‘. However, it is not an unlawful practice under this section for a person to distribute for commercial purposes a sample or specimen of a check or other instrument which is used to solicit orders for the sale of that instrument and which is clearly marked as a non-negotiable sample or specimen.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 311 Simulation of checksIt is an unlawful practice for any person to promote or advertise any business, product or interest in property by means of distributing documents designed to simulate checks or other negotiable instruments, unless such instrument has printed upon both the front and back, the following statement: ‘This is not a Check‘. However, it is not an unlawful practice under this section for a person to distribute for commercial purposes a sample or specimen of a check or other instrument which is used to solicit orders for the sale of that instrument and which is clearly marked as a non-negotiable sample or specimen.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 312 Wholesale advertising(a) A person may represent directly or by implication in any advertising that a person offers to sell or sells a particular article of merchandise at a wholesale price, if that person can substantiate significant savings on his price as compared to identical merchandise offered for sale by retailers in the trade area. However, it is an unlawful practice to represent directly or by implication in any advertising that a person is a wholesaler or offers to sell or sells merchandise at wholesale to the public, unless the person:

(1) makes a substantial and significant number of sales for resale in the ordinary course of business; and

(2) can substantiate savings on the prices offered as compared to merchandise offered for sale by retailers in the trade area.

(b) It is an unlawful practice to represent directly or by implication in any advertising that a person offers to sell or sells a particular article of merchandise at a wholesale price, unless that person can substantiate significant savings on his price, as compared to identical merchandise offered for sale by retailers in the trade area.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 312 Wholesale advertising(a) A person may represent directly or by implication in any advertising that a person offers to sell or sells a particular article of merchandise at a wholesale price, if that person can substantiate significant savings on his price as compared to identical merchandise offered for sale by retailers in the trade area. However, it is an unlawful practice to represent directly or by implication in any advertising that a person is a wholesaler or offers to sell or sells merchandise at wholesale to the public, unless the person:

(1) makes a substantial and significant number of sales for resale in the ordinary course of business; and

(2) can substantiate savings on the prices offered as compared to merchandise offered for sale by retailers in the trade area.

(b) It is an unlawful practice to represent directly or by implication in any advertising that a person offers to sell or sells a particular article of merchandise at a wholesale price, unless that person can substantiate significant savings on his price, as compared to identical merchandise offered for sale by retailers in the trade area.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 326 Regulations(1) The Commissioner may adopt such rules and regulations, pursuant to title 3, chapter 35 as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter, including regulations defining specific deceptive business practices.

(2) The rules and regulations may supplement but may not be inconsistent with the rules, regulations and decisions of the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts in interpreting the provisions of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 326 Regulations(1) The Commissioner may adopt such rules and regulations, pursuant to title 3, chapter 35 as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this chapter, including regulations defining specific deceptive business practices.

(2) The rules and regulations may supplement but may not be inconsistent with the rules, regulations and decisions of the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts in interpreting the provisions of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 327 EnforcementThe Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this chapter.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 327 EnforcementThe Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 328 Remedies of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs(a) The Department may bring:

(1) An action to obtain a declaratory judgment that an act or practice violates this chapter.

(2) An action to enjoin any person who has violated, is violating, or is otherwise likely to violate, this chapter.

(3) An action on behalf of one or more consumers for the actual damages caused by an act or practice in violation of this chapter. However, damages are not recoverable under this chapter against a retailer who has in good faith engaged in the dissemination of claims of a manufacturer or wholesaler without actual knowledge that it violated this chapter.

(4) A motion in the Superior Court to appoint a receiver; or

(5) Any other action provided by law.

(b) The Department may petition the Superior Court to impose a civil penalty in a sum not to exceed $50,000 against any person found by the court to have engaged in any method, act or practice declared unlawful under this chapter. If the court finds the method, act or practice to have been entered into with the intent to defraud, the court may impose a civil penalty in a sum not to exceed $50,000 per violation.

(c) A civil penalty imposed under subsection (b) must be paid to the Department of Finance who shall deposit the money in the Treasury of the Government of the Virgin Islands in a special fund designated the Consumer Protection Fund, established in title 33, chapter 111, section 3100o.

(d) If the Court finds a person to have engaged in any method, act, or practice declared unlawful under this chapter, and the violation was committed against a person 65 years of age or older, the court may impose an additional civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each violation.

(e) A civil penalty imposed under subsection (d) must be paid to the Department of Finance. The Department shall deposit the money in the Treasury of the Government of the Virgin Islands in a special fund designated the Elderly Victim Fund established in title 33, chapter 111, section 3100n.

(f) The Court shall consider the following in determining whether to impose a civil penalty under subsection

(d):

(1) Whether the defendant's conduct was in willful disregard of the right of the person 65 years of age or older;

(2) Whether the defendant knew or should have known that the defendant's conduct was directed to a person 65 years of age or older;

(3) Whether the person 65 years of age or older was substantially more vulnerable to the defendant's conduct because of age, poor health, infirmity, impaired understanding, restricted mobility, or disability, than other persons; and

(4) Any other factors the court considers appropriate.

(g) Any other actions as provided by law.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 328 Remedies of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs(a) The Department may bring:

(1) An action to obtain a declaratory judgment that an act or practice violates this chapter.

(2) An action to enjoin any person who has violated, is violating, or is otherwise likely to violate, this chapter.

(3) An action on behalf of one or more consumers for the actual damages caused by an act or practice in violation of this chapter. However, damages are not recoverable under this chapter against a retailer who has in good faith engaged in the dissemination of claims of a manufacturer or wholesaler without actual knowledge that it violated this chapter.

(4) A motion in the Superior Court to appoint a receiver; or

(5) Any other action provided by law.

(b) The Department may petition the Superior Court to impose a civil penalty in a sum not to exceed $50,000 against any person found by the court to have engaged in any method, act or practice declared unlawful under this chapter. If the court finds the method, act or practice to have been entered into with the intent to defraud, the court may impose a civil penalty in a sum not to exceed $50,000 per violation.

(c) A civil penalty imposed under subsection (b) must be paid to the Department of Finance who shall deposit the money in the Treasury of the Government of the Virgin Islands in a special fund designated the Consumer Protection Fund, established in title 33, chapter 111, section 3100o.

(d) If the Court finds a person to have engaged in any method, act, or practice declared unlawful under this chapter, and the violation was committed against a person 65 years of age or older, the court may impose an additional civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each violation.

(e) A civil penalty imposed under subsection (d) must be paid to the Department of Finance. The Department shall deposit the money in the Treasury of the Government of the Virgin Islands in a special fund designated the Elderly Victim Fund established in title 33, chapter 111, section 3100n.

(f) The Court shall consider the following in determining whether to impose a civil penalty under subsection

(d):

(1) Whether the defendant's conduct was in willful disregard of the right of the person 65 years of age or older;

(2) Whether the defendant knew or should have known that the defendant's conduct was directed to a person 65 years of age or older;

(3) Whether the person 65 years of age or older was substantially more vulnerable to the defendant's conduct because of age, poor health, infirmity, impaired understanding, restricted mobility, or disability, than other persons; and

(4) Any other factors the court considers appropriate.

(g) Any other actions as provided by law.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 329 Assurance of voluntary compliance; settlementsThe Commissioner may order mediation with respect to any method, act or practice found to be violative of this chapter from any person who has engaged in, is engaging in, or was about to engage in the method, act or practice. Evidence of a violation of a mediation agreement is prima facie evidence of a violation of this chapter in any subsequent proceeding brought by the Department against the alleged violator.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 329 Assurance of voluntary compliance; settlementsThe Commissioner may order mediation with respect to any method, act or practice found to be violative of this chapter from any person who has engaged in, is engaging in, or was about to engage in the method, act or practice. Evidence of a violation of a mediation agreement is prima facie evidence of a violation of this chapter in any subsequent proceeding brought by the Department against the alleged violator.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 330 Powers of receiver(a) When a receiver is appointed by the court under this chapter, the receiver shall have the power to sue for, collect, receive and take into his possession all the goods and chattels, rights and credits, moneys and effects, lands and tenements, books, records, documents, papers, chooses in action, bills, notes and property of every description, derived by means of any practice declared to be illegal and prohibited by this chapter, including property with which the property has been mingled, if it cannot be identified in kind because of the commingling, and to sell, convey, and assign the same and hold and dispose of the proceeds thereof under the direction of the court.

(b) Any person who has suffered damages as a result of the use or employment of any unlawful practices and submits proof to the satisfaction of the court that he has in fact been damaged, may participate with general creditors in the distribution of the assets to the extent he has sustained out-of-pocket losses.

