Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Regulation F), 78121-78126 [2011-31733]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2011 / Rules and Regulations appendix whose site parameters are within those specified in the technical support document. * * * * * E. The NRC will specify at an appropriate time the procedures to be used by an interested person who wishes to review portions of the design certification or references containing safeguards information or sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (including proprietary information, such as trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that are privileged or confidential (10 CFR 2.390 and 10 CFR part 9)), for the purpose of participating in the hearing required by 10 CFR 52.85, the hearing provided under 10 CFR 52.103, or in any other proceeding relating to this appendix in which interested persons have a right to request an adjudicatory hearing. VIII. Processes for Changes and Departures * * * * * * * * d. If an applicant or licensee proposes to depart from the information required by 10 CFR 52.47(a)(28) to be included in the FSAR for the standard design certification, then the applicant or licensee shall consider the effect of the changed feature or capability on the original assessment required by 10 CFR 50.150(a). The applicant or licensee must also document how the modified design features and functional capabilities continue to meet the assessment requirements in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1) in accordance with section X of this appendix. * * * * * X. Records and Reporting A. * * * 1. The applicants for this appendix shall maintain a copy of the applicable generic DCD that includes all generic changes to Tier 1, Tier 2, and the generic technical specifications and other operational requirements. The applicants shall maintain the sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (including proprietary information) and safeguards information referenced in the applicable generic DCD for the period that this appendix may be referenced, as specified in Section VII of this appendix. jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with RULES * * * * * 4.a. The applicant for the amendment to the U.S. ABWR design to address the requirements in 10 CFR 50.150, ‘‘Aircraft impact assessment,’’ shall maintain a copy of the aircraft impact assessment performed to comply with the requirements of 10 CFR 50.150(a) for the term of the certification (including any period of renewal). b. An applicant or licensee who references this appendix to include both the GE DCD VerDate Mar<15>2010 * * * * * Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 7th day of December 2011. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission. [FR Doc. 2011–31906 Filed 12–15–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1006 * B. * * * 5. * * * b. A proposed departure from Tier 2, other than one affecting resolution of a severe accident issue identified in the plant-specific DCD or one affecting information required by 10 CFR 52.47(a)(28) to address 10 CFR 50.150, requires a license amendment if it would: * and the STPNOC DCD shall maintain a copy of the aircraft impact assessment performed to comply with the requirements of 10 CFR 50.150(a) throughout the pendency of the application and for the term of the license (including any period of renewal). 16:23 Dec 15, 2011 Jkt 226001 [Docket No. CFPB–2011–0022] RIN 3170–AA06 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Regulation F) Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. ACTION: Interim final rule with request for public comment. AGENCY: Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) transferred rulemaking authority for a number of consumer financial protection laws from seven Federal agencies to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) as of July 21, 2011. The Bureau is in the process of republishing the regulations implementing those laws with technical and conforming changes to reflect the transfer of authority and certain other changes made by the Dodd-Frank Act. In light of the transfer of the Federal Trade Commission’s (Commission’s) rulemaking authority for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to the Bureau, the Bureau is publishing for public comment an interim final rule establishing a new Regulation F (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). This interim final rule does not impose any new substantive obligations on persons subject to the existing regulations, previously published by the Commission. SUMMARY: This interim final rule is effective December 30, 2011. Comments must be received on or before February 14, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CFPB–2011– 0022 or RIN 3170–AA06, by any of the following methods: DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 78121 • Electronic: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. (Attn: 1801 L Street), Washington, DC 20220. • Hand Delivery/Courier in Lieu of Mail: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20006. All submissions must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. In general, all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov. In addition, comments will be available for public inspection and copying at 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20006, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time. You can make an appointment to inspect the documents by telephoning (202) 435– 7275. All comments, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, should not be included. Comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Krista Ayoub or Jane Gao, Office of Regulations, at (202) 435–7700. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted to eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to insure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and to promote consistent state action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses.1 Prior to July 21, 2011, the FDCPA provided that the Federal Trade Commission (Commission) must by regulation exempt from the FDCPA requirements any class of debt collection practices within any state if the Commission determines that under the law of that state that class of debt collection practices is subject to requirements substantially similar to those imposed by the FDCPA, and that there is adequate provision for enforcement.2 1 15 2 15 E:\FR\FM\16DER1.SGM U.S.C. 1692 et seq. U.S.C. 16992o. 16DER1 78122 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2011 / Rules and Regulations Historically, procedures that states may use to apply for this exemption have been implemented by the Commission in 16 CFR Part 901. Under the FDCPA, the Commission did not have general authority to promulgate trade regulations or other regulations with respect to the collection of debts by debt collectors as defined in the FDCPA. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DoddFrank Act) 3 amended a number of consumer financial protection laws, including the FDCPA. The Dodd-Frank Act transferred rulemaking authority related to the state exemptions under the FDCPA to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau), effective July 21, 2011.4 See sections 1061 and 1089 of the Dodd-Frank Act.5 Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act and the FDCPA, as amended, the Bureau is publishing for public comment an interim final rule establishing a new Regulation F (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), 12 CFR Part 1006, implementing the FDCPA. II. Summary of the Interim Final Rule A. General The interim final rule substantially duplicates the Commission’s rule related to state exemptions under the FDCPA as the Bureau’s new Regulation F, 12 CFR Part 1006, making only certain non-substantive, technical, formatting, and stylistic changes. Subpart A of Regulation F contains the rule related to state exemptions under the FDCPA. Subpart B is reserved for any future rulemaking by the Bureau under the FDCPA. To minimize any potential confusion, other than republishing the Commission’s rule in 16 CFR Part 901 with the Bureau’s part number, the Bureau is preserving where possible the numbering the Commission used in 16 CFR Part 901. Additionally, while this interim final rule generally incorporates the Commission’s existing regulatory text, the rule has been edited as necessary to reflect nomenclature and other technical amendments required by the Dodd-Frank Act. Notably, this interim final rule does not impose any new substantive obligations on regulated entities. jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with RULES 3 Public Law 111–203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010). 4 Dodd-Frank section 1029 generally excludes from this transfer of authority, subject to certain exceptions, any rulemaking 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. 5 In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act granted the Bureau rulemaking authority to prescribe regulations with respect to the collection of debts by debt collectors, as defined in the FDCPA, except as provided for in section 1029 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010. Public Law 111– 203, section 1089(4); 15 U.S.C.1692l(d). VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:23 Dec 15, 2011 Jkt 226001 B. Specific Changes Footnotes 1 and 2 in the Commission’s rule (16 CFR 901.2) that provide guidance on the meaning of ‘‘state law’’ and ‘‘class of debt collection practices’’ respectively were moved to a newly-created subsection for definitions in § 1006.1. Footnote 3 in the Commission’s rule (16 CFR 901.4) was moved to newly-created paragraph (a)(2) in § 1006.4, and other text in that section was renumbered accordingly. In § 1006.5, an address in the Commission’s rule (16 CFR 901.5) is replaced with an address for the Bureau, indicating where interested parties may go to review applications submitted by states for exemptions from the FDCPA. In addition, the Commission’s rule (16 CFR 901.6) indicated that the Commission would inform the appropriate official of any state that receives such an exemption of any subsequent amendments of the FDCPA (including the Commission’s formal advisory opinions, and informal staff interpretations issued by an authorized official or employee of the Commission). In § 1006.6, the Bureau indicates that it will inform the appropriate official of any state that receives such an exemption of any subsequent amendments to the FDCPA or Regulation F. The Bureau anticipates that it will adopt any additional guidance on the FDCPA as part of Regulation F, instead of through formal advisory opinions or informal staff interpretations. In addition, references to the Commission and its administrative structure have been replaced with references to the Bureau. Conforming edits have been made to internal cross-references. Conforming edits have also been made to reflect the scope of the Bureau’s authority pursuant to the FDCPA, as amended by the DoddFrank Act. III. Legal Authority A. Rulemaking Authority The Bureau is issuing this interim final rule pursuant to its authority under the FDCPA and the Dodd-Frank Act. Effective July 21, 2011, section 1061 of the Dodd-Frank Act transferred to the Bureau all of the Commission’s authority under an enumerated consumer law to prescribe rules, issue guidelines, conduct studies, or issue reports.6 The FDCPA is an enumerated consumer law.7 Accordingly, effective July 21, 2011, the authority of the Commission to issue regulations related 6 Public Law 111–203, section 1061(b)(5). Section 1002(12)(H) (defining ‘‘enumerated consumer laws’’ to include the FDCPA). 