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Truth in Lending (Regulation Z)

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board); and Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau).

ACTION:

Final rules, official interpretations and commentary.

SUMMARY:

The Board and the Bureau are publishing final rules amending the official interpretations and commentary for the agencies' regulations that implement the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) amended TILA by requiring that the dollar threshold for exempt consumer credit transactions be adjusted annually by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Start Printed Page 58021Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). If there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and the Bureau will not adjust this exemption threshold from the prior year. However, in years following a year in which the exemption threshold was not adjusted, the threshold is calculated by applying the annual percentage change in the CPI-W to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if the decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account. Based on the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W as of June 1, 2019, the exemption threshold will increase from $57,200 to $58,300 effective January 1, 2020. Because the Dodd-Frank Act also requires similar adjustments in the Consumer Leasing Act's threshold for exempt consumer leases, the Board and the Bureau are making similar amendments to each of their respective regulations implementing the Consumer Leasing Act elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

DATES:

This final rule is effective January 1, 2020.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Board: Vivian W. Wong, Senior Counsel, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at (202) 452-3667; for users of Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) only, contact (202) 263-4869.

Bureau: Kristen Phinnessee, Counsel, Office of Regulations, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, at (202) 435-7700. If you require this document in an alternative electronic format, please contact CFPB_Accessibility@cfpb.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) increased the threshold in the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) for exempt consumer credit transactions,[1] and the threshold in the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA) for exempt consumer leases, from $25,000 to $50,000, effective July 21, 2011.[2] In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act requires that, on and after December 31, 2011, these thresholds be adjusted annually for inflation by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In April 2011, the Board issued a final rule amending Regulation Z (which implements TILA) consistent with these provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, along with a similar final rule amending Regulation M (which implements the CLA) (collectively, the Board Final Threshold Rules).[3]

Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act transferred rulemaking authority for a number of consumer financial protection laws from the Board to the Bureau, effective July 21, 2011. In connection with this transfer of rulemaking authority, the Bureau issued its own Regulation Z implementing TILA, 12 CFR part 1026, substantially duplicating the Board's Regulation Z.[4] Although the Bureau has the authority to issue rules to implement TILA for most entities, the Board retains authority to issue rules under TILA for certain motor vehicle dealers covered by section 1029(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act, and the Board's Regulation Z continues to apply to those entities.[5]

The Board's and the Bureau's regulations,[6] and their accompanying commentaries, provide that the exemption threshold will be adjusted annually effective January 1 of each year based on any annual percentage increase in the CPI-W that was in effect on the preceding June 1. They further provide that any increase in the threshold amount will be rounded to the nearest $100 increment. For example, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $950 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $1,000. However, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $949 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $900.[7] Since 2011, the Board and the Bureau have adjusted the Regulation Z exemption threshold annually, in accordance with these rules.

On November 30, 2016, the Board and the Bureau published a final rule in the Federal Register to memorialize the calculation method used by the agencies each year to adjust the exemption threshold to ensure that, as contemplated by section 1100E(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act, the values for the exemption threshold keep pace with the CPI-W (Regulation Z Adjustment Calculation Rule).[8] The Regulation Z Adjustment Calculation Rule memorialized the policy that, if there is no annual percentage increase in the CPI-W, the Board and Bureau will not adjust the exemption threshold from the prior year. The Regulation Z Adjustment Calculation Rule also provided that, in years following a year in which the exemption threshold was not adjusted because there was a decrease in the CPI-W from the previous year, the threshold is calculated by applying the annual percentage change in the CPI-W to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if the decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account. If the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is greater than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will increase accordingly; if the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is equal to or less than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will not change, but future increases will be calculated based on the amount that would have resulted, after rounding.

II. 2020 Adjustment and Commentary Revision

Effective January 1, 2020, the exemption threshold amount is increased from $57,200 to $58,300. This is based on the CPI-W in effect on June 1, 2019, which was reported on May 10, 2019. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes consumer-based indices monthly, but does not report a CPI Start Printed Page 58022change on June 1; indices are reported in the middle of the prior month. The CPI-W is a subset of the CPI-U index (based on all urban consumers) and represents approximately 29 percent of the U.S. population. The CPI-W reported on May 10, 2019 reflects a 1.9 percent increase in the CPI-W from April 2018 to April 2019. Accordingly, the 1.9 percent increase in the CPI-W from April 2018 to April 2019 results in an exemption threshold amount of $58,300. The Board and the Bureau are revising the commentaries to their respective regulations to add new comment 3(b)-3.xi to state that, from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, the threshold amount is $58,300. These revisions are effective January 1, 2020.[9]

Additionally, the Board and the Bureau have made certain nonsubstantive technical amendments to their respective commentaries in order to bring certain internal cross-references into alignment with the Office of the Federal Register's Code of Federal Regulations style guidelines. These technical amendments have been made to Supplement I to 12 CFR part 226, subpart A, Section 226.3—Exempt Transactions, comments 3(b)-4.iv.B(2), 3(b)-4.iv.B(3),and 3(b)-8.ii; and Supplement I to 12 CFR part 1026, subpart A, Section 1026.3—Exempt Transactions, comments 3(b)-4.iv.B. 2, 3(b)-4.iv.B. 3, and 3(b)-8.ii.

