Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/25/2006 08:30 AM JUDICIARY


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 308 CALLER ID HACKERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 308(JUD)am Out of Committee
+= SB 307 LANDLORD REMEDIES; LATE FEE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 442 HEALTH CARE DECISIONS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
<Pending Referral>
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
+ HB 439 INSURANCE PRODUCT REGULATION COMPACT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 439(L&C)am Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= SB 316 COURT REVIEW OF STRANDED GAS DECISION
Heard & Held
               SB 307-LANDLORD REMEDIES; LATE FEE                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:21:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR RALPH SEEKINS announced SB 307 to be up for consideration.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CHARLIE HUGGINS  moved version G as  the working document                                                               
before the committee. Hearing no objections, the motion carried.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JANE ALBERTS,  Staff to  Senator Con  Bunde, introduced  the bill                                                               
and  said  Senator Bunde  has  offered  the  bill by  request  of                                                               
landlords who deal with large  numbers of tenants. Landlords feel                                                               
that a  court ruling in  2002 changed  how they collect  rent and                                                               
late fees and they are concerned over the issue.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The bill  would allow landlords  to send  out one notice  to warn                                                               
tenants  of  the  rent  and   the  accompanying  late  fees.  The                                                               
committee substitute (CS) addresses a  concern heard last week in                                                               
the  Senate Judiciary  Standing  Committee and  Ed Sniffen  would                                                               
discuss that concern.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:23:21 AM                                                                                                                    
ED SNIFFEN, Assistant Attorney General,  Department of Law (DOL),                                                               
said he reviewed the CS and  in order to address Senator French's                                                               
concern that landlords  would be allowed to  "shoehorn other fees                                                               
into a  streamlined process."  He said the  best option  to solve                                                               
that would require  a total re-write of  the Landlord-Tenant Act.                                                               
The  CS puts  a ten  percent cap  on the  amount that  a landlord                                                               
could charge for a late fee.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:25:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRETCHEN  GUESS asked  Mr. Sniffen  whether it  was still                                                               
the  situation that  somebody  could get  evicted  solely on  the                                                               
basis of not paying the late fee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. SNIFFEN indicated that was true.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GUESS asked  whether the statutes addressed  the point of                                                               
when rent is late.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SNIFFEN  replied  that  is normally  stated  in  the  rental                                                               
contract.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:27:15 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HOLLIS FRENCH asked Mr.  Sniffen whether there were rules                                                               
and regulations  in respect to  late fees in  other transactions,                                                               
such as car loans.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  SNIFFEN reported  that in  the mortgage-lending  arena there                                                               
are  federal  regulations  that   control  the  lending  process.                                                               
Federal statute and other usury  laws impose some limitations. He                                                               
said when a  person fails to pay the mortgage  there is a process                                                               
that takes up to 60 days  before that person would lose the house                                                               
but the eviction  remedy is more serious  and treated differently                                                               
in statute.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:29:37 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS held SB 307 in committee.                                                                                         

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