(c) In the case of a partnership or business entity, the receiver shall settle the estate and distribute the assets under the direction of the court. The court has jurisdiction of all questions arising in such proceedings and may make such orders and judgments therein as may be required.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 330 Powers of receiver(a) When a receiver is appointed by the court under this chapter, the receiver shall have the power to sue for, collect, receive and take into his possession all the goods and chattels, rights and credits, moneys and effects, lands and tenements, books, records, documents, papers, chooses in action, bills, notes and property of every description, derived by means of any practice declared to be illegal and prohibited by this chapter, including property with which the property has been mingled, if it cannot be identified in kind because of the commingling, and to sell, convey, and assign the same and hold and dispose of the proceeds thereof under the direction of the court.

(b) Any person who has suffered damages as a result of the use or employment of any unlawful practices and submits proof to the satisfaction of the court that he has in fact been damaged, may participate with general creditors in the distribution of the assets to the extent he has sustained out-of-pocket losses.

(c) In the case of a partnership or business entity, the receiver shall settle the estate and distribute the assets under the direction of the court. The court has jurisdiction of all questions arising in such proceedings and may make such orders and judgments therein as may be required.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 331 Private right of actionAny person who suffers actual damage as a result of a violation of this chapter committed by any other person may bring an action against such person. The court, in its discretion may award actual economic damages or any other relief that the court considers proper.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 331 Private right of actionAny person who suffers actual damage as a result of a violation of this chapter committed by any other person may bring an action against such person. The court, in its discretion may award actual economic damages or any other relief that the court considers proper.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 332 Recovery of costsThe court may award to a prevailing party, as part of the judgment, a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees based on actual time expended, determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the prevailing attorney for, or in connection with, the prosecution of the action.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 332 Recovery of costsThe court may award to a prevailing party, as part of the judgment, a sum equal to the aggregate amount of costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees based on actual time expended, determined by the court to have been reasonably incurred by the prevailing attorney for, or in connection with, the prosecution of the action.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 333 ExemptionsNothing in this chapter applies to any of the following:

(a) Actions or transactions specifically authorized by laws administered by any regulatory body or officer acting under statutory authority of this territory or the United States;

(b) Acts done by the publisher, owner, agent, or employee of a newspaper, periodical or radio or television station in the publication or dissemination of an advertisement, when the owner, agent or employee did not have knowledge of the false, misleading or deceptive character of the advertisement, did not prepare the advertisement, or did not have a direct financial interest in the sale or distribution of the advertised product or service;

(c)

(1) The communication of any false, misleading or deceptive information, provided by the seller of real estate located in the Virgin Islands, by a real estate salesman or broker licensed under The Real Estate Brokers and Salesmen Act, title 27 Virgin Islands Code § 421 et seq., unless the salesman or broker knows of the false, misleading or deceptive character of such information.

(2) This subsection is effective as to any communication, whenever occurring;

(d) Claims seeking damages for conduct that results in bodily injury, death, or damage to property other than the property that is the subject of the practice claimed to be unlawful. This subsection applies to causes of action filed on or after its effective date.

(e)

(1) The communication of any false, misleading, or deceptive information by an insurance producer, registered firm, or limited insurance representative, as those terms are defined in the title 22 Virgin Islands Code, or by an insurance agency or brokerage house concerning the sale, placement, procurement, renewal, binding, cancellation of, or terms of any type of insurance or any policy of insurance unless the insurance producer has actual knowledge of the false, misleading, or deceptive character of the information. This provision shall be effective as to any communications, whenever occurring.

(2) This subsection applies to all causes of action that accrue on or after the effective date of this chapter.
12A V.I. Code Ann. § 333 ExemptionsNothing in this chapter applies to any of the following:

(a) Actions or transactions specifically authorized by laws administered by any regulatory body or officer acting under statutory authority of this territory or the United States;

(b) Acts done by the publisher, owner, agent, or employee of a newspaper, periodical or radio or television station in the publication or dissemination of an advertisement, when the owner, agent or employee did not have knowledge of the false, misleading or deceptive character of the advertisement, did not prepare the advertisement, or did not have a direct financial interest in the sale or distribution of the advertised product or service;

(c)

(1) The communication of any false, misleading or deceptive information, provided by the seller of real estate located in the Virgin Islands, by a real estate salesman or broker licensed under The Real Estate Brokers and Salesmen Act, title 27 Virgin Islands Code § 421 et seq., unless the salesman or broker knows of the false, misleading or deceptive character of such information.

(2) This subsection is effective as to any communication, whenever occurring;

(d) Claims seeking damages for conduct that results in bodily injury, death, or damage to property other than the property that is the subject of the practice claimed to be unlawful. This subsection applies to causes of action filed on or after its effective date.

(e)

(1) The communication of any false, misleading, or deceptive information by an insurance producer, registered firm, or limited insurance representative, as those terms are defined in the title 22 Virgin Islands Code, or by an insurance agency or brokerage house concerning the sale, placement, procurement, renewal, binding, cancellation of, or terms of any type of insurance or any policy of insurance unless the insurance producer has actual knowledge of the false, misleading, or deceptive character of the information. This provision shall be effective as to any communications, whenever occurring.

(2) This subsection applies to all causes of action that accrue on or after the effective date of this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 334 Waiver or modificationAny waiver or modification of the rights, provisions, or remedies of this chapter is void and unenforceable.12A V.I. Code Ann. § 334 Waiver or modificationAny waiver or modification of the rights, provisions, or remedies of this chapter is void and unenforceable.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 402 DefinitionsIn this chapter:

(1) ‘Affiliate‘:

(A) with respect to an individual, means:

(i) the spouse of the individual;

(ii) a sibling of the individual or the spouse of a sibling;

(iii) an individual or the spouse of an individual who is a lineal ancestor or lineal descendant of the individual or the individual's spouse;

(iv) an aunt, uncle, great aunt, great uncle, first cousin, niece, nephew, grandniece, or grandnephew, whether related by the whole or the half blood or adoption, or the spouse of any of them; or

(v) any other individual occupying the residence of the individual; and

(B) with respect to an entity, means:

(i) a person that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the entity;

(ii) an officer of, or an individual performing similar functions with respect to, the entity;

(iii) a director of, or an individual performing similar functions with respect to, the entity;

(iv) subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to section 32(f), a person that receives or received more than $25,000 from the entity in either the current year or the preceding year or a person that owns more than 10 percent of, or an individual who is employed by or is a director of a person that receives or received more than $25,000 from the entity in either the current year or the preceding year;

(v) an officer or director of, or an individual performing similar functions with respect to, a person described in subdivision

(i);

(vi) the spouse of, or an individual occupying the residence of, an individual described in subdivisions (i) through (v); or

(vii) an individual who has the relationship specified in subparagraph (A)(iv) to an individual or the spouse of an individual described in subdivisions (i) through

(v).

(2) ‘Agreement‘ means an agreement between a provider and an individual for the performance of debt-management services.

(3) ‘Bank‘ means a financial institution, including a commercial bank, savings bank, savings and loan association, credit union, and trust company, engaged in the business of banking, chartered under federal, state or Virgin Islands law, and regulated by a federal, state or Virgin Islands banking regulatory authority.

(4) ‘Business address‘ means the physical location of a business, including the name and number of a street.

(5)

(A) ‘Certified counselor‘ means an individual certified by a training program or certifying organization, approved by the Lieutenant Governor, that authenticates the competence of individuals providing education and assistance to other individuals in connection with debt-management services in which an agreement contemplates that creditors will reduce finance charges or fees for late payment, default, or delinquency.

(B) ‘Certified debt specialist‘ means an individual certified by a training program or certifying organization, approved by the Lieutenant Governor, that authenticates the competence of individuals providing education and assistance to other individuals in connection with debt-management services in which an agreement contemplates that creditors will settle debts for less than the full principal amount of debt owed.

(6) ‘Concessions‘ means assent to repayment of a debt on terms more favorable to an individual than the terms of the contract between the individual and a creditor.

(7) ‘Day‘ means calendar day.

(8) ‘Debt-management services‘ means services as an intermediary between an individual and one or more creditors of the individual for the purpose of obtaining concessions, but does not include:

(A) legal services provided in an attorney-client relationship by an attorney licensed or otherwise authorized to practice law in the Virgin Islands;

(B) accounting services provided in an accountant-client relationship by a certified public accountant licensed to provide accounting services in the Virgin Islands; or

(C) financial-planning services provided in a financial planner-client relationship by a member of a financial-planning profession whose members the Lieutenant Governor, by rule, determines are

(i) licensed by the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs;

(ii) subject to a disciplinary mechanism;

(iii) subject to a code of professional responsibility; and

(iv) subject to a continuing-education requirement.

(9) ‘Entity‘ means a person other than an individual.

(10) ‘Good faith‘ means honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable standards of fair dealing.

(11) ‘Lieutenant Governor‘ means the Lieutenant Governor or the Lieutenant Governor's designee.

(12) ‘Person‘ means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, or any other legal or commercial entity. The term does not include a public corporation, government, or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality.

(13) ‘Plan‘ means a program or strategy in which a provider furnishes debt-management services to an individual and which includes a schedule of payments to be made by or on behalf of the individual and used to pay debts owed by the individual.

(14) ‘Principal amount of the debt‘ means the amount of a debt at the time of an agreement.

(15) ‘Provider‘ means a person that provides, offers to provide, or agrees to provide debt-management services directly or through others.

(16) ‘Record‘ means information that is inscribed an a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.

(17) ‘Settlement fee‘ means a charge imposed on or paid by an individual in connection with a creditor's assent to accept in full satisfaction of a debt an amount less than the principal amount of the debt.

(18) ‘Sign‘ means, with present intent to authenticate or adopt a record:

(A) to execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or

(B) to attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic sound, symbol, or process.

(19) ‘State‘ means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(20) ‘Trust account‘ means an account held by a provider that is:

(A) established in an insured bank;

(B) separate from other accounts of the provider or its designee;

(C) designated as a trust account or other account designated to indicate that the money in the account is not the money of the provider or its designee; and

(D) used to hold money of one or more individuals for disbursement to creditors of the individuals.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 403 Exempt agreements and persons(a) This chapter does not apply to an agreement with an individual who the provider has no reason to know resides in the Virgin Islands at the time of the agreement.

(b) This chapter does not apply to a provider to the extent that the provider:

(1) provides or agrees to provide debt-management, educational, or counseling services to an individual who the provider has no reason to know resides in the Virgin Islands at the time the provider agrees to provide the services; or

(2) receives no compensation for debt-management services from or on behalf of the individuals to whom it provides the services or from their creditors.

(c) This chapter does not apply to the following persons or their employees when the person or the employee is engaged in the regular course of the person's business or profession:

(1) a judicial officer, a person acting under an order of a court or an administrative agency, or an assignee for the benefit of creditors;

(2) a bank;

(3) an affiliate, as defined in Section 402(1)(B)(i), of a bank if the affiliate is regulated by a federal or state banking regulatory authority; or

(4) a title insurer, escrow company, or other person that provides bill-paying services if the provision of debt-management services is incidental to the bill-paying services.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 404 Registration(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b), a provider may not provide debt-management services to an individual who the provider reasonably should know resides in the Virgin Islands at the time the provider agrees to provide the services, unless the provider is registered under this chapter.

(b) If a provider is registered under this chapter, subsection (a) does not apply to an employee or agent of the provider.

(c) The Lieutenant Governor shall maintain and publicize a list of the names of all registered providers.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 405 Application for registration: form, fee, and accompanying documents(a) An application for registration as a provider must be in a form prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor.

(b) Subject to adjustment of dollar amounts pursuant to section 432(f), an application for registration as a provider must be accompanied by:

(1) the fee established by the Lieutenant Governor;

(2) the bond required by section 413;

(3) identification of all trust accounts required by section 422 and an irrevocable consent authorizing the Lieutenant Governor to review and examine the trust accounts;

(4) evidence of insurance in the amount of $250,000:

(A) against the risks of dishonesty, fraud, theft, and other misconduct on the part of the applicant or a director, employee, or agent of the applicant;

(B) issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the Virgin Islands and rated at least A or equivalent by a nationally recognized rating organization approved by the Lieutenant Governor;

(C) with a deductible not exceeding $5,000;

(D) payable for the benefit of the applicant, the Government of the Virgin Islands, and individuals who are residents of the Virgin Islands, as their interests may appear; and

(E) not subject to cancellation by the applicant or the insurer until 60 days after written notice has been given to the Lieutenant Governor;

(5)

(A) proof of compliance with title 27 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 9;

(B) a record consenting to the jurisdiction of the Virgin Islands containing;

(C) the name, physical address, and other contact information of its registered agent in the Virgin Islands for purposes of service of process; or

(D) the appointment of the Lieutenant Governor as agent of the provider for purposes of service of process; and

(6) if the applicant is organized as a not-for-profit entity or is exempt from taxation under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. Section 501, evidence of not-for-profit status, tax-exempt status, or both, as applicable.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 406 Application for registration: required informationAn application for registration must be signed under penalty of false statement and include:

(1) the applicant's name, principal business address and telephone number, and all other business addresses in the Virgin Islands, electronic-mail addresses, and Internet website addresses;

(2) all names under which the applicant conducts business;

(3) the address of each location in the Virgin Islands at which the applicant will provide debt-management services or a statement that the applicant will have no such location;

(4) the name and home address of each officer and director of the applicant and each person that owns at least 10 percent of the applicant;

(5) identification of every jurisdiction in which, during the five years immediately preceding the application:

(A) the applicant or any of its officers or directors has been licensed or registered to provide debt-management services; or

(B) individuals have resided when they received debt-management services from the applicant;

(6) a statement describing, to the extent it is known or should be known by the applicant, any material civil or criminal judgment or litigation and any material administrative or enforcement action by a governmental agency in any jurisdiction against the applicant, any of its officers, directors, owners, or agents, or any person who is authorized to have access to the trust account required by section 422;

(7) the applicant's financial statements, audited by an accountant licensed to conduct audits, for each of the two years immediately preceding the application or, if it has not been in operation for the two years preceding the application, for the period of its existence;

(8) evidence of accreditation by an independent accrediting organization approved by the Lieutenant Governor;

(9) evidence that, within 12 months after initial employment, each of the applicant's counselors becomes certified as a certified counselor or certified debt specialist;

(10) a description of the three most commonly used educational programs that the applicant provides or intends to provide to individuals who reside in the Virgin Islands and a copy of any materials used or to be used in those programs;

(11) a description of the applicant's financial analysis and initial budget plan, including any form or electronic model, used to evaluate the financial condition of individuals;

(12) a copy of each form of agreement that the applicant will use with individuals who reside in the Virgin Islands;

(13) the schedule of fees and charges that the applicant will use with individuals who reside in the Virgin Islands;

(14) at the applicant's expense, the results of a criminal-records check, including fingerprints, conducted within the immediately preceding 12 months, covering every officer of the applicant and every employee or agent of the applicant who is authorized to have access to the trust account required by section 422;

(15) the names and addresses of all employers of each director during the 10 years immediately preceding the application;

(16) a description of any ownership interest of at least 10 percent by a director, owner, or employee of the applicant in:

(A) any affiliate of the applicant; or

(B) any entity that provides products or services to the applicant or any individual relating to the applicant's debt-management services;

(17) a statement of the amount of compensation of the applicant's five most highly compensated employees for each of the three years immediately preceding the application or, if it has not been in operation for the three years preceding the application, for the period of its existence;

(18) the identity of each director who is an affiliate, as defined in section 402(1)(A) or (B)(i), (ii), (iv), (v), (vi), or (vii), of the applicant; and

(19) any other information that the Lieutenant Governor reasonably requires to perform the Lieutenant Governor's duties under section 409.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 407 Application for registration: obligation to update informationAn applicant or registered provider shall notify the Lieutenant Governor within 10 days after a change in the information specified in section 405(b)(4) or (6) or 406(1), (3), (6), (12), or

(13).

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 408 Application for registration: public informationExcept for the information required by section 406(7), (14), and (17) and the addresses required by section 406(4), the Lieutenant Governor shall make the information in an application for registration as a provider available to the public.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 409 Certificate of registration: issuance or denial(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (c) and (d), the Lieutenant Governor shall issue a certificate of registration as a provider to a person that complies with sections 405 and 406.

(b) If an applicant has otherwise complied with sections 405 and 406, including a timely effort to obtain the information required by section 406(14) but the information has not been received, the Lieutenant Governor may issue a temporary certificate of registration that expires no later than 180 days after issuance.

(c) The Lieutenant Governor may deny registration if:

(1) the application contains information that is materially erroneous or incomplete;

(2) an officer, director, or owner of the applicant has been convicted of a crime, or suffered a civil judgment, involving dishonesty or the violation of state or federal securities laws;

(3) the applicant or any of its officers, directors, or owners has defaulted in the payment of money collected for others; or

(4) the Lieutenant Governor finds that the financial responsibility, experience, character, or general fitness of the applicant or its owners, directors, employees, or agents does not warrant belief that the business will be operated in compliance with this chapter.

(d) The Lieutenant Governor shall deny registration if, with respect to an applicant that is organized as a not-for-profit entity or has obtained tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. Section 501, the applicant's board of directors is not independent of the applicant's employees and agents.