III. Regulatory Analysis

Administrative Procedure Act

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, notice and opportunity for public comment are not required if the Board and the Bureau find that notice and public comment are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.[10] The amendments in this rule are technical and apply the method previously set forth in the Board Final Threshold Rules and the Regulation Z Adjustment Calculation Rule. For these reasons, the Board and the Bureau have determined that publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking and providing opportunity for public comment are unnecessary. Therefore, the amendments are adopted in final form.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) does not apply to a rulemaking where a general notice of proposed rulemaking is not required.[11] As noted previously, the agencies have determined that it is unnecessary to publish a general notice of proposed rulemaking for this joint final rule. Accordingly, the RFA's requirements relating to an initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis do not apply.

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995,[12] the agencies reviewed this final rule. No collections of information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act are contained in the final rule.

Bureau Congressional Review Act Statement

Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Bureau will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to the rule taking effect. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has designated this rule as not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects

12 CFR Part 226

  • Advertising
  • Consumer protection
  • Federal Reserve System
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Truth in lending

12 CFR Part 1026

  • Advertising
  • Appraisal
  • Appraiser
  • Banking
  • Banks
  • Consumer protection
  • Credit
  • Credit unions
  • Mortgages
  • National banks
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Savings associations
  • Truth in lending
End List of Subjects

BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Board amends Regulation Z, 12 CFR part 226, as set forth below:

Start Part

PART 226—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z)

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 226 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 12 U.S.C. 3806; 15 U.S.C. 1604, 1637(c)(5), 1639(l) and 1639h; Pub. L. 111-24, section 2, 123 Stat. 1734; Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. In Supplement I to part 226, under Section 226.3—Exempt Transactions, revise 3(b) Credit over applicable threshold amount to read as follows:

End Amendment Part

Supplement I to Part 226—Official Staff Interpretations

* * * * *

Subpart A—General

* * * * *

Section 226.3—Exempt Transactions

* * * * *

3(b) Credit over applicable threshold amount.

1. Threshold amount. For purposes of § 226.3(b), the threshold amount in effect during a particular period is the amount stated in comment 3(b)-3 for that period. The threshold amount is adjusted effective January 1 of each year by any annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) that was in effect on the preceding June 1. Comment 3(b)-3 will be amended to provide the threshold amount for the upcoming year after the annual percentage change in the CPI-W that was in effect on June 1 becomes available. Any increase in the threshold amount will be rounded to the nearest $100 increment. For example, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $950 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $1,000. However, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $949 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $900.

2. No increase in the CPI-W. If the CPI-W in effect on June 1 does not increase from the CPI-W in effect on June 1 of the previous year, the threshold amount effective the following January 1 through December 31 will not change from the previous year. When this occurs, for the years that follow, the threshold is calculated based on the annual percentage change in the CPI-W applied to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account.

i. Net increases. If the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is greater than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will increase accordingly.

ii. Net decreases. If the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is equal to or less than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will not change, but future increases will be calculated based on the amount that would have resulted.

3. Threshold. For purposes of § 226.3(b), the threshold amount in effect during a particular period is the amount stated below for that period.

i. Prior to July 21, 2011, the threshold amount is $25,000.

ii. From July 21, 2011 through December 31, 2011, the threshold amount is $50,000.

iii. From January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012, the threshold amount is $51,800.

iv. From January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013, the threshold amount is $53,000.Start Printed Page 58023

v. From January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014, the threshold amount is $53,500.

vi. From January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015, the threshold amount is $54,600.

vii. From January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016, the threshold amount is $54,600.

viii. From January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017, the threshold amount is $54,600.

ix. From January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018, the threshold amount is $55,800.

x. From January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $57,200.

xi. From January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, the threshold amount is $58,300.

