Bill Text: TX SB560 | 2017-2018 | 85th Legislature | Engrossed

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Relating to surcharges imposed for the use of a credit card; providing a civil penalty.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 2-0)

Status: (Passed) 2017-05-27 - Effective on 9/1/17 [SB560 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-SB560-Engrossed.html
 
 
  By: Hancock S.B. No. 560
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to surcharges imposed for the use of a credit card;
  providing a civil penalty.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 604A.001, Business & Commerce Code, is
  amended by adding Subdivision (1-a) and amending Subdivision (5) to
  read as follows:
               (1-a)  "Credit card" has the meaning assigned by
  Section 502.001.
               (5)  "Surcharge" means an increase in the price charged
  for goods or services imposed on a buyer who pays with a credit, 
  debit, or stored value card that is not imposed on a buyer who pays
  by other means.  The term does not include a discounted price
  charged for goods or services to a buyer who pays with cash.
         SECTION 2.  Sections 604A.003(a), (b), and (b-1), Business &
  Commerce Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  A person who knowingly violates Section 604A.002 or
  604A.0021 is liable to the state for a civil penalty in an amount
  not to exceed $500 for each violation.  The attorney general or the
  prosecuting attorney in the county in which the violation occurs
  may bring:
               (1)  a suit to recover the civil penalty imposed under
  this section; and
               (2)  an action in the name of the state to restrain or
  enjoin a person from violating this chapter.
         (b)  Before bringing the action, the attorney general or
  prosecuting attorney shall give the person notice of the person's
  noncompliance and liability for a civil penalty.  The notice must:
               (1)  contain guidance to assist the person in complying
  with this chapter;
               (2)  advise the person of the prohibitions 
  [prohibition] under Sections [Section] 604A.002 and 604A.0021; and
               (3)  state that the person may be liable for a civil
  penalty for a subsequent violation of Section 604A.002 or
  604A.0021.
         (b-1)  If the person complies with Sections [Section]
  604A.002 and 604A.0021 not later than the 30th day after the date of
  the notice under Subsection (b), the violation is cured and the
  person is not liable for the civil penalty.  A person who has
  previously received notice of noncompliance under Subsection (b) is
  not entitled to notice of or the opportunity to cure a subsequent
  violation of Section 604A.002 or 604A.0021.
         SECTION 3.  Section 14.101, Finance Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 14.101.  GENERAL DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER.  The
  commissioner shall enforce [Section 339.001,] this chapter,
  Subtitles B and C of Title 4, Chapter 393 with respect to a credit
  access business, and Chapter 394 in person or through an assistant
  commissioner, examiner, or other employee of the office.
         SECTION 4.  Section 14.201, Finance Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 14.201.  INVESTIGATION AND ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY.  
  Investigative and enforcement authority under this subchapter
  applies only to [Section 339.001,] this chapter, Subtitles B and C
  of Title 4, Chapter 393 with respect to a credit access business,
  and Chapter 394.
         SECTION 5.  Section 14.2015(a), Finance Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), information or
  material obtained or compiled by the commissioner in relation to an
  examination or investigation by the commissioner or the
  commissioner's representative of a license holder, registrant,
  applicant, or other person under [Section 339.001,] Subtitle B or
  C, Title 4, Subchapter G of Chapter 393, or Chapter 394 is
  confidential and may not be disclosed by the commissioner or an
  officer or employee of the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner,
  including:
               (1)  information obtained from a license holder,
  registrant, applicant, or other person examined or investigated
  under [Section 339.001,] Subtitle B or C, Title 4, Subchapter G of
  Chapter 393, or Chapter 394;
               (2)  work performed by the commissioner or the
  commissioner's representative on information obtained from a
  license holder, registrant, applicant, or other person for the
  purposes of an examination or investigation conducted under
  [Section 339.001,] Subtitle B or C, Title 4, Chapter 393 with
  respect to a credit access business, or Chapter 394;
               (3)  a report on an examination or investigation of a
  license holder, registrant, applicant, or other person conducted
  under [Section 339.001,] Subtitle B or C, Title 4, Chapter 393 with
  respect to a credit access business, or Chapter 394; and
               (4)  any written communications between the license
  holder, registrant, applicant, or other person, as applicable, and
  the commissioner or the commissioner's representative relating to
  or referencing an examination or investigation conducted under
  [Section 339.001,] Subtitle B or C, Title 4, Chapter 393 with
  respect to a credit access business, or Chapter 394.
         SECTION 6.  Section 14.251(b), Finance Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  The commissioner may order a person who violates or
  causes a violation of [Section 339.001,] this chapter, Chapter 394,
  or Subtitle B, Title 4, or a rule adopted under [Section 339.001,]
  this chapter, Chapter 394, or Subtitle B, Title 4, or a credit
  access business who violates or causes a violation of Chapter 393 or
  a rule adopted under Chapter 393, to make restitution to an
  identifiable person injured by the violation.
         SECTION 7.  Section 14.261(a), Finance Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  In administering this chapter, the commissioner may
  accept assurance of voluntary compliance from a person who is
  engaging in or has engaged in an act or practice in violation of:
               (1)  [Section 339.001;
               [(2)]  this chapter or a rule adopted under this
  chapter;
               (2) [(3)]  Chapter 393, if the person is a credit
  access business, or Chapter 394; or
               (3) [(4)]  Subtitle B, Title 4, or a rule adopted under
  Subtitle B, Title 4.
         SECTION 8.  Section 14.262, Finance Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         Sec. 14.262.  EFFECT OF ASSURANCE. (a)  An assurance of
  voluntary compliance is not an admission of a violation of:
               (1)  [Section 339.001;
               [(2)]  this chapter or a rule adopted under this
  chapter;
               (2) [(3)]  Chapter 393 with respect to a credit access
  business or Chapter 394; or
               (3) [(4)]  Subtitle B, Title 4, or a rule adopted under
  Subtitle B, Title 4.
         (b)  Unless an assurance of voluntary compliance is
  rescinded by agreement or voided by a court for good cause, a
  subsequent failure to comply with the assurance is prima facie
  evidence of a violation of:
               (1)  [Section 339.001;
               [(2)]  this chapter or a rule adopted under this
  chapter;
               (2) [(3)]  Chapter 393 with respect to a credit access
  business or Chapter 394; or
               (3) [(4)]  Subtitle B, Title 4, or a rule adopted under
  Subtitle B, Title 4.
         SECTION 9.  Section 339.001, Finance Code, is transferred to
  Chapter 604A, Business & Commerce Code, redesignated as Section
  604A.0021, Business & Commerce Code, and amended to read as
  follows:
         Sec. 604A.0021  [339.001].  IMPOSITION OF SURCHARGE FOR USE
  OF CREDIT CARD.  (a) In a sale of goods or services, a seller may
  not impose a surcharge on a buyer who uses a credit card for an
  extension of credit instead of cash, a check, or a similar means of
  payment.
         (b)  This section does not apply to:
               (1)  a state agency, county, local governmental entity,
  or other governmental entity that accepts a credit card for the
  payment of fees, taxes, or other charges; or
               (2)  a private school that accepts a credit card for the
  payment of fees or other charges, as provided by Section 111.002[,
  Business & Commerce Code].
         (c)  [The consumer credit commissioner has exclusive
  jurisdiction to enforce this section.
         [(d)     The Finance Commission of Texas may adopt rules
  relating to this section.   Rules adopted pursuant to this section
  shall be consistent with federal laws and regulations governing
  credit card transactions described by this section.
         [(e)]  This section does not create a cause of action against
  an individual for violation of this section.
         SECTION 10.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
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