7 Id. PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 to state exemptions under the FDCPA transferred to the Bureau.8 The FDCPA, as amended, requires that the Bureau by regulation exempt from the requirements of the FDCPA any class of debt collection practices within any state if the Bureau determines that under the law of that state that class of debt collection practices is subject to requirements substantially similar to those imposed by the FDCPA, and that there is adequate provision for enforcement.9 B. Authority To Issue an Interim Final Rule Without Prior Notice and Comment The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) 10 generally requires public notice and an opportunity to comment before promulgation of substantive regulations.11 The APA provides exceptions to notice-and-comment procedures, however, where an agency for good cause finds that such procedures are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest or when a rulemaking relates to agency organization, procedure, and practice.12 The Bureau finds that there is good cause to conclude that providing notice and opportunity for comment would be unnecessary and contrary to the public interest under these circumstances. In addition, substantially all the changes made by this interim final rule, which were necessitated by the Dodd-Frank Act’s transfer of FDCPA authority from the Commission to the Bureau, relate to agency organization, procedure, and practice and are thus exempt from the APA’s notice-andcomment requirements. The Bureau’s good cause findings are based on the following considerations. As an initial matter, the Commission’s existing regulation was a result of notice-and-comment rulemaking to the extent required. Moreover, the interim final rule published today does not impose any new, substantive obligations on regulated entities. Rather, the interim final rule makes only non-substantive, technical changes to the existing text of the regulation, such as changing internal cross-references, replacing appropriate 8 Section 1066 of the Dodd-Frank Act grants the Secretary of the Treasury interim authority to perform certain functions of the Bureau. Pursuant to that authority, Treasury is publishing this interim final rule on behalf of the Bureau. Until this and other interim final rules take effect, existing regulations for which rulemaking authority transferred to the Bureau continue to govern persons covered by this rule. See 76 FR 43569 (July 21, 2011). 9 Public Law 111–203, section 1089(1); 15 U.S.C. 1692o. 10 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq. 11 5 U.S.C. 553(b), (c). 12 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A), (B). E:\FR\FM\16DER1.SGM 16DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2011 / Rules and Regulations jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with RULES nomenclature to reflect the transfer of authority to the Bureau, and changing the address for reviewing applications submitted by state officials and notices. Given the technical nature of these changes, and the fact that the interim final rule does not impose any additional substantive requirements on covered entities, an opportunity for prior public comment is unnecessary. In addition, recodifying the Commission’s regulation to reflect the transfer of authority to the Bureau will help facilitate compliance with FDCPA and its implementing regulations, and the new regulations will help reduce uncertainty the applicable regulatory framework. Using notice-and-comment procedures would delay this process and thus be contrary to the public interest. The APA generally requires that rules be published not less than 30 days before their effective dates. See 5 U.S.C. 553(d). As with the notice and comment requirement, however, the APA allows an exception when ‘‘otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.’’ 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). The Bureau finds that there is good cause for providing less than 30 days notice here. A delayed effective date would harm consumers and regulated entities by needlessly perpetuating discrepancies between the amended statutory text and the implementing regulation, thereby hindering compliance and prolonging uncertainty regarding the applicable regulatory framework.13 In addition, delaying the effective date of the interim final rule for 30 days would provide no practical benefit to regulated entities in this context and in fact could operate to their detriment. As discussed above, the interim final rule published today does not impose any new, substantive obligations on regulated entities. Instead, the rule makes only non-substantive, technical changes to the existing text of the regulation. Thus, regulated entities that are already in compliance with the existing rules will not need to modify business practices as a result of this rule. 13 This interim final rule is one of 14 companion rulemakings that together restate and recodify the implementing regulations under 14 existing consumer financial laws (part III.C, below, lists the 14 laws involved). In the interest of proper coordination of this overall regulatory framework, which includes numerous cross-references among some of the regulations, the Bureau is establishing the same effective date of December 30, 2011 for those rules published on or before that date and making those published thereafter (if any) effective immediately. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:23 Dec 15, 2011 Jkt 226001 C. Section 1022(b)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act In developing the interim final rule, the Bureau has conducted an analysis of potential benefits, costs, and impacts.14 The Bureau believes that the interim final rule will benefit consumers and covered persons by updating and recodifying the Commission’s rules in 16 CFR Part 901 to reflect the transfer of authority to the Bureau and certain other changes mandated by the DoddFrank Act. This will help reduce any uncertainty regarding the applicable regulatory framework. The interim final rule will not impose any new substantive obligations on consumers or covered persons and is not expected to have any impact on consumers’ access to consumer financial products and services. The interim final rule will have no unique impact on depository institutions or credit unions with $10 billion or less in assets as described in section 1026(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act. Also, the interim final rule will have no unique impact on rural consumers. In undertaking the process of recodifying the Commission’s rules in 16 CFR Part 901, as well as regulations implementing thirteen other existing consumer financial laws,15 the Bureau consulted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the 14 Section 1022(b)(2)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Act addresses the consideration of the potential benefits and costs of regulation to consumers and covered persons, including the potential reduction of access by consumers to consumer financial products or services; the impact on depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets as described in section 1026 of the Dodd-Frank Act; and the impact on consumers in rural areas. Section 1022(b)(2)(B) requires that the Bureau ‘‘consult with the appropriate prudential regulators or other Federal agencies prior to proposing a rule and during the comment process regarding consistency with prudential, market, or systemic objectives administered by such agencies.’’ The manner and extent to which these provisions apply to interim final rules and to costs, benefits, and impacts that are compelled by statutory changes rather than discretionary Bureau action is unclear. Nevertheless, to inform this rulemaking more fully, the Bureau performed the described analyses and consultations. 15 The fourteen laws implemented by this and its companion rulemakings are: The Consumer Leasing Act, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (except with respect to section 920 of that Act), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (except with respect to sections 615(e) and 628 of that act), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Subsections (b) through (f) of section 43 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, sections 502 through 509 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (except for section 505 as it applies to section 501(b)), the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Truth in Savings Act, section 626 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, and the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act. PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 78123 National Credit Union Administration, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, including with respect to consistency with any prudential, market or systemic objectives that may be administered by such agencies.16 The Bureau also has consulted with the Office of Management and Budget for technical assistance. The Bureau expects to have further consultations with the appropriate Federal agencies during the comment period. IV. Request for Comment Although notice and comment rulemaking procedures are not required, the Bureau invites comments on this notice. Commenters are specifically encouraged to identify any technical issues raised by the rule. The Bureau is also seeking comment in response to a notice published at 76 FR 75825 (Dec. 5, 2011) concerning its efforts to identify priorities for streamlining regulations that it has inherited from other Federal agencies to address provisions that are outdated, unduly burdensome, or unnecessary. V. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, requires each agency to consider the potential impact of its regulations on small entities, including small businesses, small governmental units, and small not-for-profit organizations.17 The RFA generally requires an agency to conduct an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) of any rule subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.18 The Bureau also is subject to certain additional procedures under the RFA involving the convening of a panel to consult with small business representatives prior to proposing a rule for which an IRFA is required.19 The IRFA and FRFA requirements described above apply only where a notice of proposed rulemaking is 16 In light of the technical but voluminous nature of this recodification project, the Bureau focused the consultation process on a representative sample of the recodified regulations, while making information on the other regulations available. The Bureau expects to conduct differently its future consultations regarding substantive rulemakings. 17 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. 18 5 U.S.C. 603, 604. 19 5 U.S.C. 609. E:\FR\FM\16DER1.SGM 16DER1 78124 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2011 / Rules and Regulations required,20 and the panel requirement applies only when a rulemaking requires an IRFA.21 As discussed above in part III, a notice of proposed rulemaking is not required for this rulemaking. In addition, as discussed above, the rule imposes no new, substantive obligations on entities subject to Regulation F. Accordingly, the undersigned certifies that this interim final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. within the applying state from the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the Act) as provided in section 817 of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 1692o. (b) Definitions. For purposes of this subpart: Class of debt collection practices includes one or more such classes of debt collection practices. State law includes any regulations that implement state law and formal interpretations thereof by a court of competent jurisdiction or duly authorized agency of that state. VI. Paperwork Reduction Act The Bureau has determined that this interim final rule does not impose any new recordkeeping or reporting requirements on covered entities or members of the public that would be collections of information requiring approval under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq. § 1006.2 List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1006 Administrative practice and procedure, Consumer protection, Credit, Intergovernmental relations. Authority and Issuance For the reasons set forth above, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection adds part 1006 to Chapter X in Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations to read as follows: PART 1006—FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT (REGULATION F) Subpart A—Procedures for State Application for Exemption From the Provisions of the Act Sec. 1006.1 Purpose and definitions. 1006.2 Application. 