4. Open-end credit.

i. Qualifying for exemption. An open-end account is exempt under § 226.3(b) (unless secured by any real property, or by personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling) if either of the following conditions is met:

A. The creditor makes an initial extension of credit at or after account opening that exceeds the threshold amount in effect at the time the initial extension is made. If a creditor makes an initial extension of credit after account opening that does not exceed the threshold amount in effect at the time the extension is made, the creditor must have satisfied all of the applicable requirements of this part from the date the account was opened (or earlier, if applicable), including but not limited to the requirements of § 226.6 (account-opening disclosures), § 226.7 (periodic statements), § 226.52 (limitations on fees), and § 226.55 (limitations on increasing annual percentages rates, fees, and charges). For example:

(1) Assume that the threshold amount in effect on January 1 is $50,000. On February 1, an account is opened but the creditor does not make an initial extension of credit at that time. On July 1, the creditor makes an initial extension of credit of $60,000. In this circumstance, no requirements of this part apply to the account.

(2) Assume that the threshold amount in effect on January 1 is $50,000. On February 1, an account is opened but the creditor does not make an initial extension of credit at that time. On July 1, the creditor makes an initial extension of credit of $50,000 or less. In this circumstance, the account is not exempt and the creditor must have satisfied all of the applicable requirements of this part from the date the account was opened (or earlier, if applicable).

B. The creditor makes a firm written commitment at account opening to extend a total amount of credit in excess of the threshold amount in effect at the time the account is opened with no requirement of additional credit information for any advances on the account (except as permitted from time to time with respect to open-end accounts pursuant to § 226.2(a)(20)).

ii. Subsequent changes generally. Subsequent changes to an open-end account or the threshold amount may result in the account no longer qualifying for the exemption in § 226.3(b). In these circumstances, the creditor must begin to comply with all of the applicable requirements of this part within a reasonable period of time after the account ceases to be exempt. Once an account ceases to be exempt, the requirements of this part apply to any balances on the account. The creditor, however, is not required to comply with the requirements of this part with respect to the period of time during which the account was exempt. For example, if an open-end credit account ceases to be exempt, the creditor must within a reasonable period of time provide the disclosures required by § 226.6 reflecting the current terms of the account and begin to provide periodic statements consistent with § 226.7. However, the creditor is not required to disclose fees or charges imposed while the account was exempt. Furthermore, if the creditor provided disclosures consistent with the requirements of this part while the account was exempt, it is not required to provide disclosures required by § 226.6 reflecting the current terms of the account. See also comment 3(b)-6.

iii. Subsequent changes when exemption is based on initial extension of credit. If a creditor makes an initial extension of credit that exceeds the threshold amount in effect at that time, the open-end account remains exempt under § 226.3(b) regardless of a subsequent increase in the threshold amount, including an increase pursuant to § 226.3(b)(1)(ii) as a result of an increase in the CPI-W. Furthermore, in these circumstances, the account remains exempt even if there are no further extensions of credit, subsequent extensions of credit do not exceed the threshold amount, the account balance is subsequently reduced below the threshold amount (such as through repayment of the extension), or the credit limit for the account is subsequently reduced below the threshold amount. However, if the initial extension of credit on an account does not exceed the threshold amount in effect at the time of the extension, the account is not exempt under § 226.3(b) even if a subsequent extension exceeds the threshold amount or if the account balance later exceeds the threshold amount (for example, due to the subsequent accrual of interest).

iv. Subsequent changes when exemption is based on firm commitment.

A. General. If a creditor makes a firm written commitment at account opening to extend a total amount of credit that exceeds the threshold amount in effect at that time, the open-end account remains exempt under § 226.3(b) regardless of a subsequent increase in the threshold amount pursuant to § 226.3(b)(1)(ii) as a result of an increase in the CPI-W. However, see comment 3(b)-8 with respect to the increase in the threshold amount from $25,000 to $50,000. If an open-end account is exempt under § 226.3(b) based on a firm commitment to extend credit, the account remains exempt even if the amount of credit actually extended does not exceed the threshold amount. In contrast, if the firm commitment does not exceed the threshold amount at account opening, the account is not exempt under § 226.3(b) even if the account balance later exceeds the threshold amount. In addition, if a creditor reduces a firm commitment, the account ceases to be exempt unless the reduced firm commitment exceeds the threshold amount in effect at the time of the reduction. For example:

(1) Assume that, at account opening in year one, the threshold amount in effect is $50,000 and the account is exempt under § 226.3(b) based on the creditor's firm commitment to extend $55,000 in credit. If during year one the creditor reduces its firm commitment to $53,000, the account remains exempt under § 226.3(b). However, if during year one the creditor reduces its firm commitment to $40,000, the account is no longer exempt under § 226.3(b).

(2) Assume that, at account opening in year one, the threshold amount in effect is $50,000 and the account is exempt under § 226.3(b) based on the creditor's firm commitment to extend $55,000 in credit. If the threshold amount is $56,000 on January 1 of year six as a result of increases in the CPI-W, the account remains exempt. However, if the creditor reduces its firm commitment to $54,000 on July 1 of year six, the account ceases to be exempt under § 226.3(b).

