Friday, April 13, 2012

FTC Rescinds Consumer Financial Protection Rules

This posting was written by Jeffrey May, Editor of CCH Trade Regulation Reporter.

Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rescinded nine regulations because the agency's rulemaking authority with respect to them has been  transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). These rules were republished by the CFPB, effective December 30, 2011. The FTC still has authority to bring law enforcement actions to enforce these rules.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act transferred to the CFPB most of the FTC’s rulemaking authority under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as rulemaking authority under Sec. 43 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and portions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The Dodd-Frank Act also transferred rulemaking authority for two regulations recently issued by the FTC for services related to mortgage loans under Sec. 626 of the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

In light of the transfer of rulemaking powers, the FTC rescinded under the Fair Credit Reporting Act:
  • identity theft definitions (16 CFR 603, now at 12 CFR 1022.3);
  • free annual file disclosures rule (16 CFR 610, now at 12 CFR 1022.130);
  • prohibition against circumventing treatment as a nationwide consumer reporting agency (16 CFR 611, now at 12 CFR 1022.140);
  • duration of active duty alerts (16 CFR 613, now at 12 CFR 1022.121); and
  • appropriate proof of identity (16 CFR 614, now at 12 CFR 1022.123).

Under the Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the FTC continues to have rulemaking authority for its “Identity Theft Red Flag Rules” (16 CFR 681) and its rules governing “Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records” (16 CFR 682). The FTC also retains rulemaking authority under Fair Credit Reporting Act with respect to motor vehicle dealers.

Mortgage Rules

The FTC also rescinded two rules on mortgage loan practices: the Mortgage Acts and Practices-Advertising or “MAP-Ad” Rule (16 CFR 321) and the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services or MARS Rule (16 CFR 322).

The MARS rule, which prohibited mortgage relief companies from making false or misleading claims among other things, was issued in November 2010. On at least two occasions-once in 2011 and once in 2012--the FTC has filed court actions for violations of the MARS rule. The MARS rule has been recodified as Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (Regulation O, 12 CFR1015).

The MAP-Ad rule took effect in August 2011. It prohibited misrepresentations regarding terms of mortgage credit products in commercial advertising. To date, the FTC has not brought an action alleging a violation of this rule. The MAP-Ad rule was republished by the CFPB at 12 CFR 1014.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement, Federal Debt Collection Practices Acts

In addition, FTC rules governing disclosure requirements for depository institutions lacking federal deposit insurance under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act (16 CFR 320, now 12 CFR 1009) and procedures for state application for exemption from the provisions of the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (16 CFR 901, now 12 CFR 1006) were rescinded.

No comments: