46:10B-29 Violations, remedies, liability.
8. a. (1) Any violation of this act constitutes an unlawful practice under P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.). Any borrower may seek damages under the provisions of section 7 of P.L.1971, c.247 (C.56:8-19) or subparagraph (a) of paragraph (1) of subsection b. of this section, but not both.
(2)Notwithstanding any provision of P.L.2003, c.64 (C.46:10B-22 et seq.) or other law to the contrary, any borrower who asserts any defense, claim or counterclaim pursuant to subsection c. of section 6 of P.L.2003, c.64 (C.46:10B-27) may do so only in an individual capacity and may not assert that defense, claim or counterclaim in a class action.
b.Except as provided in subsection a. of this section and, where applicable, subject to any limitation on the amounts recoverable against a holder or assignee pursuant to section 6 of this act, in addition to the remedies available to a borrower under P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) and without limiting those remedies:
(1)Any person found by a preponderance of the evidence to have violated this act shall be liable to the borrower for the following:
(a)For material violations, statutory damages equal to the finance charges agreed to in the home loan agreement, plus up to 10% of the amount financed;
(b)Punitive damages, when the violation was malicious or reckless in appropriate circumstances as determined by the fact-finder; and
(c)Costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.
(2)A borrower may be granted injunctive, declaratory, and such other equitable relief as the court deems appropriate in an action to enforce compliance with this act.
(3)The remedies provided in this section are not intended to be the exclusive remedies available to a borrower, nor must the borrower exhaust any administrative remedies provided under this act or any other applicable law before proceeding under this section.
c.A creditor in a home loan who, when acting in good faith, fails to comply with the provisions of this act, will not be deemed to have violated this section if the creditor establishes that either:
(1)Within 45 days of the loan closing, the creditor has made appropriate restitution to the borrower, and appropriate adjustments are made to the loan; or
(2)Within 365 days of the loan closing and prior to receiving any notice from the borrower of the compliance failure, and the compliance failure was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid such errors, the borrower is notified of the compliance failure, appropriate restitution is made to the borrower, and appropriate adjustments are made to the loan.
Examples of bona fide errors include clerical, calculation, computer malfunction and programming, and printing errors. An error of legal judgment with respect to a person's obligations under this section is not a bona fide error.
d.The remedies provided in this section are cumulative.
L.2003,c.64,s.8; amended 2004, c.84, s.5.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016