It’s long puzzled me how people would partake in those Cash4Gold commercials. You’ve seen them. Typically it’s were some desperate consumers puts their valuable gold into an envelope and sends it off, untraced, or underinsured to some company that melts down the items and sends the person back a check for whatever they feel like.
These type of companies have been a concern for me because I’ve heard from consumers that have used such services to sell gold in order to pay bills or make ends meet. But are they getting a fair deal and what happens it the package is lost in the mail?
A bill currently under discussion called the “Guarantee of a Legitimate Deal Act of 2009” (H.R. 4501) aims to at least give consumers a shot of some regulation for these transactions.
- Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
- This Act may be cited as the `Guarantee of a Legitimate Deal Act of 2009′.
SEC. 2. RETURN REQUIREMENTS FOR PURCHASERS OF PRECIOUS METALS.
- (a) Unlawful Conduct- It shall be unlawful for any online purchaser of precious metals to–
- (1) refine through melting or otherwise permanently destroy an item of jewelry or precious metal which the online purchaser of precious metals has made an offer to purchase before receiving an affirmative acceptance of such offer from the consumer to whom such offer was made;
- (2) fail to promptly return to the consumer any jewelry or other precious metal if the consumer declines the offer to purchase made by the online purchaser of precious metals; or
- (3) fail to insure any shipment of such jewelry or precious metals in an amount equal to–
- (A) 60 percent of the melt-value of the jewelry or precious metals; or
- (B) the amount the consumer insured the shipment of the jewelry or precious metals to the online purchaser of precious metals, if the consumer provides the online purchaser of precious metals with proof of such insurance.
- (b) Definitions- As used in this Act–
- (1) the term `online purchaser of precious metals’ means a person who–
- (A) is in the business of purchasing jewelry or other precious metals directly from consumers; and
- (B) maintains an Internet website through which such person solicits such transactions; and
- (2) the term `melt-value’ means the estimated value of any item of jewelry or precious metal, as determined by the online purchaser of precious metals, once such item has been processed and refined by the online purchaser of precious metals.
SEC. 3. ENFORCEMENT BY THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION.
- (a) Unfair and Deceptive Act or Practice- A violation of this Act shall be treated as an unfair and deceptive act or practice in violation of a regulation under section 18(a)(1)(B) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)) regarding unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
- (b) Powers of Commission- The Commission shall enforce this Act in the same manner, by the same means, and with the same jurisdiction, powers, and duties as though all applicable terms and provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.) were incorporated into and made a part of this Act. Any person who violates such regulations shall be subject to the penalties and entitled to the privileges and immunities provided in that Act.