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1026.28—Effect on state laws.

(a) Inconsistent disclosure requirements. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, state law requirements that are inconsistent with the requirements contained in chapter 1 (General Provisions), chapter 2 (Credit Transactions), or chapter 3 (Credit Advertising) of the Act and the implementing provisions of this part are preempted to the extent of the inconsistency. A state law is inconsistent if it requires a creditor to make disclosures or take actions that contradict the requirements of the Federal law. A state law is contradictory if it requires the use of the same term to represent a different amount or a different meaning than the Federal law, or if it requires the use of a term different from that required in the Federal law to describe the same item. A creditor, state, or other interested party may request the Bureau to determine whether a state law requirement is inconsistent. After the Bureau determines that a state law is inconsistent, a creditor may not make disclosures using the inconsistent term or form.

Editor's Note: Effective October 3, 2015, paragraph (a)(1) is amended to read:

(a) Inconsistent disclosure requirements.(1) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, State law requirements that are inconsistent with the requirements contained in chapter 1 (General Provisions), chapter 2 (Credit Transactions), or chapter 3 (Credit Advertising) of the Act and the implementing provisions of this part are preempted to the extent of the inconsistency. A State law is inconsistent if it requires a creditor to make disclosures or take actions that contradict the requirements of the Federal law. A State law is contradictory if it requires the use of the same term to represent a different amount or a different meaning than the Federal law, or if it requires the use of a term different from that required in the Federal law to describe the same item. A creditor, State, or other interested party may request the Bureau to determine whether a State law requirement is inconsistent. After the Bureau determines that a State law is inconsistent, a creditor may not make disclosures using the inconsistent term or form. A determination as to whether a State law is inconsistent with the requirements of sections 4 and 5 of RESPA (other than the RESPA section 5(c) requirements regarding provision of a list of certified homeownership counselors) and §§ 1026.19(e) and (f), 1026.37, and 1026.38 shall be made in accordance with this section and not 12 CFR 1024.13.

(2)(i) State law requirements are inconsistent with the requirements contained in sections 161 (Correction of billing errors) or 162 (Regulation of credit reports) of the Act and the implementing provisions of this part and are preempted if they provide rights, responsibilities, or procedures for consumers or creditors that are different from those required by the Federal law. However, a state law that allows a consumer to inquire about an open-end credit account and imposes on the creditor an obligation to respond to such inquiry after the time allowed in the Federal law for the consumer to submit written notice of a billing error shall not be preempted in any situation where the time period for making written notice under this part has expired. If a creditor gives written notice of a consumer's rights under such state law, the notice shall state that reliance on the longer time period available under state law may result in the loss of important rights that could be preserved by acting more promptly under Federal law; it shall also explain that the state law provisions apply only after expiration of the time period for submitting a proper written notice of a billing error under the Federal law. If the state disclosures are made on the same side of a page as the required Federal disclosures, the state disclosures shall appear under a demarcation line below the Federal disclosures, and the Federal disclosures shall be identified by a heading indicating that they are made in compliance with Federal law.

(ii) State law requirements are inconsistent with the requirements contained in chapter 4 (Credit billing) of the Act (other than section 161 or 162) and the implementing provisions of this part and are preempted if the creditor cannot comply with state law without violating Federal law.

(iii) A state may request the Bureau to determine whether its law is inconsistent with chapter 4 of the Act and its implementing provisions.

Official Interpretation

28(a) Inconsistent Disclosure Requirements

1. General. There are 3 sets of preemption criteria: 1 applies to the general disclosure and advertising rules of the regulation, and 2 apply to the credit billing provisions. Section 1026.28 also provides for Bureau determinations of preemption.

Editor's Note: Effective October 3, 2015, paragraph 28(a)-1 is revised.

1. General. There are three sets of preemption criteria: one applies to the general disclosure and advertising rules of the regulation, and two apply to the credit billing provisions. Section 1026.28 also provides for Bureau determinations of preemption. For purposes of determining whether a State law is inconsistent with the requirements of sections 4 and 5 of RESPA (other than the RESPA section 5(c) requirements regarding provision of a list of certified homeownership counselors) and §§ 1026.19(e) and (f), 1026.37, and 1026.38 under § 1026.28, any reference to “creditor” in § 1026.28 or this commentary includes a creditor, a mortgage broker, or a settlement agent, as applicable.