(e) Subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to section 432(f), a board of directors is not independent for purposes of subsection (d) if more than one-fourth of its members:

(1) are affiliates of the applicant, as defined in section 402(1)(A) or (B)(i), (ii), (iv), (v), (vi), or (vii); or

(2) after the date 10 years before first becoming a director of the applicant, were employed by or directors of a person that received from the applicant more than $25,000 in either the current year or the preceding year.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 410 Certificate of registration: timing(a) The Lieutenant Governor shall approve or deny an initial registration as a provider within 120 days after an application is filed. In connection with a request pursuant to section 406(19) for additional information, the Lieutenant Governor may extend the 120-day period for not more than 60 days. Within seven days after denying an application, the Lieutenant Governor, in a record, shall inform the applicant of the reasons for the denial.

(b)

(1) If the Lieutenant Governor denies an application for registration as a provider or does not act on an application within the time prescribed in subsection (a), the applicant may appeal and request a hearing by filing a written request for an appeal to the Lieutenant Governor within 10 days after the receipt of the notice of denial or expiration of the time prescribed in subsection (a) for the Commission's decision. The Lieutenant Governor shall appoint a hearing officer who shall conduct a fair hearing pursuant to procedures prescribed by regulations promulgated pursuant to 3 V.I.C., chapter 35.

(2) Pursuant to title 5 V.I.C., chapter 97, a petition for writ or review may be filed in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands in the case of any person aggrieved by a final decision of the Lieutenant Governor to deny an application for registration if all administrative remedies as are provided by this section have been exhausted

(c) Subject to sections 411(d) and 434, a registration as a provider is valid for one year.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 411 Renewal of registration(a) A provider must obtain a renewal of its registration annually.

(b) An application for renewal of registration as a provider must be in a form prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor, signed under penalty of false statement, and:

(1) be filed no fewer than 30 and no more than 60 days before the registration expires;

(2) be accompanied by the fee established by the Lieutenant Governor and the bond required by section 413;

(3) contain the matter required for initial registration as a provider by section 406(8) and (9) and a financial statement, audited by an accountant licensed to conduct audits, for the applicant's fiscal year immediately preceding the application;

(4) disclose any changes in the information contained in the applicant's application for registration or its immediately previous application for renewal, as applicable. If an application is otherwise complete and the applicant has made a timely effort to obtain the information required by section 406(14) but the information has not been received, the Lieutenant Governor may issue a temporary renewal of registration that expires no later than 180 days after issuance;

(5) supply evidence of insurance in an amount equal to the larger of $250,000 or the highest daily balance in the trust account required by section 422 during the six-month period immediately preceding the application:

(A) against risks of dishonesty, fraud, theft, and other misconduct on the part of the applicant or a director, employee, or agent of the applicant;

(B) issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the Virgin Islands and rated at least A or equivalent by a nationally recognized rating organization approved by the Lieutenant Governor;

(C) with a deductible not exceeding $5,000;

(D) payable for the benefit of the applicant, the Virgin Islands, and individuals who are residents of the Virgin Islands, as their interests may appear; and

(E) not subject to cancellation by the applicant or the insurer until 60 days after written notice has been given to the Lieutenant Governor;

(6) disclose the total amount of money received by the applicant pursuant to plans during the preceding 12 months from or on behalf of individuals who reside in the Virgin Islands and the total amount of money distributed to creditors of those individuals during that period;

(7) disclose, to the best of the applicant's knowledge, the gross amount of money accumulated during the preceding 12 months pursuant to plans by or on behalf of individuals who reside in the Virgin Islands and with whom the applicant has agreements; and

(8) provide any other information that the Lieutenant Governor reasonably requires to perform the Lieutenant Governor's duties under this section.

(c) Except for the information required by section 406(7), (14), and (17) and the addresses required by section 406(4), the Lieutenant Governor shall make the information in an application for renewal of registration as a provider available to the public.

(d) If a registered provider files a timely and complete application for renewal of registration, the registration remains effective until the Lieutenant Governor, in a record, notifies the applicant of a denial and states the reasons for the denial.

(e) If the Lieutenant Governor denies an application for renewal of registration as a provider, the applicant, within 30 days after receiving notice of the denial, may appeal and request a hearing in accordance with the procedure prescribed in section 410(b). Subject to section 434, while the appeal is pending the applicant shall continue to provide debt-management services to individuals with whom the applicant has agreements. If the denial is affirmed, subject to the Lieutenant Governor's order and section 434, the applicant shall continue to provide debt-management services to individuals with whom it has agreements until, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor, it transfers the agreements to another registered provider or returns to the individuals all unexpended money that is under the applicant's control.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 412 Registration in another stateIf a provider holds a license or certificate of registration in another state authorizing it to provide debt-management services, the provider may submit a copy of that license or certificate and the application for it instead of an application in the form prescribed by section 405(a), 406, or 411(b). The Lieutenant Governor shall accept the application and the license or certificate from the other state as an application for registration as a provider or for renewal of registration as a provider, as appropriate, in the Virgin Islands, if:

(1) the application in the other state contains information substantially similar to or more comprehensive than that required in an application submitted in the Virgin Islands;

(2) the applicant provides the information required by section 406(1), (3), (10), (12), and (13); and

(3) the applicant, under penalty of false statement, certifies that the information contained in the application is current or, to the extent it is not current, supplements the application to make the information current.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 413 Bond required(a) Except as otherwise provided in section 414, a provider that is required to be registered under this chapter shall file a surety bond with the Lieutenant Governor which must:

(1) be in effect during the period of registration and for two years after the provider ceases providing debt-management services to individuals in the Virgin Islands; and

(2) run to Government of the Virgin Islands for the benefit of the Government of the Virgin Islands and of individuals who reside in the Virgin Islands when they agree to receive debt-management services from the provider, as their interests may appear.

(b) Subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to section 432(f), a surety bond filed pursuant to subsection (a) must:

(1) be in the amount of $50,000 or other larger or smaller amount that the Lieutenant Governor determines is warranted by the financial condition and business experience of the provider, the history of the provider in performing debt-management services, the risk to individuals, and any other factor the Lieutenant Governor considers appropriate;

(2) be issued by a bonding, surety, or insurance company authorized to do business in the Virgin Islands and rated at least A by a nationally recognized rating organization; and

(3) have payment conditioned upon noncompliance of the provider or its agent with this chapter.

(c) If the principal amount of a surety bond is reduced by payment of a claim or a judgment, the provider shall immediately notify the Lieutenant Governor and, within 30 days after notice by the Lieutenant Governor, file a new or additional surety bond in an amount set by the Lieutenant Governor. The amount of the new or additional bond must be at least the amount of the bond immediately before payment of the claim or judgment. If for any reason a surety terminates a bond, the provider shall immediately file a new surety bond in the amount of $50,000 or other amount determined pursuant to subsection (b).

(d) The Lieutenant Governor or an individual may obtain satisfaction out of the surety bond procured pursuant to this section if:

(1) the Lieutenant Governor assesses expenses under section 432(b)(1), issues a final order under section 433(a)(2), or recovers a final judgment under section 433(a)(4) or (5) or (d); or

(2) an individual recovers a final judgment pursuant to section 435(a), (b), or (c)(1), (2), or (4).

(e) If claims against a surety bond exceed or are reasonably expected to exceed the amount of the bond, the Lieutenant Governor, on the initiative of the Lieutenant Governor or on petition of the surety, shall, unless the proceeds are adequate to pay all costs, judgments, and claims, distribute the proceeds in the following order:

(1) to satisfaction of a final order or judgment under section 43(a)(2), (4), or (5) or (d);

(2) to final judgments recovered by individuals pursuant to section 435(a), (b), or (c)(1), (2) or (4), pro rata;

(3) to claims of individuals established to the satisfaction of the Lieutenant Governor, pro rata; and

(4) if a final order or judgment is issued under Section 33(a), to the expenses charged pursuant to section 432(b)(1).

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 414 Bond required: substitute(a) Instead of the surety bond required by section 413, a provider may deliver to the Lieutenant Governor, in the amount required by section 413(b), and, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2)(A), payable or available to Virgin Islands and to individuals who reside in the Virgin Islands when they agree to receive debt-management services from the provider, as their interests may appear, if the provider or its agent does not comply with this chapter:

(1) a certificate of insurance

(A) issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the Virgin Islands and rated at least A or equivalent by a nationally recognized rating organization approved by the Lieutenant Governor; and

(B) with no deductible, or if the provider supplies a bond in the amount of $5,000, a deductible not exceeding $5,000; or

(2) with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor:

(A) an irrevocable letter of credit, issued or confirmed by a bank approved by the Lieutenant Governor, payable upon presentation of a certificate by the Lieutenant Governor stating that the provider or its agent has not complied with this chapter or

(B) bonds or other obligations of the United States or guaranteed by the United States or bonds or other obligations of the Virgin Islands or a political subdivision of Virgin Islands, to be deposited and maintained with a bank approved by the Lieutenant Governor for this purpose.

