Code of the District of Columbia

§ 28–3813. Consumers’ remedies.

(a) The remedies provided by this section shall be liberally administered to the end that the consumer as the aggrieved party shall be put in at least as good a position as if the creditor had fully complied with this chapter. Except as is otherwise specifically provided where there are wilful and repeated violations of this chapter consequential and special damages may be had in lieu of the specific penalties allowed, and in addition punitive damages may be had as indicated.

(b) Any right or obligation declared by this chapter is enforceable by action unless the provision declaring it specifies a different and limited effect.

(c) “Transaction total” means —

(1) in the case of transactions pursuant to open end credit plans or consumer credit transactions, the total of the following calculated as if the amount or amounts financed were paid over the maximum period of the plan or, if there is no such period, over twelve months beginning with the next billing cycle or cycles following the transaction or transactions:

(A) the amount financed, plus any down payment or required deposit balance, and

(B) the total finance charge, including any prepaid finance charge;

(2) in the case of other than open end transactions or consumer credit transactions, the total of the following:

(A) the amount financed, plus any down payment or required deposit balance, and

(B) the amount of all precomputed or precomputable finance charge, including any prepaid finance charge.

(d)(1) In the discretion of the court, a consumer may recover from the person violating this chapter, in addition to the damages the law otherwise allows, 10% of the transaction total, if applicable, or $100, whichever is greater, for violations to which this section applies.

(2) This section also applies to all violations for which no other remedy is specifically provided.

(e) If a consumer prevails in a suit brought under this chapter, the court may assess reasonable attorney’s fees in addition to any other amounts recoverable under this chapter.

(f) Any charge, practice, term, clause, provision, security interest, or other action or conduct which can be shown to be in wilful violation of the provisions of this chapter shall confer no rights or obligations enforceable by action.


(Dec. 17, 1971, 85 Stat. 675, Pub. L. 92-200, § 4.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28-3813.

1973 Ed., § 28-3813.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 28-3804.