(a) No person who has received, or whose assignor has received, under a contract for the purchase of real or personal property, a deposit or installment of the purchase price, or a deposit or installment under the contract, from a person or from the assigner of a person who, after the date of payment of the deposit or installment, has entered military service, shall exercise any right or option under that contract to rescind or terminate the contract or resume possession of the property for nonpayment of any installment due or for any other breach of its terms occurring prior to or during the period of that military service, except by action in a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) Upon the hearing of that action as provided in subdivision (a), the court may order the repayment of prior installments or deposits or any part, as a condition of terminating the contract and resuming possession of the property, or may, in its discretion, on its own motion, and shall, on application to it by the service member or some person on the service member’s behalf, order a stay of proceedings as the court deems just, unless in the opinion of the court, the ability of the defendant to comply with the terms of the contract is not materially affected by reason of the service; or it may make any other disposition of the case as may be equitable to conserve the interests of all parties.
(c) Any person violating this section shall be liable for actual damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, and costs incurred by the injured party.
(d) Any person who shall knowingly resume possession of property that is the subject of this section in a manner other than as provided in subdivision (a), or attempts to do so, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punishable by imprisonment not to exceed one year or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.
(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 385, Sec. 6. (AB 2365) Effective January 1, 2011.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018