1006.3 Supporting documents. 1006.4 Criteria for determination. 1006.5 Public notice of filing. 1006.6 Exemption from requirements. 1006.7 Adverse determination. 1006.8 Revocation of exemption. Subpart B—[Reserved] Authority: 12 U.S.C. 5512, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1692o. Subpart A—Procedures for State Application for Exemption From the Provisions of the Act jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with RULES § 1006.1 Purpose and definitions. (a) Purpose. This part, known as Regulation F, is issued by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau). This subpart establishes procedures and criteria whereby states may apply to the Bureau for exemption of a class of debt collection practices 20 5 21 5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604(a); 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). U.S.C. 609(b). VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:23 Dec 15, 2011 Jkt 226001 Application. Any state may apply to the Bureau pursuant to the terms of this part for a determination that, under the laws of that state, any class of debt collection practices within that state is subject to requirements that are substantially similar to, or provide greater protection for consumers than, those imposed under sections 803 through 812 of the Act, and that there is adequate provision for state enforcement of such requirements. The application shall be in writing, addressed to the Bureau, signed by the Governor, Attorney General or state official having primary enforcement or responsibility under the state law which is applicable to the class of debt collection practices, and shall be supported by the documents specified in this subpart. § 1006.3 Supporting documents. The application shall be accompanied by the following, which may be submitted in paper or electronic form: (a) A copy of the full text of the state law that is claimed to contain requirements substantially similar to those imposed under sections 803 through 812 of the Act, or to provide greater protection to consumers than sections 803 through 812 of the Act, regarding the class of debt collection practices within that state. (b) A comparison of each provision of sections 803 through 812 of the Act with the corresponding provision of the state law, together with reasons supporting the claim that the corresponding provisions of the state law are substantially similar to or provide greater protection to consumers than provisions of sections 803 through 812 of the Act and an explanation as to why any differences between the state and Federal law are not inconsistent with the provisions of sections 803 through 812 of the Act and do not result in a diminution in the protection otherwise afforded consumers; and a statement that no other state laws (including administrative or judicial interpretations) are related to, or would PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 have an effect upon, the state law that is being considered by the Bureau in making its determination. (c) A copy of the full text of the state law that provides for enforcement of the state law referred to in paragraph (a) of this section. (d) A comparison of the provisions of the state law that provides for enforcement with the provisions of section 814 of the Act, together with reasons supporting the claim that such state law provides for administrative enforcement of the state law referred to in paragraph (a) of this section that is substantially similar to, or more extensive than, the enforcement provided under section 814 of the Act. (e) A statement identifying the office designated or to be designated to administer the state law referred to in paragraph (a) of this section, together with complete information regarding the fiscal arrangements for administrative enforcement (including the amount of funds available or to be provided), the number and qualifications of personnel engaged or to be engaged in enforcement, and a description of the procedures under which such state law is to be administratively enforced. The statement should also include reasons to support the claim that there is adequate provision for enforcement of such state law. § 1006.4 Criteria for determination. The Bureau will consider the criteria set forth below, and any other relevant information, in determining whether the law of a state is substantially similar to, or provides greater protection to consumers than, the provisions of sections 803 through 812 of the Act regarding the class of debt collection practices within that state, and whether there is adequate provision for state enforcement of such law. In making that determination, the Bureau primarily will consider each provision of the state law in comparison with each corresponding provision in sections 803 through 812 of the Act, and not the state law as a whole in comparison with the Act as a whole. (a)(1) In order for provisions of state law to be substantially similar to, or provide greater protection to consumers than the provisions of sections 803 through 812 of the Act, the provisions of state law at least shall provide that: (i) Definitions and rules of construction, as applicable, import the same meaning and have the same application as those prescribed by sections 803 through 812 of the Act. (ii) Debt collectors provide all of the applicable notifications required by the provisions of sections 803 through 812 E:\FR\FM\16DER1.SGM 16DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2011 / Rules and Regulations jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with RULES of the Act, with the content and in the terminology, form, and time periods prescribed by this part pursuant to sections 803 through 812; however, required references to state law may be substituted for the references to Federal law required in this part. Notification requirements under state law in additional circumstances or with additional detail that do not frustrate any of the purposes of the Act may be determined by the Bureau to be consistent with sections 803 through 812 of the Act; (iii) Debt collectors take all affirmative actions and abide