written confirmation

Posted By: Polo

written confirmation - 08/26/10 03:40 PM

Similar to Purex's question...
I need guidance also…
As stated below from §205.10(c)(2), written confirmation may be imposed when an error dispute is being reported. However, it does not appear to be defined in Reg. E.
Could a bank define written confirmation as a “police report, affidavit, or some other written report without imposing undue burden or “greater liability” (§205.6(b)(3)) on the consumer?

Thank you

(2) Written confirmation. The financial institution may require the consumer to give written confirmation of a stop-payment order within 14 days of an oral notification. An institution that requires written confirmation shall inform the consumer of the requirement and provide the address where confirmation must be sent when the consumer gives the oral notification. An oral stop-payment order ceases to be binding after 14 days if the consumer fails to provide the required written confirmation.

Staff Interpretations §205.6(b)(3)
3. Limits on liability. The extent of the consumer's liability is determined solely by the consumer's promptness in reporting the loss or theft of an access device. Similarly, no agreement between the consumer and an institution may impose greater liability on the consumer for an unauthorized transfer than the limits provided in Regulation E.
Posted By: Andy_Z

Re: written confirmation - 08/26/10 03:55 PM

You would be expanding "written notice of error" to include requirements the law doesn't allow. They don't have to file a police report. Requiring that as part of a written claim imposes requirements that don't exist.

An affidavit is common, but also isn't a requirement. This would be much less burdensome than a police report and may be combined with the facts of the claim and is often accepted. "We'll send you this form to complete..." If the consumer said, "I'll just write down what happened and send it" I believe you would have to accept that. In any case the claim goes on, the big difference is provisional credit. Also, if you send a form, depending on where it goes, your 10 day clock for a timely return may need to be extended. You can't, IMHO penalize them if your form takes 3 or 4 days to get there. Downloadable may be an expedient option.
Posted By: Compliance504

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 03:31 PM

I am really struggling with "written confirmation".

I am doing a Reg E review and have just come across in a claim a typed, signed letter from a customer in which she references that she alerted the bank by e-mail on such and such a date....I requested the e-mail from our Retail dept, which was sent securely through our online banking channel, and sure enough this e-mail had all the requirements in it to meet a notice....the response from us to the e-mail was to contact our ATM dept at phone number.....after which the customer was sent forms to fill out (and we require signatures be notarized)

I realize our procedures are out of compliance...and I have made recommendation after recommendation...but it's tough to get things changed when your independent consultants have no findings during their audits....

My first question is....can we require the written confirmation be something signed by the customer? Or is an e-mail through our online banking channel a written notice....requiring provisional credit....or can we still require a signed written notification before giving provisional credit?
Posted By: John Burnett

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 03:40 PM

It's not a violation to require a confirmation of the claim in writing if the only thing hanging on receipt of the confirmation is whether or not you'll provide provision credit. But if you don't investigate a claim unless you receive a written confirmation, you're in violation. You don't have to accept an email as a written confirmation; you can require that it be on paper. But why do you feel you have to play hardball on such things?

As for any frustration with independent consultants --- your bank is paying for their services. If you aren't getting what you think is needed, it's time to cut them off and look elsewhere.
Posted By: Compliance504

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 03:47 PM

Thank you, John....I'm not in that kind of position...probably should have kept that little vent to myself....
Posted By: John Burnett

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 03:49 PM

And as I re-read my comment, I should clarify that "you" refers to the bank. I don't see you, personally, as the problem here.
Posted By: Compliance504

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 04:08 PM

Thanks, John...
Posted By: Compliance504

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 06:17 PM

I need to understand something else Regulatory wise here....Would the e-mail notification be considered a verbal notification? If we received an e-mail notice of error through online channels and we e-mailed back saying to call us and orally notify us....would the time clock start from receipt of the e-mail they sent or the phone call with verbal notice.....
Posted By: rlcarey

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 06:38 PM

we received an e-mail notice of error through online channels

If you have established on-line channels, why would this not be written notice?
Posted By: Compliance504

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 06:48 PM


I asked above about receiving an e-mail notice and John explained, unless I misunderstood, that we do not have to accept an e-mail notification as written notice...we can require something on paper....I went back and read the OSC and found where we can require a written, signed confirmation.....

This online channel that I speak of is not something that is set up for specifically for error resolution....it is a contact us in our online banking.....

Since John explained that we don't have to accept the online notice as written, I'm wondering if it is verbal notice....
Posted By: rlcarey

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 06:56 PM

I didn't go back and read this whole thread, so I was only basing my comment on "through online channels".

The word "verbal" does not appear in 1005.11. So I would say you have been put on notice and the clock is ticking if that is what you are asking.

Many banks have pretty large disclaimers if whatever channel you are referring too is not meant for this sort of communication.
Posted By: Compliance504

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 07:06 PM

The word "verbal" does not appear; the word "oral" does.....I should have used that word.....since the reg refers to oral or written notification....

Would the e-mail notice be considered an "oral" notice....it's already been established that it is not a written notice....

I just need to understand regulatory wise.....
Posted By: John Burnett

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 07:37 PM

Verbal means in words. Those words can be oral (spoken) or written. And in some places, "written" is defined to mean written on paper.

Email isn't oral. But it isn't written if you define written to mean pen and ink.

Personally (and I emphasize this isn't a regulator understanding that I am aware of) I would consider a notice submitted via your online banking channel as a written notice since you have the ability to print it out and you vetted the customer's identity via the online channel. But if you allow customers to send messages on that channel, you have to ensure the channel is attended during business hours.

I would discourage customers from emailing a claim using conventional (unsecure) email for obvious reasons, and because it's relatively easy for a customer's email address to be spoofed.
Posted By: John Burnett

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 07:44 PM

Another way to put this is to say that the narrowest definition of a written error notice is a written notice on paper that satisfies the requirements of § 1005.11(b) and makes a claim under one of the categories of error in § 1005.11(a)(1).

If your bank accepts notices fitting that definition plus others (such as messages via your online banking portal), you're doing better than the regulation requires.

One caveat: If your online portal specifically offers to accept questions from customers about transactions, I think you must consider them written error claims if they provide the required information and address any of the seven types of errors in 1005.11(a)(1).
Posted By: Compliance504

Re: written confirmation - 04/18/14 08:21 PM

I sincerely appreciate the explanation, John....it helps a lot.....as I'm putting some proposed procedures together...I'll probably have more questions...

I truly appreciate everything that is available on BOL...