B. Initial extension of credit. If an open-end account qualifies for a § 226.3(b) exemption at account opening based on a firm commitment, that account may also subsequently qualify for a § 226.3(b) exemption based on an initial extension of credit. However, that initial extension must be a single advance in excess of the threshold amount in effect at the time the extension is made. In addition, the account must continue to qualify for an exemption based on the firm commitment until the initial extension of credit is made. For example:

(1) Assume that, at account opening in year one, the threshold amount in effect is $50,000 and the account is exempt under § 226.3(b) based on the creditor's firm commitment to extend $55,000 in credit. The account is not used for an extension of credit during year one. On January 1 of year two, the threshold amount is increased to $51,000 pursuant to § 226.3(b)(1)(ii) as a result of an increase in the CPI-W. On July 1 of year two, the consumer uses the account for an initial extension of $52,000. As a result of this extension of credit, the account remains exempt under § 226.3(b) even if, after July 1 of year two, the creditor reduces the firm commitment to $51,000 or less.

(2) Same facts as in paragraph 4.iv.B(1) of this section except that the consumer uses the account for an initial extension of $30,000 on July 1 of year two and for an extension of $22,000 on July 15 of year two. In these circumstances, the account is not exempt under § 226.3(b) based on the $30,000 initial extension of credit because that extension did not exceed the applicable threshold amount ($51,000), although the account remains exempt based on the firm commitment to extend $55,000 in credit.

(3) Same facts as in paragraph 4.iv.B(1) of this section except that, on April 1 of year two, the creditor reduces the firm commitment to $50,000, which is below the $51,000 threshold then in effect. Because the account ceases to qualify for a § 226.3(b) exemption on April 1 of year two, the account does not qualify for a § 226.3(b) exemption based on a $52,000 initial extension of credit on July 1 of year two.

5. Closed-end credit.

i. Qualifying for exemption. A closed-end loan is exempt under § 226.3(b) (unless the Start Printed Page 58024extension of credit is secured by any real property, or by personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling; or is a private education loan as defined in § 226.46(b)(5)), if either of the following conditions is met.

A. The creditor makes an extension of credit at consummation that exceeds the threshold amount in effect at the time of consummation. In these circumstances, the loan remains exempt under § 226.3(b) even if the amount owed is subsequently reduced below the threshold amount (such as through repayment of the loan).

B. The creditor makes a commitment at consummation to extend a total amount of credit in excess of the threshold amount in effect at the time of consummation. In these circumstances, the loan remains exempt under § 226.3(b) even if the total amount of credit extended does not exceed the threshold amount.

ii. Subsequent changes. If a creditor makes a closed-end extension of credit or commitment to extend closed-end credit that exceeds the threshold amount in effect at the time of consummation, the closed-end loan remains exempt under § 226.3(b) regardless of a subsequent increase in the threshold amount. However, a closed-end loan is not exempt under § 226.3(b) merely because it is used to satisfy and replace an existing exempt loan, unless the new extension of credit is itself exempt under the applicable threshold amount. For example, assume a closed-end loan that qualified for a § 226.3(b) exemption at consummation in year one is refinanced in year ten and that the new loan amount is less than the threshold amount in effect in year ten. In these circumstances, the creditor must comply with all of the applicable requirements of this part with respect to the year ten transaction if the original loan is satisfied and replaced by the new loan, which is not exempt under § 226.3(b). See also comment 3(b)-6.

6. Addition of a security interest in real property or a dwelling after account opening or consummation.

i. Open-end credit. For open-end accounts, if, after account opening, a security interest is taken in real property, or in personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling, a previously exempt account ceases to be exempt under § 226.3(b) and the creditor must begin to comply with all of the applicable requirements of this part within a reasonable period of time. See comment 3(b)-4.ii. If a security interest is taken in the consumer's principal dwelling, the creditor must also give the consumer the right to rescind the security interest consistent with § 226.15.

ii. Closed-end credit. For closed-end loans, if, after consummation, a security interest is taken in any real property, or in personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling, an exempt loan remains exempt under § 226.3(b). However, the addition of a security interest in the consumer's principal dwelling is a transaction for purposes of § 226.23, and the creditor must give the consumer the right to rescind the security interest consistent with that section. See § 226.23(a)(1) and the accompanying commentary. In contrast, if a closed-end loan that is exempt under § 226.3(b) is satisfied and replaced by a loan that is secured by any real property, or by personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling, the new loan is not exempt under § 226.3(b) and the creditor must comply with all of the applicable requirements of this part. See comment 3(b)-5.

