REMEDIES AND PENALTIES
28-45-201. Effect of violations on rights of parties. (1) If a creditor has violated any provision of this act applying to collection of an excess charge or amount or enforcement of rights, subsection (4) of section 28-41-201, Idaho Code, authority to make regulated consumer loans, section 28-46-301, Idaho Code, restrictions on interests in land as security, section 28-43-309, Idaho Code, limitations on the schedule of payments or loan terms for regulated consumer loans, section 28-43-310, Idaho Code, attorney’s fees, section 28-43-311, Idaho Code, receipts, statements of account, and evidences of payment, section 28-43-204, Idaho Code, form of insurance premium loan agreement, section 28-43-205, Idaho Code, security in sales, section 28-43-301, Idaho Code, no assignments of earnings, section 28-43-304, Idaho Code, certain negotiable instruments prohibited, section 28-43-306, Idaho Code, referral sales, section 28-43-308, Idaho Code, limitations on default charges, section 28-45-301, Idaho Code, assignees subject to claims and defenses, subsection (3) of section 28-45-302, Idaho Code, or assurance of discontinuance, section 28-46-109, Idaho Code, the debtor has a cause of action to recover actual damages and also a right in an action other than a class action, to recover from the person violating this act a penalty in an amount determined by the court not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). With respect to violations arising from consumer credit sales or consumer loans made pursuant to open-end credit, no action pursuant to this subsection may be brought more than two (2) years after the violations occurred. With respect to violations arising from other regulated consumer credit transactions, no action pursuant to this subsection may be brought more than one (1) year after the scheduled or accelerated maturity of the debt.
(2) A debtor is not obligated to pay a charge in excess of that allowed by this act and has a right of refund of any excess charge paid. A refund may be made by reducing the debtor’s obligation by the amount of the excess charge. If the debtor has paid an amount in excess of the lawful obligation under the agreement, the debtor may recover the excess amount from the person who made the excess charge or from an assignee of that person’s rights who undertakes direct collection of payments from or enforcement of rights against debtors arising from the debt.
(3) If a creditor has contracted for or received a charge in excess of that allowed by this act, or if a debtor is entitled to a refund and a person liable to the debtor refuses to make a refund within a reasonable time after demand, the debtor may recover from the creditor or the person liable in an action other than a class action a penalty in an amount determined by the court not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000). With respect to excess charges arising from consumer credit sales or consumer loans made pursuant to open-end credit, no action pursuant to this subsection may be brought more than two (2) years after the violation or passage of a reasonable time for refund occurs. With respect to excess charges arising from other regulated consumer credit transactions, no action pursuant to this subsection may be brought more than one (1) year after the scheduled or accelerated maturity of the debt. For purposes of this subsection, a reasonable time is presumed to be thirty (30) days.
(4) Except as otherwise provided, a violation of this act does not impair rights on a debt.
(5) If an employer discharges an employee in violation of the provisions prohibiting discharge, section 28-45-105, Idaho Code, the employee within ninety (90) days may bring a civil action for recovery of wages lost as a result of the violation and for an order requiring reinstatement of the employee. Damages recoverable shall not exceed lost wages for six (6) weeks.
(6) A creditor is not liable for a penalty under subsection (1) or (3) of this section if he notifies the debtor of a violation before the creditor receives from the debtor written notice of the violation or the debtor has brought an action under this section, and the creditor corrects the violation within forty-five (45) days after notifying the debtor. If the violation consists of a prohibited agreement, giving the debtor a corrected copy of the writing containing the violation is sufficient notification and correction. If the violation consists of an excess charge, correction shall be made by an adjustment or refund. The administrator and any official or agency of this state having supervisory authority over a supervised financial organization shall give prompt notice to a creditor of any violation discovered pursuant to an examination or investigation of the transactions, business, records, and acts of the creditor, sections 28-46-305, 28-46-105 and 28-46-106, Idaho Code.
(7) A creditor may not be held liable in an action brought under this section for a violation of this act if the creditor shows by a preponderance of evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error, notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid the error.
(8) In an action in which it is found that a creditor has violated this act, the court shall award to the debtor the costs of the action and his attorney’s fees. In determining the attorney’s fees, the amount of the recovery on behalf of the debtor is not controlling.
[28-45-201, added 1983, ch. 119, sec. 3, p. 296; am. 2002, ch. 301, sec. 3, p. 860.]