2. Rules for chapters 1, 2, and 3. The standard for judging whether state laws that cover the types of requirements in chapters 1 (General provisions), 2 (Credit transactions), and 3 (Credit advertising) of the Act are inconsistent and therefore preempted, is contradiction of the Federal law. Examples of laws that would be preempted include:

i. A state law that requires use of the term finance charge, but defines the term to include fees that the Federal law excludes, or to exclude fees the Federal law includes.

ii. A state law that requires a label such as nominal annual interest rate to be used for what the Federal law calls the annual percentage rate.

3. Laws not contradictory to chapters 1, 2, and 3. i. Generally, state law requirements that call for the disclosure of items of information not covered by the Federal law, or that require more detailed disclosures, do not contradict the Federal requirements. Examples of laws that are not preempted include:

A. A state law that requires disclosure of the minimum periodic payment for open-end credit, even though not required by §1026.7.

B. A state law that requires contracts to contain warnings such as: “Read this contract before you sign. Do not sign if any spaces are left blank. You are entitled to a copy of this contract.”

ii. Similarly, a state law that requires itemization of the amount financed does not automatically contradict the permissive itemization under §1026.18(c). However, a state law requirement that the itemization appear with the disclosure of the amount financed in the segregated closed-end credit disclosures is inconsistent, and this location requirement would be preempted.

4. Creditor's options. Before the Bureau makes a determination about a specific state law, the creditor has certain options.

i. Since the prohibition against giving the state disclosures does not apply until the Bureau makes its determination, the creditor may choose to give state disclosures until the Bureau formally determines that the state law is inconsistent. (The Bureau will provide sufficient time for creditors to revise forms and procedures as necessary to conform to its determinations.) Under this first approach, as in all cases, the Federal disclosures must be clear and conspicuous, and the closed-end disclosures must be properly segregated in accordance with §1026.17(a)(1). This ability to give state disclosures relieves any uncertainty that the creditor might have prior to Bureau determinations of inconsistency.

ii. As a second option, the creditor may apply the preemption standards to a state law, conclude that it is inconsistent, and choose not to give the state-required disclosures. However, nothing in §1026.28(a) provides the creditor with immunity for violations of state law if the creditor chooses not to make state disclosures and the Bureau later determines that the state law is not preempted.

5. Rules for correction of billing errors and regulation of credit reports. The preemption criteria for the fair credit billing provisions set forth in §1026.28 have two parts. With respect to the rules on correction of billing errors and regulation of credit reports (which are in §1026.13), §1026.28(a)(2)(i) provides that a state law is inconsistent and preempted if its requirements are different from the Federal law. An exception is made, however, for state laws that allow the consumer to inquire about an account and require the creditor to respond to such inquiries beyond the time limits in the Federal law. Such a state law is not preempted with respect to the extra time period. For example, §1026.13 requires the consumer to submit a written notice of billing error within 60 days after transmittal of the periodic statement showing the alleged error. If a state law allows the consumer 90 days to submit a notice, the state law remains in effect to provide the extra 30 days. Any state law disclosures concerning this extended state time limit must reflect the qualifications and conform to the format specified in §1026.28(a)(2)(i). Examples of laws that would be preempted include:

i. A state law that has a narrower or broader definition of billing error.

ii. A state law that requires the creditor to take different steps to resolve errors.

iii. A state law that provides different timing rules for error resolution (subject to the exception discussed above).