7. Application to extensions secured by mobile homes. Because a mobile home can be a dwelling under § 226.2(a)(19), the exemption in § 226.3(b) does not apply to a credit extension secured by a mobile home that is used or expected to be used as the principal dwelling of the consumer. See comment 3(b)-6.

8. Transition rule for open-end accounts exempt prior to July 21, 2011. Section 226.3(b)(2) applies only to open-end accounts opened prior to July 21, 2011. Section 226.3(b)(2) does not apply if a security interest is taken by the creditor in any real property, or in personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling. If, on July 20, 2011, an open-end account is exempt under § 226.3(b) based on a firm commitment to extend credit in excess of $25,000, the account remains exempt under § 226.3(b)(2) until December 31, 2011 (unless the firm commitment is reduced to $25,000 or less). If the firm commitment is increased on or before December 31, 2011 to an amount in excess of $50,000, the account remains exempt under § 226.3(b)(1) regardless of subsequent increases in the threshold amount as a result of increases in the CPI-W. If the firm commitment is not increased on or before December 31, 2011 to an amount in excess of $50,000, the account ceases to be exempt under § 226.3(b) based on a firm commitment to extend credit. For example:

i. Assume that, on July 20, 2011, the account is exempt under § 226.3(b) based on the creditor's firm commitment to extend $30,000 in credit. On November 1, 2011, the creditor increases the firm commitment on the account to $55,000. In these circumstances, the account remains exempt under § 226.3(b)(1) regardless of subsequent increases in the threshold amount as a result of increases in the CPI-W.

ii. Same facts as paragraph 8.i. of this section except, on November 1, 2011, the creditor increases the firm commitment on the account to $40,000. In these circumstances, the account ceases to be exempt under § 226.3(b)(2) after December 31, 2011, and the creditor must begin to comply with the applicable requirements of this part.

* * * * *

BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION

Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Bureau amends Regulation Z, 12 CFR part 1026, as set forth below:

Start Part

PART 1026—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z)

End Part Start Amendment Part

3. The authority citation for part 1026 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 12 U.S.C. 2601, 2603-2605, 2607, 2609, 2617, 3353, 5511, 5512, 5532, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

4. In Supplement I to part 1026, under Section 1026.3—Exempt Transactions, revise 3(b) Credit Over Applicable Threshold Amount to read as follows:

End Amendment Part

Supplement I to Part 1026—Official Interpretations

* * * * *

Section 1026.3—Exempt Transactions

* * * * *

3(b) Credit Over Applicable Threshold Amount

1. Threshold amount. For purposes of § 1026.3(b), the threshold amount in effect during a particular period is the amount stated in comment 3(b)-3 below for that period. The threshold amount is adjusted effective January 1 of each year by any annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) that was in effect on the preceding June 1. Comment 3(b)-3 will be amended to provide the threshold amount for the upcoming year after the annual percentage change in the CPI-W that was in effect on June 1 becomes available. Any increase in the threshold amount will be rounded to the nearest $100 increment. For example, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $950 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $1,000. However, if the annual percentage increase in the CPI-W would result in a $949 increase in the threshold amount, the threshold amount will be increased by $900.

2. No increase in the CPI-W. If the CPI-W in effect on June 1 does not increase from the CPI-W in effect on June 1 of the previous year, the threshold amount effective the following January 1 through December 31 will not change from the previous year. When this occurs, for the years that follow, the threshold is calculated based on the annual percentage change in the CPI-W applied to the dollar amount that would have resulted, after rounding, if decreases and any subsequent increases in the CPI-W had been taken into account.

i. Net increases. If the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is greater than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will increase accordingly.

ii. Net decreases. If the resulting amount calculated, after rounding, is equal to or less than the current threshold, then the threshold effective January 1 the following year will not change, but future increases will be calculated based on the amount that would have resulted.

3. Threshold. For purposes of § 1026.3(b), the threshold amount in effect during a particular period is the amount stated below for that period.Start Printed Page 58025

i. Prior to July 21, 2011, the threshold amount is $25,000.

ii. From July 21, 2011 through December 31, 2011, the threshold amount is $50,000.

iii. From January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012, the threshold amount is $51,800.

iv. From January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013, the threshold amount is $53,000.

v. From January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014, the threshold amount is $53,500.

vi. From January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015, the threshold amount is $54,600.

vii. From January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016, the threshold amount is $54,600.

viii. From January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017, the threshold amount is $54,600.

ix. From January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018, the threshold amount is $55,800.

x. From January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, the threshold amount is $57,200.

xi. From January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, the threshold amount is $58,300.

