SF 528 – Self-service storage facilities
SF 528 creates a new Code chapter on self-service storage facility liens and repeals the current chapter (578A). It includes updated definitions (e.g., “leased space” is individual storage space at a self-service storage facility rented to an occupant by a rental agreement; “occupant” is a person entitled to the use that space under a rental agreement, or the person’s successors or assigns; “operator” means the owner, operator, lessor or sub-lessor of a self-service storage facility or an agent or other person authorized to manage the facility.)
It allows the operator and occupant to agree to use email to satisfy all notice requirements and if they do so, the rental agreement must contain a section outlining the rights and duties of both parties regarding use of email for all notices. There must be a brief, general description of the personal property subject to the lien. The description must be reasonably adequate to permit the occupant to identify the property. If any container includes a trunk, valise or box that is locked, fastened, sealed or tied in a manner which deters immediate access to the container’s contents, it must be described as such, with no description of the contents. The operator must notify all they know of who claim a security interest in the personal property.
At least seven days before the sale, the operator must also advertise the time, place and terms of the sale in a commercially reasonable manner (i.e., likely to attract at least three independent bidders to attend or view the sale in person or online at the time and place advertised). The operator may buy the occupant’s personal property at this public sale.
With input from the Consumer Protection Division, the original proposal was amended to include new language regarding liens, late fees and notifications. It was further amended on the floor to require disclosure in the rental agreement if the facility is located in a flood zone (FEMA-defined “special flood hazard area”), and provisions the operator must follow if such a catastrophic event makes storage space unusable for the occupant.
[3/28:35-12 (No: Bolkcom, Boulton, Celsi, Dotzler, Giddens, Hogg, Jochum, Mathis, Petersen, J. Smith, T. Taylor, Wahls; Absent: Breitbach, Nunn, Sweeney)]
HF 263 – Consumer loan exemption from fee if applicant denied
House File 263 is designed to provide clarifying language to the Iowa Consumer Credit Code. Code section 537.2501 lists permissible fees that banks and credit unions may charge on consumer loans and those fees are excluded from the finance charge, which is capped at 21 percent. Current law allows a financial institution to charge an application fee on loans less than $3,000 with terms less than a year. The fee is limited to 10 percent of the amount loaned or $30, whichever is less.
A southeast Iowa credit union is starting a “payday loan alternative” program for these “small dollar” loans and does not want to charge the application fee to applicants who are denied. The legislation gives financial institutions flexibility to waive the fee if clearly stated in the application and the waiver is applied to any individual denied a loan. The Attorney General’s office has provided guidance to clarify that credit unions and banks can charge this fee only to those approved for the loan and still have it excluded from the finance charge. The bill passed the House on a 94-0 vote.
[4/3: short form (Absent: Bisignano)]