6. Rules for other fair credit billing provisions. The second part of the criteria for fair credit billing relates to the other rules implementing chapter 4 of the Act (addressed in §§1026.4(c)(8), 1026.5(b)(2)(ii), 1026.6(a)(5) and (b)(5)(iii), 1026.7(a)(9) and (b)(9), 1026.9(a), 1026.10, 1026.11, 1026.12(c) through (f), 1026.13, and 1026.21). Section 1026.28(a)(2)(ii) provides that the test of inconsistency is whether the creditor can comply with state law without violating Federal law. For example:

i. A state law that allows the card issuer to offset the consumer's credit-card indebtedness against funds held by the card issuer would be preempted, since §1026.12(d) prohibits such action.

ii. A state law that requires periodic statements to be sent more than 14 days before the end of a free-ride period would not be preempted.

iii. A state law that permits consumers to assert claims and defenses against the card issuer without regard to the $50 and 100-mile limitations of §1026.12(c)(3)(ii) would not be preempted.

iv. In paragraphs ii. and iii. of this comment, compliance with state law would involve no violation of the Federal law.

7. Who may receive a chapter 4 determination. Only states (through their authorized officials) may request and receive determinations on inconsistency with respect to the fair credit billing provisions.

8. Preemption determination—Arizona. The Bureau recognizes state law preemption determinations made by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System prior to July 21, 2011, until and unless the Bureau makes and publishes any contrary determination. Effective October 1, 1983, the Board of Governors determined that the following provisions in the state law of Arizona are preempted by the Federal law:

i. Section 44–287 B.5—Disclosure of final cash price balance. This provision is preempted in those transactions in which the amount of the final cash price balance is the same as the Federal amount financed, since in such transactions the state law requires the use of a term different from the Federal term to represent the same amount.

ii. Section 44–287 B.6—Disclosure of finance charge. This provision is preempted in those transactions in which the amount of the finance charge is different from the amount of the Federal finance charge, since in such transactions the state law requires the use of the same term as the Federal law to represent a different amount.

iii. Section 44–287 B.7—Disclosure of the time balance. The time balance disclosure provision is preempted in those transactions in which the amount is the same as the amount of the Federal total of payments, since in such transactions the state law requires the use of a term different from the Federal term to represent the same amount.

9. Preemption determination—Florida. The Bureau recognizes state law preemption determinations made by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System prior to July 21, 2011, until and unless the Bureau makes and publishes any contrary determination. Effective October 1, 1983, the Board of Governors determined that the following provisions in the state law of Florida are preempted by the Federal law:

i. Sections 520.07(2)(f) and 520.34(2)(f)—Disclosure of amount financed. This disclosure is preempted in those transactions in which the amount is different from the Federal amount financed, since in such transactions the state law requires the use of the same term as the Federal law to represent a different amount.

ii. Sections 520.07(2)(g), 520.34(2)(g), and 520.35(2)(d)—Disclosure of finance charge and a description of its components. The finance charge disclosure is preempted in those transactions in which the amount of the finance charge is different from the Federal amount, since in such transactions the state law requires the use of the same term as the Federal law to represent a different amount. The requirement to describe or itemize the components of the finance charge, which is also included in these provisions, is not preempted.

iii. Sections 520.07(2)(h) and 520.34(2)(h)—Disclosure of total of payments. The total of payments disclosure is preempted in those transactions in which the amount differs from the amount of the Federal total of payments, since in such transactions the state law requires the use of the same term as the Federal law to represent a different amount than the Federal law.

iv. Sections 520.07(2)(i) and 520.34(2)(i)—Disclosure of deferred payment price. This disclosure is preempted in those transactions in which the amount is the same as the Federal total sale price, since in such transactions the state law requires the use of a different term than the Federal law to represent the same amount as the Federal law.

10. Preemption determination—Missouri. The Bureau recognizes state law preemption determinations made by the B ard of Governors of the Federal Reserve System prior to July 21, 2011, until and unless the Bureau makes and publishes any contrary determination. Effective October 1, 1983, the Board of Governors determined that the following provisions in the state law of Missouri are preempted by the Federal law:

i. Sections 365.070–6(9) and 408.260–5(6)—Disclosure of principal balance. This disclosure is preempted in those transactions in which the amount of the principal balance is the same as the Federal amount financed, since in such transactions the state law requires the use of a term different from the Federal term to represent the same amount.

ii. Sections 365.070–6(10) and 408.260–5(7)—Disclosure of time price differential and time charge, respectively. These disclosures are preempted in those transactions in which the amount is the same as the Federal finance charge, since in such transactions the state law requires the use of a term different from the Federal law to represent the same amount.