4. Open-end credit.

i. Qualifying for exemption. An open-end account is exempt under § 1026.3(b) (unless secured by real property, or by personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling) if either of the following conditions is met:

A. The creditor makes an initial extension of credit at or after account opening that exceeds the threshold amount in effect at the time the initial extension is made. If a creditor makes an initial extension of credit after account opening that does not exceed the threshold amount in effect at the time the extension is made, the creditor must have satisfied all of the applicable requirements of this part from the date the account was opened (or earlier, if applicable), including but not limited to the requirements of § 1026.6 (account-opening disclosures), § 1026.7 (periodic statements), § 1026.52 (limitations on fees), and § 1026.55 (limitations on increasing annual percentage rates, fees, and charges). For example:

1. Assume that the threshold amount in effect on January 1 is $50,000. On February 1, an account is opened but the creditor does not make an initial extension of credit at that time. On July 1, the creditor makes an initial extension of credit of $60,000. In this circumstance, no requirements of this part apply to the account.

2. Assume that the threshold amount in effect on January 1 is $50,000. On February 1, an account is opened but the creditor does not make an initial extension of credit at that time. On July 1, the creditor makes an initial extension of credit of $50,000 or less. In this circumstance, the account is not exempt and the creditor must have satisfied all of the applicable requirements of this part from the date the account was opened (or earlier, if applicable).

B. The creditor makes a firm written commitment at account opening to extend a total amount of credit in excess of the threshold amount in effect at the time the account is opened with no requirement of additional credit information for any advances on the account (except as permitted from time to time with respect to open-end accounts pursuant to § 1026.2(a)(20)).

ii. Subsequent changes generally. Subsequent changes to an open-end account or the threshold amount may result in the account no longer qualifying for the exemption in § 1026.3(b). In these circumstances, the creditor must begin to comply with all of the applicable requirements of this part within a reasonable period of time after the account ceases to be exempt. Once an account ceases to be exempt, the requirements of this part apply to any balances on the account. The creditor, however, is not required to comply with the requirements of this part with respect to the period of time during which the account was exempt. For example, if an open-end credit account ceases to be exempt, the creditor must within a reasonable period of time provide the disclosures required by § 1026.6 reflecting the current terms of the account and begin to provide periodic statements consistent with § 1026.7. However, the creditor is not required to disclose fees or charges imposed while the account was exempt. Furthermore, if the creditor provided disclosures consistent with the requirements of this part while the account was exempt, it is not required to provide disclosures required by § 1026.6 reflecting the current terms of the account. See also comment 3(b)-6.

iii. Subsequent changes when exemption is based on initial extension of credit. If a creditor makes an initial extension of credit that exceeds the threshold amount in effect at that time, the open-end account remains exempt under § 1026.3(b) regardless of a subsequent increase in the threshold amount, including an increase pursuant to § 1026.3(b)(1)(ii) as a result of an increase in the CPI-W. Furthermore, in these circumstances, the account remains exempt even if there are no further extensions of credit, subsequent extensions of credit do not exceed the threshold amount, the account balance is subsequently reduced below the threshold amount (such as through repayment of the extension), or the credit limit for the account is subsequently reduced below the threshold amount. However, if the initial extension of credit on an account does not exceed the threshold amount in effect at the time of the extension, the account is not exempt under § 1026.3(b) even if a subsequent extension exceeds the threshold amount or if the account balance later exceeds the threshold amount (for example, due to the subsequent accrual of interest).

iv. Subsequent changes when exemption is based on firm commitment.

A. General. If a creditor makes a firm written commitment at account opening to extend a total amount of credit that exceeds the threshold amount in effect at that time, the open-end account remains exempt under § 1026.3(b) regardless of a subsequent increase in the threshold amount pursuant to § 1026.3(b)(1)(ii) as a result of an increase in the CPI-W. However, see comment 3(b)-8 with respect to the increase in the threshold amount from $25,000 to $50,000. If an open-end account is exempt under § 1026.3(b) based on a firm commitment to extend credit, the account remains exempt even if the amount of credit actually extended does not exceed the threshold amount. In contrast, if the firm commitment does not exceed the threshold amount at account opening, the account is not exempt under § 1026.3(b) even if the account balance later exceeds the threshold amount. In addition, if a creditor reduces a firm commitment, the account ceases to be exempt unless the reduced firm commitment exceeds the threshold amount in effect at the time of the reduction. For example:

1. Assume that, at account opening in year one, the threshold amount in effect is $50,000 and the account is exempt under § 1026.3(b) based on the creditor's firm commitment to extend $55,000 in credit. If during year one the creditor reduces its firm commitment to $53,000, the account remains exempt under § 1026.3(b). However, if during year one the creditor reduces its firm commitment to $40,000, the account is no longer exempt under § 1026.3(b).