by obligations substantially similar to, or more extensive than, those prescribed by sections 803 through 812 of the Act under substantially similar or more stringent conditions and within the same or more stringent time periods as are prescribed in sections 803 through 812 of the Act; (iv) Debt collectors abide by the same or more stringent prohibitions as are prescribed by sections 803 through 812 of the Act; (v) Obligations or responsibilities imposed on consumers are no more costly, lengthy, or burdensome relative to consumers exercising any of the rights or gaining the benefits of the protections provided in the state law than corresponding obligations or responsibilities imposed on consumers in sections 803 through 812 of the Act. (vi) Consumers’ rights and protections are substantially similar to, or more favorable than, those provided by sections 803 through 812 of the Act under conditions or within time periods that are substantially similar to, or more favorable to consumers than, those prescribed by sections 803 through 812 of the Act. (2) Paragraph (a)(1) of this section is not to be construed as indicating that the Bureau would consider adversely any additional requirements of state law that are not inconsistent with the purpose of the Act or the requirements imposed under sections 803 through 812 of the Act. (b) In determining whether provisions for enforcement of the state law referred to in § 1006.3(a) of this part are adequate, consideration will be given to the extent to which, under state law, provision is made for administrative enforcement, including necessary facilities, personnel, and funding. § 1006.5 Public notice of filing. In connection with any application that has been filed in accordance with the requirements of §§ 1006.2 and 1006.3 of this part and following initial review of the application, a notice of VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:23 Dec 15, 2011 Jkt 226001 such filing shall be published by the Bureau in the Federal Register, and a copy of such application shall be made available for examination by interested persons during business hours at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20006. A period of time shall be allowed from the date of such publication for interested parties to submit written comments to the Bureau regarding that application. § 1006.6 Exemption from requirements. If the Bureau determines on the basis of the information before it that, under the law of a state, a class of debt collection practices is subject to requirements substantially similar to, or that provide greater protection to consumers than, those imposed under sections 803 through 812 and section 814 of the Act, and that there is adequate provision for state enforcement, the Bureau will exempt the class of debt collection practices in that state from the requirements of sections 803 through 812 and section 814 of the Act in the following manner and subject to the following conditions: (a) Notice of the exemption shall be published in the Federal Register, and the Bureau shall furnish a copy of such notice to the state official who made application for such exemption, to each Federal authority responsible for administrative enforcement of the requirements of sections 803 through 812 of the Act, and to the Attorney General of the United States. Any exemption granted shall be effective 90 days after the date of publication of such notice in the Federal Register. (b) The appropriate official of any state that receives an exemption shall inform the Bureau in writing within 30 days of any change in the state laws referred to in § 1006.3(a) and (c) of this part. The report of any such change shall contain copies of the full text of that change, together with statements setting forth the information and opinions regarding that change that are specified in § 1006.3(b) and (d). The appropriate official of any state that has received such an exemption also shall file with the Bureau from time to time such reports as the Bureau may require. (c) The Bureau shall inform the appropriate official of any state that receives such an exemption of any subsequent amendments of the Act or this part that might necessitate the amendment of state law for the exemption to continue. (d) No exemption shall extend to the civil liability provisions of section 813 of the Act. After an exemption is granted, the requirements of the PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 78125 applicable state law shall constitute the requirements of sections 803 through 812 of the Act, except to the extent such state law imposes requirements not imposed by the Act or this part. § 1006.7 Adverse determination. (a) If, after publication of a notice in the Federal Register as provided under § 1006.5 of this part, the Bureau finds on the basis of the information before it that it cannot make a favorable determination in connection with the application, the Bureau shall notify the appropriate state official of the facts upon which such findings are based and shall afford that state authority a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate or achieve compliance. (b) If, after having afforded the state authority such opportunity to demonstrate or achieve compliance, the Bureau finds on the basis of the information before it that it still cannot make a favorable determination in connection with the application, the Bureau shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of its determination regarding the application and shall furnish a copy of such notice to the state official who made application for such exemption. § 1006.8 Revocation of exemption. (a) The Bureau reserves the right to revoke any exemption granted under the provisions of this part, if at any time it determines that the state law does not, in fact, impose requirements that are substantially similar to, or that provide greater protection to applicants than, those imposed under sections 803 through 812 of the Act or that there is not, in fact, adequate provision for state enforcement. (b) Before revoking any such exemption, the Bureau shall notify the appropriate state