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Fair Credit & Charge Card Disclosure Act

The Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act requires new disclosures on credit and charge cards, whether issued by financial institutions, retail stores or private companies. Information such as APRs, annual fees and grace periods must be provided in tabular form along with applications and preapproved solicitations for cards. The regulations also require card issuers that impose an annual fee to provide disclosures before annual renewal. Card issuers that offer credit insurance must inform customers of any increase in rate or substantial decrease in coverage should the issuer decide to change insurance providers.

Fair Credit Billing Act

The Fair Credit Billing Act establishes procedures for the prompt correction of errors on open-end credit accounts. It also protects a consumer's credit rating while the consumer is settling a dispute.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act establishes procedures for correcting mistakes on a person's credit record and requires that a consumer's record only be provided for legitimate business needs. It also requires that the record be kept confidential. A credit record may be retained seven years for judgments, liens, suits, and other adverse information except for bankruptcies, which may be retained ten years. If a consumer has been denied credit, a cost-free credit report may be requested within 30 days of denial.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is designed to eliminate abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices. It applies to third party debt collectors or those who use a name other than their own in collecting consumer debts. Very few commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, or credit unions are covered by this Act, since they usually collect only their own debts. Complaints concerning debt collection practices should generally be filed with the Federal Trade Commission.

Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, handicap, familial status or national origin in the financing, sale or rental of housing.

The Federal Trade Commission Act

The Federal Trade Commission Act requires federal financial regulatory agencies to maintain a consumer affairs division to assist in resolving consumer complaints against institutions they supervise. This assistance is given to help get necessary information to consumers about problems they are having in order to address complaints concerning acts or practices which may be unfair or deceptive.

Home Equity Consumer Protection Act

The Home Equity Loan Consumer Protection Act requires lenders to disclose terms, rates and conditions (APRs, miscellaneous charges, payment terms, and information about variable rate features) for home equity lines of credit with the applications and before the first transaction under the home equity plan. If the disclosed terms change, the consumer can refuse to open the plan and is entitled to a refund of fees paid in connection with the application. The Act also limits the circumstances under which creditors may terminate or change the terms of a home equity plan after it is opened.

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Aggregation Project

Using loan data collected from each covered institution, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) prepares disclosure statements and various reports for individual institutions in each MSA, showing lending patterns by location, age of housing stock, income level, sex and racial characteristics. The disclosure statements and reports are made available to the public at central depositories located in each MSA. Requests for the list of central depositories should be forwarded to the FFIEC.

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
2100 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20037

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