(b) If a provider furnishes a substitute pursuant to subsection (a), the provisions of section 413(a), (c), (d), and (e) apply to the substitute.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 415 Requirement of good faithA provider shall act in good faith in all matters under this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 416 Customer ServiceA provider that is required to be registered under this chapter shall maintain a toll-free communication system, staffed at a level that reasonably permits an individual to speak to a certified counselor, certified debt specialist, or customer-service representative, as appropriate, during ordinary business hours.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 417 Prerequisites for providing debt-management services(a) Before providing debt-management services, a registered provider shall give the individual an itemized list of goods and services and the charges for each. The list must be clear and conspicuous, be in a record the individual may keep whether or not the individual assents to an agreement, and describe the goads and services the provider offers:

(1) free of additional charge if the individual enters into an agreement;

(2) for a charge if the individual does not enter into an agreement; and

(3) for a charge if the individual enters into an agreement, using the following terminology, as applicable, and format:Set-up fee dollar amount of feeMonthly service fee dollar amount of fee or method of determining amountSettlement fee dollar amount of fee or method of determining amountGoods and services in addition to those provided in connection with a plan: (item) dollar amount or method of determining amount(item) dollar amount or method of determining amount

(b) A provider may not furnish debt-management services unless the provider, through the services of a certified counselor or certified debt specialist:

(1) provides the individual with reasonable education about the management of personal finance;

(2) has prepared a financial analysis; and

(3) if the individual is to make regular, periodic payments:

(A) has prepared a plan for the individual;

(B) has made a determination, based on the provider's analysis of the information provided by the individual and otherwise available to it, that the plan is suitable for the individual and the individual will be able to meet the payment obligations under the plan; and

(C) believes that each creditor of the individual listed as a participating creditor in the plan will accept payment of the individual's debts as provided in the plan.

(c) Before an individual assents to an agreement to engage in a plan, a provider shall:

(1) provide the individual with a copy of the analysis and plan required by subsection (b) in a record that identifies the provider and that the individual may keep whether or not the individual assents to the agreement;

(2) inform the individual of the availability, at the individual's option, of assistance by a toll-free communication system or in person to discuss the financial analysis and plan required by subsection (b); and

(3) with respect to all creditors identified by the individual or otherwise known by the provider to be creditors of the individual, provide the individual with a list of:

(A) creditors that the provider expects to participate in the plan and grant concessions;

(B) creditors that the provider expects to participate in the plan but not grant concessions;

(C) creditors that the provider expects not to participate in the plan; and

(D) all other creditors.

(d) Before an individual assents to an agreement, the provider shall inform the individual, in a record that contains nothing else, that is given separately, and that the individual may keep whether or not the individual assents to the agreement:

(1) of the name and business address of the provider;

(2) that plans are not suitable for all individuals and the individual may ask the provider about other ways, including bankruptcy, to deal with indebtedness;

(3) that establishment of a plan may adversely affect the individual's credit rating or credit scores;

(4) that nonpayment of debt may lead creditors to increase finance and other charges or undertake collection activity, including litigation;

(5) unless it is not true, that the provider may receive compensation from the creditors of the individual; and

(6) that, unless the individual is insolvent, if a creditor settles for less than the full amount of the debt, the plan may result in the creation of taxable income to the individual, even though the individual does not receive any money.

(e) If a provider may receive payments from an individual's creditors and the plan contemplates that the individual's creditors will reduce finance charges or fees for late payment, default, or delinquency, the provider may comply with subsection (d) by providing the following disclosure, surrounded by black linesPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOU TO CONSIDER(1) Debt-management plans are not right for all individuals, and you may ask us to provide information about other ways, including bankruptcy, to deal with your debts.(2) Using a debt-management plan may make it harder for you to obtain credit.(3) We may receive compensation for our services from your creditors.Name and business address of provider

(f) If a provider will not receive payments from an individual's creditors and the plan contemplates that the individual's creditors will reduce finance charges or fees for late payment, default, or delinquency, a provider may comply with subsection (d) by providing the following disclosure, surrounded by black linesPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOU TO CONSIDER(1) Debt-management plans are not right for all individuals, and you may ask us to provide information about other ways, including bankruptcy, to deal with your debts.(2) Using a debt-management plan may make it harder for you to obtain credit.Name and business address of provider

(g) If an agreement contemplates that creditors will settle debts for less than the full principal amount of debt owed, a provider may comply with subsection (d) by providing the following disclosure, surrounded by black linesPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOU TO CONSIDER(1) Our program is not right for all individuals, and you may ask us to provide information about bankruptcy and other ways to deal with your debts.(2) Nonpayment of your debts under our program may X hurt your credit rating or credit scores; X lead your creditors to increase finance and other charges; and X lead your creditors to undertake activity, including lawsuits, to collect the debts.(3) Reduction of debt under our program may result in taxable income to you, even though you will not actually receive any money.Name and business address of provider

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 418 Communication by electronic or other means(a) In this section:

(1) ‘Federal act‘ means the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 7001 et seq.

(2) ‘Consumer‘ means an individual who seeks or obtains goods or services that are used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

(b) A provider may satisfy the requirements of section 417, 419, or 427 by means of the Internet or other electronic means if the provider obtains a consumer's consent in the manner provided by section 101(c)(1) of the federal act.

(c) The disclosures and materials required by sections 417, 419, and 427 must be presented in a form that is capable of being accurately reproduced for later reference.

(d) With respect to disclosure by means of an Internet website, the disclosure of the information required by section 417(d) must appear on one or more screens that:

(1) contain no other information; and

(2) the individual must see before proceeding to assent to formation of an agreement.

(e) At the time of providing the materials and agreement required by sections 417(c) and (d), 419, and 427, a provider shall inform the individual that upon electronic, telephonic, or written request, it will send the individual a written copy of the materials, and shall comply with a request as provided in subsection (f).

(f) If a provider is requested, before the expiration of 90 days after an agreement is completed or terminated, to send a written copy of the materials required by section 417(c) and (d), 419, or 427, the provider shall send them at no charge within three business days after the request is received, but the provider need not comply with a request more than once per calendar month or if it reasonably believes the request is made for purposes of harassment. If a request is made more than 90 days after an agreement is completed or terminated, the provider shall send within a reasonable time a written copy of the materials requested.

(g) A provider that maintains an Internet website shall disclose on the home page of its website or on a page that is clearly and conspicuously connected to the home page by a link that clearly reveals its contents:

(1) its name and all names under which it does business;

(2) its principal business address, telephone number, and electronic-mail address, if any; and

(3) the names of its principal officers.

(h) subject to subsection (i), if a consumer who has consented to electronic communication in the manner provided by section 101 of the federal act withdraws consent as provided in the federal act, a provider may terminate its agreement with the consumer.

(i) If a provider wishes to terminate an agreement with a consumer pursuant to subsection (h), it shall notify the consumer that it will terminate the agreement unless the consumer, within 30 days after receiving the notification, consents to electronic communication in the manner provided in section 101(c) of the federal act. If the consumer consents, the provider may terminate the agreement only as permitted by section 419(a)(6)(G).

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 419 Form and contents of agreement(a) An agreement must:

(1) be in a record;

(2) be dated and signed by the provider and the individual;

(3) include the name of the individual and the address where the individual resides;

(4) include the name, business address, and telephone number of the provider;

(5) be delivered to the individual immediately upon formation of the agreement; and

(6) disclose:

(A) the services to be provided;

(B) the amount, or method of determining the amount, of all fees, individually itemized, to be paid by the individual;

(C) the schedule of payments to be made by or on behalf of the individual, including the amount of each payment, the date on which each payment is due, and an estimate of the date of the final payment;

(D) if a plan provides for regular periodic payments to creditors:

(i) each creditor of the individual to which payment will be made, the amount owed to each creditor, and any concessions the provider reasonably believes each creditor will offer; and

(ii) the schedule of expected payments to each creditor, including the amount of each payment and the date on which it will be made;

(E) each creditor that the provider believes will not participate in the plan and to which the provider will not direct payment;

(F) how the provider will comply with its obligations under Section 27

(a);

(G) that the provider may terminate the agreement for good cause, upon return of unexpended money of the individual;

(H) that the individual may cancel the agreement as provided in Section 20;

(I) that the individual may contact the Lieutenant Governor with any questions or complaints regarding the provider; and

(J) the address, telephone number, and Internet address or website of the Lieutenant Governor.