iii. Sections 365.070–2 and 408.260–2—Use of the terms time price differential and time charge in certain notices to the buyer. In those transactions in which the state disclosure of the time price differential or time charge is preempted, the use of the terms in this notice also is preempted. The notice itself is not preempted.

iv. Sections 365.070–6(11) and 408.260–5(8)—Disclosure of time balance. The time balance disclosure is preempted in those transactions in which the amount is the same as the amount of the Federal total of payments, since in such transactions the state law requires the use of a different term than the Federal law to represent the same amount.

v. Sections 365.070–6(12) and 408.260–5(9)—Disclosure of time sale price. This disclosure is preempted in those transactions in which the amount is the same as the Federal total sale price, since in such transactions the state law requires the use of a different term from the Federal law to represent the same amount.

11. Preemption determination—Mississippi. The Bureau recognizes state law preemption determinations made by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System prior to July 21, 2011, until and unless the Bureau makes and publishes any contrary determination. Effective October 1, 1984, the Board of Governors determined that the following provision in the state law of Mississippi is preempted by the Federal law:

i. Section 63–19–31(2)(g)—Disclosure of finance charge. This disclosure is preempted in those cases in which the term finance charge would be used under state law to describe a different amount than the finance charge disclosed under Federal law.

12. Preemption determination—South Carolina. The Bureau recognizes state law preemption determinations made by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System prior to July 21, 2011, until and unless the Bureau makes and publishes any contrary determination. Effective October 1, 1984, the Board of Governors determined that the following provision in the state law of South Carolina is preempted by the Federal law.

i. Section 37–10–102(c)—Disclosure of due-on-sale clause. This provision is preempted, but only to the extent that the creditor is required to include the disclosure with the segregated Federal disclosures. If the creditor may comply with the state law by placing the due-on-sale notice apart from the Federal disclosures, the state law is not preempted.

13. Preemption determination—Arizona. The Bureau recognizes state law preemption determinations made by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System prior to July 21, 2011, until and unless the Bureau makes and publishes any contrary determination.

i. Effective October 1, 1986, the Board of Governors determined that the following provision in the state law of Arizona is preempted by the Federal law:

A. Section 6–621A.2—Use of the term the total sum of $____ in certain notices provided to borrowers. This term describes the same item that is disclosed under Federal law as the total of payments. Since the state law requires the use of a different term than Federal law to describe the same item, the state-required term is preempted. The notice itself is not preempted.

ii. Note: The state disclosure notice that incorporated the above preempted term was amended on May 4, 1987, to provide that disclosures must now be made pursuant to the Federal disclosure provisions.

14. Preemption determination—Indiana. The Bureau recognizes state law preemption determinations made by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System prior to July 21, 2011, until and unless the Bureau makes and publishes any contrary determination. Effective October 1, 1988, the Board of Governors determined that the following provision in the state law of Indiana is preempted by the Federal law:

i. Section 23–2–5–8—Inclusion of the loan broker's fees and charges in the calculation of, among other items, the finance charge and annual percentage rate disclosed to potential borrowers. This disclosure is inconsistent with section 106(a) and §1026.4(a) of the Federal statute and regulation, respectively, and is preempted in those instances where the use of the same term would disclose a different amount than that required to be disclosed under Federal law.

15. Preemption determination—Wisconsin. The Bureau recognizes state law preemption determinations made by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System prior to July 21, 2011, until and unless the Bureau makes and publishes any contrary determination. Effective October 1, 1991, the Board of Governors determined that the following provisions in the state law of Wisconsin are preempted by the Federal law:

i. Section 422.308(1)—the disclosure of the annual percentage rate in cases where the amount of the annual percentage rate disclosed to consumers under the state law differs from the amount that would be disclosed under Federal law, since in those cases the state law requires the use of the same term as the Federal law to represent a different amount than the Federal law.

ii. Section 766.565(5)—the provision permitting a creditor to include in an open-end home equity agreement authorization to declare the account balance due and payable upon receiving notice of termination from a non-obligor spouse, since such provision is inconsistent with the purpose of the Federal law.

 

(b) Equivalent disclosure requirements. If the Bureau determines that a disclosure required by state law (other than a requirement relating to the finance charge, annual percentage rate, or the disclosures required under §1026.32) is substantially the same in meaning as a disclosure required under the Act or this part, creditors in that state may make the state disclosure in lieu of the Federal disclosure. A creditor, state, or other interested party may request the Bureau to determine whether a state disclosure is substantially the same in meaning as a Federal disclosure.

Official Interpretation

28(b) Equivalent Disclosure Requirements

1. General. A state disclosure may be substituted for a Federal disclosure only after the Bureau has made a finding of substantial similarity. Thus, the creditor may not unilaterally choose to make a state disclosure in place of a Federal disclosure, even if it believes that the state disclosure is substantially similar. Since the rule stated in §1026.28(b) does not extend to any requirement relating to the finance charge or annual percentage rate, no state provision on computation, description, or disclosure of these terms may be substituted for the Federal provision.

 

(c) Request for determination. The procedures under which a request for a determination may be made under this section are set forth in Appendix A.

(d) Special rule for credit and charge cards. State law requirements relating to the disclosure of credit information in any credit or charge card application or solicitation that is subject to the requirements of section 127(c) of chapter 2 of the Act (§1026.60 of the regulation) or in any renewal notice for a credit or charge card that is subject to the requirements of section 127(d) of chapter 2 of the Act (§1026.9(e) of the regulation) are preempted. State laws relating to the enforcement of section 127(c) and (d) of the Act are not preempted.

Official Interpretation

28(d) Special Rule for Credit and Charge Cards

1. General. The standard that applies to preemption of state laws as they affect transactions of the type subject to §§ 1026.60 and 1026.9(e) differs from the preemption standards generally applicable under the Truth in Lending Act. The Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act fully preempts state laws relating to the disclosure of credit information in consumer credit or charge card applications or solicitations. (For purposes of this section, a single credit or charge card application or solicitation that may be used to open either an account for consumer purposes or an account for business purposes is deemed to be a “consumer credit or charge card application or solicitation.”) For example, a state law requiring disclosure of credit terms in direct mail solicitations for consumer credit card accounts is preempted. A state law requiring disclosures in telephone applications for consumer credit card accounts also is preempted, even if it applies to applications initiated by the consumer rather than the issuer, because the state law relates to the disclosure of credit information in applications or solicitations within the general field of preemption, that is, consumer credit and charge cards.

2. Limitations on field of preemption. Preemption under the Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act does not extend to state laws applying to types of credit other than open-end consumer credit and charge card accounts. Thus, for example, a state law is not preempted as it applies to disclosures in credit and charge card applications and solicitations solely for business-purpose accounts. On the other hand, state credit disclosure laws will not apply to a single application or solicitation to open either an account for consumer purposes or an account for business purposes. Such “dual purpose” applications and solicitations are treated as “consumer credit or charge card applications or solicitations” under this section and state credit disclosure laws applicable to them are preempted. Preemption under this statute does not extend to state laws applicable to home equity plans; preemption determinations in this area are based on the Home Equity Loan Consumer Protection Act, as implemented in § 1026.40 of the regulation.

3. Laws not preempted. State laws relating to disclosures concerning credit and charge cards other than in applications, solicitations, or renewal notices are not preempted under § 1026.28(d). In addition, state laws regulating the terms of credit and charge card accounts are not preempted, nor are laws preempted that regulate the form or content of information unrelated to the information required to be disclosed under §§ 1026.60 and 1026.9(e). Finally, state laws concerning the enforcement of the requirements of §§ 1026.60 and 1026.9(e) and state laws prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices concerning credit and charge card applications, solicitations and renewals are not preempted. Examples of laws that are not preempted include:

i. A state law that requires card issuers to offer a grace period or that prohibits certain fees in credit and charge card transactions.

ii. A state retail installment sales law or a state plain language law, except to the extent that it regulates the disclosure of credit information in applications, solicitations and renewals of accounts of the type subject to §§ 1026.60 and 1026.9(e).

iii. A state law requiring notice of a consumer's rights under antidiscrimination or similar laws or a state law requiring notice about credit information available from state authorities.

 

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