Uniform Statutory Source: Sections 2-711 and 2-717.
Changes: Substantially rewritten.
1. This section is an index to sections 2A-509 through 2A-522 which set out the lessee's rights and remedies after the lessor's default. The lessor and the lessee can agree to modify the rights and remedies available under this article; they can, among other things, provide that for defaults other than those specified in subsection (1) the lessee can exercise the rights and remedies referred to in subsection (1); and they can create a new scheme of rights and remedies triggered by the occurrence of the default. Sections 1-102(3) and 2A-103(4).
2. Subsection (1), a substantially rewritten version of the provisions of section 2-711(1), lists three cumulative remedies of the lessee where the lessor has failed to deliver conforming goods or has repudiated the contract, or the lessee has rightfully rejected or justifiably revoked. Sections 2A-501(2) and (4). Subsection (1) also allows the lessee to exercise any contractual remedy. This article rejects any general doctrine of election of remedy. To determine if one remedy bars another in a particular case is a function of whether the lessee has been put in as good a position as if the lessor had fully performed the lease agreement. Use of multiple remedies is barred only if the effect is to put the lessee in a better position than it would have been in had the lessor fully performed under the lease. Sections 1-106(1), 2A-103(4), and 2A-501(4). Subsection (1)(b), in recognition that no bright line can be created that would operate fairly in all installment lease cases and in recognition of the fact that a lessee may be able to cancel the lease (revoke acceptance of the goods) after the goods have been in use for some period of time, does not require that all lease payments made by the lessee under the lease be returned upon cancellation. Rather, only such portion as is just of the rent and security payments made may be recovered. If a defect in the goods is discovered immediately upon tender to the lessee and the goods are rejected immediately, then the lessee should recover all payments made. If, however, for example, a 36-month equipment lease is terminated in the 12th month because the lessor has materially breached the contract by failing to perform its maintenance obligations, it may be just to return only a small part or none of the rental payments already made.
3. Subsection (2), a version of the provisions of section 2-711(2) revised to reflect leasing terminology, lists two alternative remedies for the recovery of the goods by the lessee; however, each of these remedies is cumulative with respect to those listed in subsection (1).
4. Subsection (3) is new.
It covers defaults which do not deprive the lessee of the goods and which are not so serious as to justify rejection or revocation of acceptance under subsection (1). It also covers defaults for which the lessee could have rejected or revoked acceptance of the goods but elects not to do so and retains the goods. In either case, a lessee which retains the goods is entitled to recover damages as stated in section 2A-519(3). That measure of damages is "the loss resulting in the ordinary course of events from the lessor's default as determined in any manner that is reasonable together with incidental and consequential damages, less expenses saved in consequence of the lessor's breach".
5. Subsection (1)(d) and subsection (3) recognize that the lease agreement may provide rights and remedies in addition to or different from those which article 2A provides. In particular, subsection (3) provides that the lease agreement may give the remedy of cancellation of the lease for defaults by the lessor that would not otherwise be material defaults which would justify cancellation under subsection (1). If there is a right to cancel, there is, of course, a right to reject or revoke acceptance of the goods.
6. Subsection (4) is new and merely adds to the completeness of the index by including a reference to the lessee's recovery of damages upon the lessor's breach of warranty; such breach may not rise to the level of a default by the lessor justifying revocation of acceptance. If the lessee properly rejects or revokes acceptance of the goods because of a breach of warranty, the rights and remedies are those provided in subsection (1) rather than those in section 2A-519(4).
7. Subsection (5), a revised version of the provisions of section 2-711(3), recognizes, on rightful rejection or justifiable revocation, the lessee's security interest in goods in its possession and control. Section 9-110, which recognized security interests arising under the Article on Sales (Article 2), was amended with the adoption of this article to reflect the security interests arising under this article. Pursuant to section 2A-511(4), a purchaser who purchases goods from the lessee in good faith takes free of any rights of the lessor, or in the case of a finance lease the supplier. Such goods, however, must have been rightfully rejected and disposed of pursuant to section 2A-511 or 2A-512. However, section 2A-517(5) provides that the lessee will have the same rights and duties with respect to goods where acceptance has been revoked as with respect to goods rejected. Thus, section 2A-511(4) will apply to the lessee's disposition of such goods.
8. Pursuant to section 2A-527(5), the lessee must account to the lessor for the excess proceeds of such disposition, after satisfaction of the claim secured by the lessee's security interest.
9. Subsection (6), a slightly revised version of the provisions of section 2-717, sanctions a right of setoff by the lessee, subject to the rule of section 2A-407 with respect to irrevocable promises in a finance lease that is not a consumer lease, and further subject to an enforceable "hell or high water" clause in the lease agreement. Section 2A-407 official comment. No attempt is made to state how the setoff should occur; this is to be determined by the facts of each case.
10. There is no special treatment of the finance lease in this section. Absent supplemental principles of law and equity to the contrary, in the case of most finance leases, following the lessee's acceptance of the goods the lessee will have no rights or remedies against the lessor, because the lessor's obligations to the lessee are minimal. Sections 2A-210 and 2A-211(1). Since the lessee will look to the supplier for performance, this is appropriate. Section 2A-209.
Sections 1-102(3), 1-103, and 1-106(1), article 2, especially sections 2-711 and 2-717, sections 2A-103(4), 2A-209, 2A-210, 2A-211(1), 2A-407, 2A-501(2), 2A-501(4), 2A-509 through 2A-522, 2A-511(3), 2A-517(5), and 2A-527(5), and section 9-110.
Definitional Cross References:
"Conforming". Section 2A-103(1)(d).
"Delivery". Section 1-201(14).
"Good faith". Sections 1-201(19) and 2-103(1)(b).
"Goods". Section 2A-103(1)(h).
"Installment lease contract". Section 2A-103(1)(i).
"Lease contract". Section 2A-103(1)(l).
"Lessee". Section 2A-103(1)(n).
"Lessor". Section 2A-103(1)(p).
"Notifies". Section 1-201(26).
"Receipt". Section 2-103(1)(c).
"Remedy". Section 1-201(34).
"Rights". Section 1-201(36).
"Security interest". Section 1-201(37).
"Value". Section 1-201(44).