(b) For purposes of subsection (a)(5), delivery of an electronic record occurs when it is made available in a format in which the individual may retrieve, save, and print it and the individual is notified that it is available.

(c) If the Lieutenant Governor supplies the provider with any information required under subsection (a)(6)(J), the provider may comply with that requirement only by disclosing the information supplied by the Lieutenant Governor.

(d) An agreement must provide that:

(1) the individual has a right to terminate the agreement at any time, without penalty or obligation, by giving the provider written or electronic notice, in which event:

(A) the provider will refund all unexpended money that the provider or its agent has received from or on behalf of the individual for the reduction or satisfaction of the individual's debt;

(B) with respect to an agreement that contemplates that creditors will settle debts for less than the principal amount of debt, the provider will refund 65 percent of any portion of the set-up fee that has not been credited against the settlement fee; and

(C) all powers of attorney granted by the individual to the provider are revoked and ineffective;

(2) the individual authorizes any bank in which the provider or its agent has established a trust account to disclose to the Lieutenant Governor any financial records relating to the trust account; and

(3) the provider will notify the individual within five days after learning of a creditor's final decision to reject or withdraw from a plan and that this notice will include:

(A) the identity of the creditor; and

(B) the right of the individual to modify or terminate the agreement.

(e) An agreement may confer on a provider a power of attorney to settle the individual's debt for no more than 50 percent of the principal amount of the debt. An agreement may not confer a power of attorney to settle a debt for more than 50 percent of that amount, but may confer a power of attorney to negotiate with creditors of the individual on behalf of the individual. An agreement must provide that the provider will obtain the assent of the individual after a creditor has assented to a settlement for more than 50 percent of the principal amount of the debt.

(f) An agreement may not:

(1) provide for application of the law of any jurisdiction other than the United States and the Virgin Islands;

(2) except as permitted by section 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. section 2, contain a provision that modifies or limits otherwise available forums or procedural rights, including the right to trial by jury, that are generally available to the individual under law other than this chapter;

(3) contain a provision that restricts the individual's remedies under this chapter or law other than this chapter; or

(4) contain a provision that:

(A) limits or releases the liability of any person for not performing the agreement or for violating this chapter; or

(B) indemnifies any person for liability arising under the agreement or this chapter.

(g) All rights and obligations specified in subsection (d) and section 420 exist even if not provided in the agreement. A provision in an agreement which violates subsection (d), (e), or (f) is void.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 420 Cancellation of agreement; waiver(a) An individual may cancel an agreement before midnight of the third business day after the individual assents to it, unless the agreement does not comply with subsection (b) or section 419 or 428, in which event the individual may cancel the agreement within 30 days after the individual assents to it. To exercise the right to cancel, the individual must give notice in a record to the provider. Notice by mail is given when mailed.

(b) An agreement must be accompanied by a form that contains in bold-face type, surrounded by bold black lines:Notice of Right to CancelYou may cancel this agreement, without any penalty or obligation, at any time before midnight of the third business day that begins the day after you agree to it by electronic communication or by signing it.To cancel this agreement during this period, send an e-mail to address of provider or mail or deliver a signed, dated copy of this E-mail notice, or any other written notice to Name of provider at before midnight on Address of provider DateIf you cancel this agreement within the 3-day period, we will refund all money you already have paid us.You also may terminate this agreement at any later time, but we may not be required to refund fees you have paid us.I cancel this agreement,Print your nameSignatureDate

(c) If a personal financial emergency necessitates the disbursement of an individual's money to one or more of the individual's creditors before the expiration of three days after an agreement is signed, an individual may waive the right to cancel. To waive the right, the individual must send or deliver a signed, dated statement in the individual's own words describing the circumstances that necessitate a waiver. The waiver must explicitly waive the right to cancel. A waiver by means of a standard-form record is void.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 421 Required languageUnless the Lieutenant Governor, by rule, provides otherwise, the disclosures and documents required by this chapter must be in English. If a provider communicates with an individual primarily in a language other than English, the provider must furnish a translation into the other language of the disclosures and documents required by this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 422 Trust account(a) All money paid to a provider by or on behalf of an individual for distribution to creditors pursuant to a plan is held in trust. Within two business days after receipt, the provider shall deposit the money in a trust account established for the benefit of individuals to whom the provider is furnishing debt-management services.

(b) Money held in trust by a provider is not property of the provider or its designee. The money is not available to creditors of the provider or designee, except an individual from whom or on whose behalf the provider received money, to the extent that the money has not been disbursed to creditors of the individual.

(c) A provider shall:

(1) maintain separate records of account for each individual to whom the provider is furnishing debt-management services;

(2) disburse money paid by or on behalf of the individual to creditors of the individual as disclosed in the agreement, except that:

(A) the provider may delay payment to the extent that a payment by the individual is not final; and

(B) if a plan provides for regular periodic payments to creditors, the disbursement must comply with the due dates established by each creditor; and

(3) promptly correct any payments that are not made or that are misdirected as a result of an error by the provider or other person in control of the trust account and reimburse the individual for any costs or fees imposed by a creditor as a result of the failure to pay or misdirection.

(d) A provider may not commingle money in a trust account established for the benefit of individuals to whom the provider is furnishing debt-management services with money of other persons.

(e) A trust account must at all times have a cash balance equal to the sum of the balances of each individual's account.

(f) If a provider has established a trust account pursuant to subsection (a), the provider shall reconcile the trust account at least once a month. The reconciliation must compare the cash balance in the trust account with the sum of the balances in each individual's account. If the provider or its designee has more than one trust account, each trust account must be individually reconciled.

(g) If a provider discovers, or has a reasonable suspicion of, embezzlement or other unlawful appropriation of money held in trust, the provider immediately shall notify the Lieutenant Governor by a method approved by the Lieutenant Governor. Unless the Lieutenant Governor by rule provides otherwise, within five days thereafter, the provider shall give notice to the Lieutenant Governor describing the remedial action taken or to be taken.

(h) If an individual terminates an agreement or it becomes reasonably apparent to a provider that a plan has failed, the provider shall promptly refund to the individual all money paid by or on behalf of the individual which has not been paid to creditors, less fees that are payable to the provider under section 423.

(i) Before relocating a trust account from one bank to another, a provider shall inform the Lieutenant Governor of the name, business address, and telephone number of the new bank. As soon as practicable, the provider shall inform the Lieutenant Governor of the account number of the trust account at the new bank.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 423 Fees and other charges(a) A provider may not impose directly or indirectly a fee or other charge on an individual or receive money from or on behalf of an individual for debt-management services except as permitted by this section.

(b) A provider may not impose charges or receive payment for debt-management services until the provider and the individual have signed an agreement that complies with sections 419 and 428.

(c) If an individual assents to an agreement, a provider may not impose a fee or other charge for educational or counseling services, or the like, except as otherwise provided in this subsection and section 428(d). The Lieutenant Governor may authorize a provider to charge a fee based on the nature and extent of the educational or counseling services furnished by the provider.

(d) Subject to adjustment of dollar amounts pursuant to section 432(f), the following rules apply:

(1) If an individual assents to a plan that contemplates that creditors will reduce finance charges or fees for late payment, default, or delinquency, the provider may charge:

(A) a fee not exceeding $50 for consultation, obtaining a credit report, setting up an account, and the like; and

(B) a monthly service fee, not to exceed $10 times the number of creditors remaining in a plan at the time the fee is assessed, but not more than $50 in any month.

(2) If an individual assents to an agreement that contemplates that creditors will settle debts for less than the principal amount of the debt, a provider may charge:

(A) subject to section 419(d), a fee for consultation, obtaining a credit report, setting up an account, and the like, in an amount not exceeding the lesser of $400 and four percent of the debt in the plan at the inception of the plan; and

(B) a monthly service fee, not to exceed $10 times the number of creditors remaining in a plan at the time the fee is assessed, but not more than $50 in any month.

(3) A provider may not impose or receive fees under both paragraphs (1) and (2).

(4) Except as otherwise provided in section 428(d), if an individual does not assent to an agreement, a provider may receive for educational and counseling services it provides to the individual a fee not exceeding $100 or, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor, a larger fee. The Lieutenant Governor may approve a fee larger than $100 if the nature and extent of the educational and counseling services warrant the larger fee.

(e) If, before the expiration of 90 days after the completion or termination of educational or counseling services, an individual assents to an agreement, the provider shall refund to the individual any fee paid pursuant to subsection (d)(4).

(f) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (c) and (d), if an agreement contemplates that creditors will settle an individual's debts for less than the principal amount of the debt, compensation for services in connection with settling a debt may not exceed, with respect to each debt:

(1) 30 percent of the excess of the principal amount of the debt over the amount paid the creditor pursuant to the agreement, less

(2) to the extent it has not been credited against an earlier settlement fee:

(A) the fee charged pursuant to subsection (d)(2)(A); and

(B) the aggregate of fees charged pursuant to subsection (d)(2)(B).

(g) Subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to section 432(f), if a payment to a provider by an individual under this chapter is dishonored, a provider may impose a reasonable charge on the individual, not to exceed the lesser of $25 and the amount permitted by law other than this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 424 Voluntary contributionsA provider may not solicit a voluntary contribution from an individual or an affiliate of the individual for any service provided to the individual. A provider may accept voluntary contributions from an individual but, until 30 days after completion or termination of a plan, the aggregate amount of money received from or on behalf of the individual may not exceed the total amount the provider may charge the individual under section 423.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 425 Voidable agreements(a) If a provider imposes a fee or other charge or receives money or other payments not authorized by section 423 or 24, the individual may void the agreement and recover as provided in section 435.

(b) If a provider is not registered as required by this chapter when an individual assents to an agreement, the agreement is voidable by the individual.

(c) If an individual voids an agreement under subsection (b), the provider does not have a claim against the individual for breach of contract or for restitution.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 426 Termination of agreements(a) If an individual who has entered into an agreement fails for 60 days to make payments required by the agreement, a provider may terminate the agreement.

(b) If a provider or an individual terminates an agreement, the provider shall immediately return to the individual:

(1) any money of the individual held in trust for the benefit of the individual; and

(2) 65 percent of any portion of the set-up fee received pursuant to section 423(d)(2) which has not been credited against settlement fees.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 427 Periodic reports and retention of records(a) A provider shall provide the accounting required by subsection

(b):

(1) upon cancellation or termination of an agreement; and

(2) before cancellation or termination of any agreement:

(A) at least once each month; and

(B) within five business days after a request by an individual, but the provider need not comply with more than one request in any calendar month.

(b) A provider, in a record, shall provide each individual for whom it has established a plan an accounting of the following information:

(1) the amount of money received from the individual since the last report;

(2) the amounts and dates of disbursement made on the individual's behalf, or by the individual upon the direction of the provider, since the last report to each creditor listed in the plan;

(3) the amounts deducted from the amount received from the individual;

(4) the amount held in reserve; and

(5) if, since the last report, a creditor has agreed to accept as payment in full an amount less than the principal amount of the debt owed by the individual:

(A) the total amount and terms of the settlement;

(B) the amount of the debt when the individual assented to the plan;

(C) the amount of the debt when the creditor agreed to the settlement; and

(D) the calculation of a settlement fee.

(c) A provider shall maintain records for each individual for whom it provides debt-management services for five years after the final payment made by the individual and produce a copy of them to the individual within a reasonable time after a request for them. The provider may use electronic or other means of storage of the records.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 428 Prohibited acts and practices(a) A provider may not, directly or indirectly:

(1) misappropriate or misapply money held in trust;

(2) settle a debt on behalf of an individual for more than 50 percent of the principal amount of the debt owed a creditor, unless the individual assents to the settlement after the creditor has assented;

(3) take a power of attorney that authorizes it to settle a debt, unless the power of attorney expressly limits the provider's authority to settle debts for not more than 50 percent of the principal amount of the debt owed a creditor;

(4) exercise or attempt to exercise a power of attorney after an individual has terminated an agreement;

(5) initiate a transfer from an individual's account at a bank or with another person unless the transfer is:

(A) a return of money to the individual; or

(B) before termination of an agreement, properly authorized by the agreement and this chapter, and for:

(i) payment to one or more creditors pursuant to an agreement; or

(ii) payment of a fee;

(6) offer a gift or bonus, premium, reward, or other compensation to an individual for executing an agreement;

(7) offer, pay, or give a gift or bonus, premium, reward, or other compensation to a person for referring a prospective customer, if the person making the referral has a financial interest in the outcome of debt-management services provided to the customer, unless neither the provider nor the person making the referral communicates to the prospective customer the identity of the source of the referral;

(8) receive a bonus, commission, or other benefit for referring an individual to a person;

(9) structure a plan in a manner that would result in a negative amortization of any of an individual's debts, unless a creditor that is owed a negatively amortizing debt agrees to refund or waive the finance charge upon payment of the principal amount of the debt;

(10) compensate its employees on the basis of a formula that incorporates the number of individuals the employee induces to enter into agreements;

(11) settle a debt or lead an individual to believe that a payment to a creditor is in settlement of a debt to the creditor unless, at the time of settlement, the individual receives a certification by the creditor that the payment is in full settlement of the debt;

(12) make a representation that:

(A) the provider will furnish money to pay bills or prevent attachments;

(B) payment of a certain amount will permit satisfaction of a certain amount or range of indebtedness; or

(C) participation in a plan will or may prevent litigation, garnishment, attachment, repossession, foreclosure, eviction, or loss of employment;

(13) misrepresent that it is authorized or competent to furnish legal advice or perform legal services;

(14) represent in its agreements, disclosures required by this chapter, advertisements, or Internet web site that it is

(A) a not-for-profit entity unless it is organized and properly operating as a not-for-profit entity under the law of the state in which it was formed; or

(B) a tax-exempt entity unless it has received certification of tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service and is properly operating as a not-for-profit entity under the law of the state in which it was formed;

(15) take a confession of judgment or power of attorney to confess judgment against an individual; or

(16) employ an unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive act or practice, including the knowing omission of any material information.

(b) If a provider furnishes debt-management services to an individual, the provider may not, directly or indirectly:

(1) purchase a debt or obligation of the individual;

(2) receive from or on behalf of the individual:

(A) a promissory note or other negotiable instrument other than a check or a demand draft; or

(B) a post-dated check or demand draft;

(3) lend money or provide credit to the individual, except as a deferral of a settlement fee at no additional expense to the individual;

(4) obtain a mortgage or other security interest from any person in connection with the services provided to the individual;

(5) except as permitted by federal law, disclose the identity or identifying information of the individual or the identity of the individual's creditors, except to:

(A) the Lieutenant Governor, upon proper demand;

(B) a creditor of the individual, to the extent necessary to secure the cooperation of the creditor in a plan; or

(C) the extent necessary to administer the plan;

(6) except as otherwise provided in section 423(f), provide the individual less than the full benefit of a compromise of a debt arranged by the provider;

(7) charge the individual for or provide credit or other insurance, coupons for goods or services, membership in a club, access to computers or the Internet, or any other matter not directly related to debt-management services or educational services concerning personal finance; or

(8) furnish legal advice or perform legal services, unless the person furnishing that advice to or performing those services for the individual is licensed to practice law.

(c) This chapter does not authorize any person to engage in the practice of law.

(d) A provider may not receive a gift or bonus, premium, reward, or other compensation, directly or indirectly, for advising, arranging, or assisting an individual in connection with obtaining, an extension of credit or other service from a lender or service provider, except for educational or counseling services required in connection with a government-sponsored program.

(e) Unless a person supplies goods, services, or facilities generally and supplies them to the provider at a cost no greater than the cost the person generally charges to others, a provider may not purchase goods, services, or facilities from the person if an employee or a person that the provider should reasonably know is an affiliate of the provider:

(1) owns more than 10 percent of the person; or

(2) is an employee or affiliate of the person.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 429 Notice of litigationNo later than 30 days after a provider has been served with notice of a civil action for violation of this chapter by or on behalf of an individual who resides in the Virgin Islands at either the time of an agreement or the time the notice is served, the provider shall notify the Lieutenant Governor in a record that it has been sued.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 430 Advertising(a) If the agreements of a provider contemplate that creditors will reduce finance charges or fees for late payment, default, or delinquency and the provider advertises debt-management services, the provider shall disclose, in an easily comprehensible manner, that using a debt-management plan, may make it harder for the individual to obtain credit.

(b) If the agreements of a provider contemplate that creditors will settle for less than the full principal amount of debt and the provider advertises debt-management services, the provider shall disclose, in an easily comprehensible manner, the information specified in section 417(d)(3) and (4).

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 431 Liability for the conduct of other personsIf a provider delegates any of its duties or obligations under an agreement or this chapter to another person, including an independent contractor, the provider is liable for conduct of the person which, if done by the provider, would violate the agreement or this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 432 Power of the Lieutenant Governor(a) The Lieutenant Governor may act on his own initiative or in response to complaints and may receive complaints, take action to obtain voluntary compliance with this chapter, refer cases to the Attorney General, and seek or provide remedies as provided in this chapter.