2. Assume that, at account opening in year one, the threshold amount in effect is $50,000 and the account is exempt under § 1026.3(b) based on the creditor's firm commitment to extend $55,000 in credit. If the threshold amount is $56,000 on January 1 of year six as a result of increases in the CPI-W, the account remains exempt. However, if the creditor reduces its firm commitment to $54,000 on July 1 of year six, the account ceases to be exempt under § 1026.3(b).

B. Initial extension of credit. If an open-end account qualifies for a § 1026.3(b) exemption at account opening based on a firm commitment, that account may also subsequently qualify for a § 1026.3(b) exemption based on an initial extension of credit. However, that initial extension must be a single advance in excess of the threshold amount in effect at the time the extension is made. In addition, the account must continue to qualify for an exemption based on the firm commitment until the initial extension of credit is made. For example:

1. Assume that, at account opening in year one, the threshold amount in effect is $50,000 and the account is exempt under § 1026.3(b) based on the creditor's firm commitment to extend $55,000 in credit. The account is not used for an extension of credit during year one. On January 1 of year two, the threshold amount is increased to $51,000 pursuant to § 1026.3(b)(1)(ii) as a result of an increase in the CPI-W. On July 1 of year two, the consumer uses the account for an initial extension of $52,000. As a result of this extension of credit, the account remains exempt under § 1026.3(b) even if, after July 1 of year two, the creditor reduces the firm commitment to $51,000 or less.

2. Same facts as in paragraph 4.iv.B.1 of this section except that the consumer uses the account for an initial extension of $30,000 on July 1 of year two and for an extension of $22,000 on July 15 of year two. In these circumstances, the account is not exempt under § 1026.3(b) based on the $30,000 initial extension of credit because that extension did not exceed the applicable threshold amount ($51,000), although the account remains exempt based on the firm commitment to extend $55,000 in credit.

3. Same facts as in paragraph 4.iv.B.1 of this section except that, on April 1 of year Start Printed Page 58026two, the creditor reduces the firm commitment to $50,000, which is below the $51,000 threshold then in effect. Because the account ceases to qualify for a § 1026.3(b) exemption on April 1 of year two, the account does not qualify for a § 1026.3(b) exemption based on a $52,000 initial extension of credit on July 1 of year two.

5. Closed-end credit.

i. Qualifying for exemption. A closed-end loan is exempt under § 1026.3(b) (unless the extension of credit is secured by real property, or by personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling; or is a private education loan as defined in § 1026.46(b)(5)), if either of the following conditions is met:

A. The creditor makes an extension of credit at consummation that exceeds the threshold amount in effect at the time of consummation. In these circumstances, the loan remains exempt under § 1026.3(b) even if the amount owed is subsequently reduced below the threshold amount (such as through repayment of the loan).

B. The creditor makes a commitment at consummation to extend a total amount of credit in excess of the threshold amount in effect at the time of consummation. In these circumstances, the loan remains exempt under § 1026.3(b) even if the total amount of credit extended does not exceed the threshold amount.

ii. Subsequent changes. If a creditor makes a closed-end extension of credit or commitment to extend closed-end credit that exceeds the threshold amount in effect at the time of consummation, the closed-end loan remains exempt under § 1026.3(b) regardless of a subsequent increase in the threshold amount. However, a closed-end loan is not exempt under § 1026.3(b) merely because it is used to satisfy and replace an existing exempt loan, unless the new extension of credit is itself exempt under the applicable threshold amount. For example, assume a closed-end loan that qualified for a § 1026.3(b) exemption at consummation in year one is refinanced in year ten and that the new loan amount is less than the threshold amount in effect in year ten. In these circumstances, the creditor must comply with all of the applicable requirements of this part with respect to the year ten transaction if the original loan is satisfied and replaced by the new loan, which is not exempt under § 1026.3(b). See also comment 3(b)-6.

6. Addition of a security interest in real property or a dwelling after account opening or consummation.

i. Open-end credit. For open-end accounts, if after account opening a security interest is taken in real property, or in personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling, a previously exempt account ceases to be exempt under § 1026.3(b) and the creditor must begin to comply with all of the applicable requirements of this part within a reasonable period of time. See comment 3(b)-4.ii. If a security interest is taken in the consumer's principal dwelling, the creditor must also give the consumer the right to rescind the security interest consistent with § 1026.15.

ii. Closed-end credit. For closed-end loans, if after consummation a security interest is taken in real property, or in personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling, an exempt loan remains exempt under § 1026.3(b). However, the addition of a security interest in the consumer's principal dwelling is a transaction for purposes of § 1026.23, and the creditor must give the consumer the right to rescind the security interest consistent with that section. See § 1026.23(a)(1) and its commentary. In contrast, if a closed-end loan that is exempt under § 1026.3(b) is satisfied and replaced by a loan that is secured by real property, or by personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling, the new loan is not exempt under § 1026.3(b), and the creditor must comply with all of the applicable requirements of this part. See comment 3(b)-5.

