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Consumer Credit Protection Act (1969)

Consumer Credit Protection Act (1969)

Richard Slottee

The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) (1969, P.L. 90-321) is the compendium of federal statutes found in Title 15 of the United States Code. Congress has amended the CCPA on several occasions by adding individual federal statutes, called subchapters, each focusing on a specific consumer issue.

SUBCHAPTERS OF CCPA

Subchapter I of CCPA is the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), becoming effective on July 1, 1969. Congress's primary purpose in adopting TILA was to ensure the meaningful disclosure of significant credit terms to consumers. The act requires those sellers, lenders, and lessors of personal property subject to the act to disclose certain credit terms with uniform terminology, location, and meaning in the contract, regardless of where the parties sign the agreement.

To effectuate TILA, The Federal Reserve Board adopted "Regulation Z." TILA, along with Regulation Z, contain provisions regarding the issuance of credit cards, liability for unauthorized use of credit cards, credit card billing error resolution procedures, notice and disclosure requirements for credit card solicitations, disclosure requirements for high-rate mortgages and reverse mortgages, and rescission provisions for various types of transactions in which a security interest is retained in a consumer's principal residence.

Subchapter II of the CCPA is the Restriction on Garnishment Act that became effective July 1, 1970. This law provides a maximum level of wage garnishment for any judgment debtor and prohibits an employer from terminating an employee based solely on the fact that the employee's wages have been garnished.

Subchapter II-A is the Credit Repair Organizations Act, enacted by Congress on September 30, 1996. This statute pertains to credit repair organizations that provide services to individuals with debts resulting from consumer credit transactions. The law prohibits certain types of deceptive practices, requires mandatory disclosures in any contract signed by a customer of a credit repair organization, and allows the customer three business days from the date the contract is signed to rescind the contract.

Subchapter III of CCPA is the Fair Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996 (FCRA) also enacted on September 30, 1996. This law applies to consumer reporting agencies, users of consumer reports, and persons or businesses that report negative information to consumer reporting agencies. The purpose of the FCRA is to protect individual consumers from false, misleading, or obsolete credit information by requiring consumer-reporting agencies to adopt reasonable procedures with regard to the confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization of such information. The FCRA also requires consumer reporting agencies and users of consumer credit information to make certain disclosures to consumers affected by use of that information. Administrative enforcement of the FCRA rests primarily with the Federal Trade Commission that has promulgated Statements of General Policy regarding the various provisions of the FCRA.

Subchapter IV of CCPA is the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and became effective on March 23, 1977. The purpose of the ECOA is to prohibit discrimination in credit transactions on one or more of nine bases: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, the fact that all or part of income derives from a public assistance program, or the fact that an applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the compendium of statutes in the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

The ECOA applies to every aspect of credit transactions, from advertising of credit availability to the termination of existing credit. The act applies whether the credit is business or consumer credit, whether the obligation involves a finance charge or installment payments, or whether the person aggrieved by the discrimination is an individual or a business organization. The ECOA applies to the extension of credit where the right to defer payment of an obligation is granted. To enforce, interpret, and expand the ECOA, the Federal Reserve Board promulgated "Regulation B."

Subchapter V of CCPA is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) that became effective March 20, 1978. The purpose of the FDCPA is to eliminate unethical and abusive practices by debt collectors while engaged in the collection of consumer debts. The FDCPA attempts to accomplish this goal through a series of open-ended lists of prohibited activities. The Act applies to debt collectors who collect debts on behalf of third parties, but it does not apply to the collection efforts of original creditors. Under appropriate circumstances, an attorney is considered a debt collector subject to the provisions of the act. For example, an attorney who, in the regular course of business, represents creditors attempting to collect consumer debts would be considered a debt collector. The Federal Trade Commission issues official staff commentary that serves as official interpretations of the FDCPA.

Finally, Subchapter VI of CCPA is the Electronic Fund Transfers Act (EFTA), enacted on August 9, 1989. The purpose of the EFTA is to establish the basic rights, responsibilities, and obligations of consumers and financial institutions involved in transactions using electronic money transfer. The act provides limitations on the liability of consumers for the unauthorized use of access devices such as the codes, cards, or devices used to reach funds through an automated teller machine (ATM). It requires federal institutions to provide certain disclosures to consumers prior to issuing an access device, and sets out procedures for the investigation of the unauthorized use of an access device. To effectuate, interpret, and expand EFTA, the Federal Reserve Board adopted "Regulation E."

All of the laws in the Consumer Protection Act provide for the recovery of damages by the aggrieved consumer, and have jurisdiction in either state or federal court.

See also: Truth in Lending Act.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Fonseca, John R. Consumer Credit Compliance Manual. 2nd ed. Rochester, N.Y.: Lawyers Co-operative Publishing, 1984.

INTERNET RESOURCE

The Federal Reserve Board Consumer Handbook to Credit Protection Laws. <http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/consumerhdbk/>

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Consumer Credit Protection Act

CONSUMER CREDIT PROTECTION ACT

The Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C.A. § 1601 et seq. [1972]) is federal statute designed to protect borrowers of money by mandating complete disclosure of the terms and conditions of finance charges in transactions; by limiting the garnishment of wages; and by regulating the use of charge accounts.

The Consumer Credit Protection Act was the first general federal consumer protection legislation. Title I of this law, known as the truth-in-lending act (15 U.S.C.A. § 1601 et seq. [1968]), requires that the terms in consumer credit transactions be fully explained to the prospective debtors. Title VI of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, known as the fair credit reporting act (15 U.S.C.A. § 1601 et seq. [1978]), applies to businesses that regularly obtain consumer credit information for other businesses. Its purpose is to ensure that consumer reporting activities are conducted in a manner that is fair and equitable to the affected consumer.

Whereas the Consumer Credit Protection Act is federal law, states have also passed many statutes regulating consumer credit. For example, the uniform consumer credit code (UCCC) is an initiative that was drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1968 to help provide consistency among the variety of consumer credit laws that exist throughout state jurisdictions. The purpose of the UCCC is threefold: to protect consumers obtaining credit to finance transactions; to ensure that adequate credit is provided; and to generally govern the credit industry. As of 2003, the UCCC had been adopted in only seven states and Guam. Many states, however, continue to enact legislation that would provide consumer debtors similar protections contained in the provisions of the UCCC.

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"Consumer Credit Protection Act." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Consumer Credit Protection Act." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/consumer-credit-protection-act