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Sec. 227.14 Unfair or deceptive practices involving cosigners.

(a) Prohibited practices. In connection with the extension of credit to consumers, it is:

(1) A deceptive act or practice for a bank to misrepresent the nature or extent of cosigner liability to any person; and

(2) An unfair act or practice for a bank to obligate a cosigner unless the cosigner is informed prior to becoming obligated of the nature of the cosigner's liability.

(b) Disclosure requirement.

(1) A clear and conspicuous disclosure statement shall be given in writing to the cosigner prior to becoming obligated. The disclosure statement shall be substantially similar to the following statement and shall either be a separate document or included in the documents evidencing the consumer credit obligation.

Notice to Cosigner

You are being asked to guarantee this debt. Think carefully before you do. If the borrower doesn't pay the debt, you will have to. Be sure you can afford to pay if you have to, and that you want to accept this responsibility.

You may have to pay up to the full amount of the debt if the borrower does not pay. You may also have to pay late fees or collection costs, which increase this amount.

The bank can collect this debt from you without first trying to collect from the borrower. The bank can use the same collection methods against you that can be used against the borrower, such as suing you, garnishing your wages, etc. If this debt is ever in default, that fact may become a part of your credit record.

This notice is not the contract that makes you liable for the debt.

(2) In the case of open-end credit, the disclosure statement shall be given to the cosigner prior to the time that the cosigner becomes obligated for fees or transactions on the account.

(3) A bank that is in compliance with this paragraph may not be held in violation of paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

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