(b) The Lieutenant Governor may investigate and examine, in the Virgin Islands or elsewhere, by subpoena or otherwise, the activities, books, accounts, and records of a person that provides or offers to provide debt-management services, or a person to which a provider has delegated its obligations under an agreement or this chapter, to determine compliance with this chapter. Information that identifies individuals who have agreements with the provider may not be disclosed to the public. In connection with the investigation, the Lieutenant Governor may:

(1) charge the person the reasonable expenses necessarily incurred to conduct the examination;

(2) require or permit a person to file a statement under oath as to all the facts and circumstances of a matter to be investigated; and

(3) seek a court order authorizing seizure from a bank at which the person maintains a trust account required by section 422, any or all money, books, records, accounts, and other property of the provider that is in the control of the bank and relates to individuals who reside in the Virgin Islands.

(c) The Lieutenant Governor may adopt rules to implement the provisions of this chapter pursuant to title 3 V.I.C. 3, chapter 35.

(d) The Lieutenant Governor may enter into cooperative arrangements with any other federal or state agency having authority over providers and may exchange with any of those agencies information about a provider, including information obtained during an examination of the provider.

(e) The Lieutenant Governor, by rule, shall establish reasonable fees to be paid by providers for the expense of administering this chapter.

(f) The Lieutenant Governor, by rule, shall adopt dollar amounts instead of those specified in sections 402, 405, 409, 413, 423, 433, and 435 to reflect inflation, as measured by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers or, if that index is not available, another index adopted by rule by the Lieutenant Governor. The Lieutenant Governor shall adopt a base year and adjust the dollar amounts, effective on July 1 of each year, if the change in the index from the base year, as of December 31 of the preceding year, is at least 10 percent. The dollar amount must be rounded to the nearest $100, except that the amounts in section 423 must be rounded to the nearest dollar.

(g) The Lieutenant Governor shall notify registered providers of any change in dollar amounts made pursuant to subsection (f) and make that information available to the public.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 433 Administrative remedies(a) The Lieutenant Governor may enforce this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter by taking one or more of the following actions:

(1) ordering a provider or a director, employee, or other agent of a provider to desist from any violations;

(2) ordering a provider or a person that has caused a violation to correct the violation, including making restitution of money or property to a person aggrieved by a violation;

(3) subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to section 432(f), imposing on a provider or a person that has caused a violation a civil penalty not exceeding $10,000 for each violation;

(4) prosecuting a civil action to:

(A) enforce an order;

(B) obtain restitution or an injunction or other equitable relief, or both; or

(5) intervening in an action brought under section 435.

(b) Subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to section 432(f), if a person violates or knowingly authorizes, directs, or aids in the violation of a final order issued under subsection (a)(1) or (2), the Lieutenant Governor may impose a civil penalty not exceeding $20,000 for each violation.

(c) The Lieutenant Governor may maintain an action to enforce this chapter in any judicial division.

(d) The Lieutenant Governor may recover the reasonable costs of enforcing the chapter under subsections (a) through (c), including attorney's fees based on the hours reasonably expended and the hourly rates for attorneys of comparable experience in the community.

(e) In determining the amount of a civil penalty to impose under subsection (a) or (b), the Lieutenant Governor shall consider the seriousness of the violation, the good faith of the violator, any previous violations by the violator, the deleterious effect of the violation on the public, the net worth of the violator, and any other factor the Lieutenant Governor considers relevant to the determination of the civil penalty.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 434 Suspension, revocation, or nonrenewal of registration(a) In this section, ‘insolvent‘ means:

(1) having generally ceased to pay debts in the ordinary course of business other than as a result of good-faith dispute;

(2) being unable to pay debts as they become due; or

(3) being insolvent within the meaning of the federal bankruptcy law, 11 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq.

(b) The Lieutenant Governor may suspend, revoke, or deny renewal of a provider's registration if:

(1) a fact or condition exists that, if it had existed when the registrant applied for registration as a provider, would have been a reason for denying registration;

(2) the provider has committed a material violation of this chapter or a rule or order of the Lieutenant Governor under this chapter;

(3) the provider is insolvent;

(4) the provider or an employee or affiliate of the provider has refused to permit the Lieutenant Governor to make an examination authorized by this chapter, failed to comply with section 432(b)(2) within 15 days after request, or made a material misrepresentation or omission in complying with section 432(b)(2); or

(5) the provider has not responded within a reasonable time and in an appropriate manner to communications from the Lieutenant Governor.

(c) If a provider does not comply with section 422(f) or if the Lieutenant Governor otherwise finds that the public health or safety or general welfare requires emergency action, the Lieutenant Governor may order a summary suspension of the provider's registration, effective on the date specified in the order.

(d) If the Lieutenant Governor suspends, revokes, or denies renewal of the registration of a provider, the Lieutenant Governor may seek a court order authorizing seizure of any or all of the money in a trust account required by section 422, books, records, accounts, and other property of the provider which are located in the Virgin Islands.

(e) If the Lieutenant Governor suspends or revokes a provider's registration, the provider may appeal and request a hearing pursuant to the procedures prescribed in section 410(b).

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 435 Private enforcement(a) If an individual voids an agreement pursuant to section 425(b), the individual may recover in a civil action all money paid or deposited by or on behalf of the individual pursuant to the agreement, except amounts paid to creditors, in addition to the recovery under subsection (c)(3) and (4).

(b) If an individual voids an agreement pursuant to section 425(a), the individual may recover in a civil action three times the total amount of the fees, charges, money, and payments made by the individual to the provider, in addition to the recovery under subsection (c)(4).

(c) Subject to subsection (d), an individual with respect to whom a provider violates this chapter may recover in a civil action from the provider and any person that caused the violation:

(1) compensatory damages for injury, including noneconomic injury, caused by the violation;

(2) except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) and subject to adjustment of the dollar amount pursuant to section 432(f), with respect to a violation of section 417, 419, 420, 421, 422, 423, 424, 427, or 428(a), (b), or (d), the greater of the amount recoverable under paragraph (1) or $5,000;

(3) punitive damages; and

(4) reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

(d) In a class action, except for a violation of section 428(a)(5), the minimum damages provided in subsection (c)(2) do not apply.

(e) In addition to the remedy available under subsection (c), if a provider violates an individual's rights under section 420, the individual may recover in a civil action all money paid or deposited by or on behalf of the individual pursuant to the agreement, except for amounts paid to creditors.

(f) A provider is not liable under this section for a violation of this chapter if the provider proves that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a good-faith error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid the error. An error of legal judgment with respect to a provider's obligations under this chapter is not a good-faith error. If, in connection with a violation, the provider has received more money than authorized by an agreement or this chapter, the defense provided by this subsection is not available unless the provider refunds the excess within two business days of learning of the violation.

(g) The Lieutenant Governor shall assist an individual in enforcing a judgment against the surety bond or other security provided under section 413 or 414.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 436 Violation of consumer fraud and deceptive business practices statuteIf an act or practice of a provider violates both this chapter and chapter 6 the individual may not recover under both for the same act or practice.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 437 Statute of limitations(a) An action or proceeding brought pursuant to section 343(a), (b), or (c) must be commenced within four years after the conduct that is the basis of the Lieutenant Governor's complaint.

(b) An action brought pursuant to §435 must be commenced within two years after the latest of:

(1) the individual's last transmission of money to a provider;

(2) the individual's last transmission of money to a creditor at the direction of the provider;

(3) the provider's last disbursement to a creditor of the individual;

(4) the provider's last accounting to the individual pursuant to section 427

(a);

(5) the date on which the individual discovered or reasonably should have discovered the facts giving rise to the individual's claim; or

(6) termination of actions or proceedings by the Lieutenant Governor with respect to a violation of the chapter.

(c) The period prescribed in subsection (b)(5) is tolled during any period during which the provider or, if different, the defendant has materially and willfully misrepresented information required by this chapter to be disclosed to the individual, if the information so misrepresented is material to the establishment of the liability of the defendant under this chapter.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 438 Uniformity of application and constructionIn applying and construing this chapter, consideration must be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 439 Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce ActThis chapter modifies, limits, and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 U.S.C. Section 7001 et seq.) but does not modify, limit, or supersede Section 101(c) of that act (15 U.S.C. Section 7001(c)) or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in Section 103(b) of that act (15 U.S.C. Section 7003(b)).

.

12A V.I. Code Ann. § 440 Transitional provisions; application to existing transactionsTransactions entered into before this chapter takes effect and the rights, duties, and interests resulting from them may be completed, terminated, or enforced as required or permitted by a law amended, repealed, or modified by this chapter as though the amendment, repeal, or modification had not occurred.