When you buy something, you do not always pay and then walk away. Sometimes, you leave with your goods and a retail installment agreement. But what is it? Brentwood business lawyer Brian T. Boyd helps clarify the answer in the brief Q&A that follows.
Q: What is a retail installment agreement?
Brian T. Boyd: A retail installment agreement, or contract, is a document exchanged between a seller and a buyer. It outlines the cost of merchandise along with the payment schedule. This type of document serves to protect both the consumer and the seller of goods and to clear up any questions on price and payment. A business lawyer can help Brentwood business owners draft a document that complies with state and federal laws.
Q: Who is responsible for providing a retail installment agreement contract?
Brian T. Boyd: Any seller that does not collect payment in-full, up-front. For legal purposes, a seller is defined as an individual or company that is known to regularly engage in selling goods and merchandise in a retail setting. Further, sellers that provide repair, installation, or other services relating to consumer goods can create an agreement.
Q: What kind of information, other than price, is included in the document?
Brian T. Boyd: First, it is important to know that according to Tennessee law, all retail installment contracts have to be in writing; again, a business lawyer can help Brentwood business owners do this and comply with the law. They are required to note the cash price along with any down payment, if applicable, the buyer made. The difference between the cash price and the down payment must also be clearly noted. Also according to Tennessee state law, the document has to clearly indicate if the buyer chose to purchase insurance to protect the merchandise. The contract should clearly breakdown the principal balance owed and the timeframe that payment is expected to be made.
Q: Does a retail installment agreement make any special notes for receipt of payment?
Brian T. Boyd: It does, absolutely. Buyers are entitled to a receipt when payment was made in cash. Buyers making payments using a traceable means, including a debit card, credit card, or check, may use these instruments as a receipt if questions arise.
Brian T. Boyd is a business lawyer in Brentwood, Tennessee. His law firm works with local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to help establish and maintain a law-compliant business in the state of Tennessee. Visit https://www.boydlegal.co/ for more information.