7. Application to extensions secured by mobile homes. Because a mobile home can be a dwelling under § 1026.2(a)(19), the exemption in § 1026.3(b) does not apply to a credit extension secured by a mobile home that is used or expected to be used as the principal dwelling of the consumer. See comment 3(b)-6.

8. Transition rule for open-end accounts exempt prior to July 21, 2011. Section 1026.3(b)(2) applies only to open-end accounts opened prior to July 21, 2011. Section 1026.3(b)(2) does not apply if a security interest is taken by the creditor in real property, or in personal property used or expected to be used as the consumer's principal dwelling. If, on July 20, 2011, an open-end account is exempt under § 1026.3(b) based on a firm commitment to extend credit in excess of $25,000, the account remains exempt under § 1026.3(b)(2) until December 31, 2011 (unless the firm commitment is reduced to $25,000 or less). If the firm commitment is increased on or before December 31, 2011 to an amount in excess of $50,000, the account remains exempt under § 1026.3(b)(1) regardless of subsequent increases in the threshold amount as a result of increases in the CPI-W. If the firm commitment is not increased on or before December 31, 2011 to an amount in excess of $50,000, the account ceases to be exempt under § 1026.3(b) based on a firm commitment to extend credit. For example:

i. Assume that, on July 20, 2011, the account is exempt under § 1026.3(b) based on the creditor's firm commitment to extend $30,000 in credit. On November 1, 2011, the creditor increases the firm commitment on the account to $55,000. In these circumstances, the account remains exempt under § 1026.3(b)(1) regardless of subsequent increases in the threshold amount as a result of increases in the CPI-W.

ii. Same facts as paragraph 8.i of this section except, on November 1, 2011, the creditor increases the firm commitment on the account to $40,000. In these circumstances, the account ceases to be exempt under § 1026.3(b)(2) after December 31, 2011, and the creditor must begin to comply with the applicable requirements of this part.

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Start Signature

By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, acting through the Secretary of the Board under delegated authority, September 20, 2019.

Ann E. Misback,

Secretary of the Board.

Dated: September 21, 2019.

Thomas Pahl,

Policy Associate Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  Although consumer credit transactions above the threshold are generally exempt, loans secured by real property or by personal property used or expected to be used as the principal dwelling of a consumer and private education loans are covered by TILA regardless of the loan amount. See 12 CFR 226.3(b)(1)(i) (Board) and 12 CFR 1026.3(b)(1)(i) (Bureau).

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2.  Public Law 111-203, section 1100E, 124 Stat. 1376, 2111 (2010).

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3.  76 FR 18354 (Apr. 4, 2011); 76 FR 18349 (Apr. 4, 2011).

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4.  See 76 FR 79768 (Dec. 22, 2011); 81 FR 25323 (Apr. 28, 2016).

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5.  Section 1029(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act states: “Except as permitted in subsection (b), the Bureau may not exercise any rulemaking, supervisory, enforcement, or any other authority . . . over a motor vehicle dealer that is predominantly engaged in the sale and servicing of motor vehicles, the leasing and servicing of motor vehicles, or both.” 12 U.S.C. 5519(a). Section 1029(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act provides that subsection (a) shall not apply to any person, to the extent that such person (1) provides consumers with any services related to residential or commercial mortgages or self-financing transactions involving real property; (2) operates a line of business (A) that involves the extension of retail credit or retail leases involving motor vehicles; and (B) in which (i) the extension of retail credit or retail leases are provided directly to consumers; and (ii) the contract governing such extension of retail credit or retail leases is not routinely assigned to an unaffiliated third party finance or leasing source; or (3) offers or provides a consumer financial product or service not involving or related to the sale, financing, leasing, rental, repair, refurbishment, maintenance, or other servicing of motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts, or any related or ancillary product or service. 12 U.S.C. 5519(b).

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6.  12 CFR 226.3(b)(1)(ii) (Board) and 12 CFR 1026.3(b)(1)(ii) (Bureau).

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7.  See comments 3(b)-1 in Supplements I of 12 CFR parts 226 and 1026.

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8.  See 81 FR 86260 (Nov. 30, 2016).

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9.  The Office of the Federal Register requires the Board and the Bureau to reprint sections of commentary being amended in their entirety, rather than solely printing the amended portion. Therefore, sections of commentary included in this document show the language of those sections in their entirety.

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11.  5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604(a).

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[FR Doc. 2019-21557 Filed 10-29-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4801-AM-6210-01-P