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Consumer Law: Federal Laws & Regulations

Federal Regulators

 

 

Federal Laws and Regulations

 

 

The Federal Truth in Lending Act, or TILA, (15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) protects consumers by requiring creditors to disclose certain information to borrowers or prospective borrowers. Enacted in 1968, the TILA has been implemented by a series of regulations, but primarily implemented by Regulation Z (12 C.F.R. § 226). These regulations were promulgated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the body formerly given implementation authority over TILA. Most of the statutory provisions in the TILA have been incorporated into the rules in Regulation Z. Some of the recent amendments relate to Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) which have been enacted as a result of attempts to reverse the subprime mortgage crisis. Also, rules pertaining to open-end (not home-secured) credit have further amended this area of law. Specific disclosures are required for applications and solicitations, periodic statements, new accounts, advertisements, rate or other fee increases, and notices of other term changes. Additionally, credit card accounts are more heavily regulated to protect consumers from unfair acts or practices, including those related to overdrawn account fees, evaluations of consumer repayment ability, billing and payments, and penalty fees and charges. The Comptroller of the Currency's  TILA Booklet explains these provisions with background and implementation (Reg. Z) information.

Legislation known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (12 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) turned the table on the Federal Reserve Board and much of this authority was curtailed, or rather transferred and given to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in 2011. The CFPB was created for the primary purpose of protecting consumers. The CFPB now regulates and implements TILA. (What is the effect of the transfer of rule-making authority to the CFPB on Reg Z?) The Dodd-Frank Act is a major financial regulation overhaul that is likely to affect the entire financial industry by placing restrictions and requiring greater oversight on investors, banks, and other lenders. The exact effect of the Dodd-Frank legislation is yet to be seen, as many of the provisions are being challenged in court and other provisions do not mandate regulation in certain areas but provide the CFPB with authority to further implement regulation in such areas. 

Fair Credit Reporting Act; 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et. seq.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et. seq.

Federal Deposit Insurance Act; 12 U.S.C. § 1811

Equal Credit Opportunity Act; 15 U.S.C. § 1691

Electronic Fund Transfer Act; 12 U.S.C. § 205

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act; 12 U.S.C. § 1811

Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices; 15 U.S.C. § 45

Federal Trade Commission Act; 15 U.S.C. § 41

Wire and Electronic Communications Privacy Act; 18 U.S.C. § 2510

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act; 15 U.S.C. § 2301

Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act; 15 U.S.C. § 6101

Credit CARD Act of 2009; 15 U.S.C. § 1601

E-SIGN 15 U.S.C. § 7001; 15 U.S.C. § 7001

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