official of the facts or conduct that, in the Bureau’s opinion, warrant such revocation, and shall afford that state such opportunity as the Bureau deems appropriate in the circumstances to demonstrate or achieve compliance. (c) If, after having been afforded the opportunity to demonstrate or achieve compliance, the Bureau determines that the state has not done so, notice of the Bureau’s intention to revoke such exemption shall be published in the Federal Register. A period of time shall be allowed from the date of such publication for interested persons to submit written comments to the Bureau regarding the intention to revoke. (d) If such exemption is revoked, notice of such revocation shall be published by the Bureau in the Federal Register, and a copy of such notice shall E:\FR\FM\16DER1.SGM 16DER1 78126 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 242 / Friday, December 16, 2011 / Rules and Regulations be furnished to the appropriate state official, to the Federal authorities responsible for enforcement of the requirements of the Act, and to the Attorney General of the United States. The revocation shall become effective, and the class of debt collection practices affected within that state shall become subject to the requirements of sections 803 through 812 of the Act, 90 days after the date of publication of the notice in the Federal Register. Subpart B—[Reserved] Dated: October 24, 2011. Alastair M. Fitzpayne, Deputy Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary, Department of the Treasury. [FR Doc. 2011–31733 Filed 12–15–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–AM–P BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1009 [Docket No. CFPB–2011–0024] RIN 3170–AA06 Disclosure Requirements for Depository Institutions Lacking Federal Deposit Insurance (Regulation I) Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. ACTION: Interim final rule with request for public comment. AGENCY: Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) transferred rulemaking authority for a number of consumer financial protection laws from seven Federal agencies to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) as of July 21, 2011. The Bureau is in the process of republishing the regulations implementing those laws with technical and conforming changes to reflect the transfer of authority and certain other changes made by the Dodd-Frank Act. In light of the transfer of the Federal Trade Commission’s (Commission’s) rulemaking authority for section 43(b)– (f) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA) to the Bureau, the Bureau is publishing for public comment an interim final rule establishing a new Regulation I (Disclosure Requirements for Depository Institutions Lacking Federal Deposit Insurance). This interim final rule does not impose any new substantive obligations on persons subject to the existing regulations, previously published by the Commission. jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:23 Dec 15, 2011 Jkt 226001 This interim final rule is effective December 30, 2011. Comments must be received on or before February 14, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CFPB–2011– 0024 or RIN 3170–AA06, by any of the following methods: • Electronic: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., (Attn: 1801 L Street), Washington, DC 20220. • Hand Delivery/Courier in Lieu of Mail: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20006. All submissions must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. In general, all comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov. In addition, comments will be available for public inspection and copying at 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20006, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time. You can make an appointment to inspect the documents by telephoning (202) 435– 7275. All comments, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or social security numbers, should not be included. Comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Krista Ayoub or Jane Gao, Office of Regulations, at (202) 435–7700. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: I. Background The Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA),1 among other things, establishes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation which must insure the deposits of banks and savings associations entitled to the benefits of insurance under the FDIA. Not all depository institutions are required to maintain Federal deposit insurance. The FDIA requires that depository institutions lacking Federal deposit insurance make certain insurancerelated disclosures in periodic statements, account records, locations where deposits are normally received, 1 12 PO 00000 U.S.C. 1811 et seq. Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 and advertising.2 The FDIA also requires such depository institutions to obtain a written acknowledgment from depositors regarding the institution’s lack of Federal deposit insurance.3 Prior to July 21, 2011, the FDIA required that the Federal Trade Commission (Commission), by regulation or order, prescribe the manner and content of these disclosures. Historically, the disclosure requirements required by the FDIA for depository institutions lacking Federal deposit insurance have been implemented by the Commission in 16 CFR Part 320. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) 4 amended a number of consumer financial protection laws, including the FDIA. In addition to various substantive amendments, the Dodd-Frank Act transferred rulemaking authority for implementing the disclosure requirements for depository institutions lacking Federal deposit insurance, as described above, to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau), effective July 21, 2011.5 See sections 1061 and 1090 of the DoddFrank Act. Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act and the FDIA, as amended, the Bureau is publishing for public comment an interim final rule establishing a new Regulation I (Disclosure Requirements for Depository Institutions Lacking Federal Deposit Insurance), 12 CFR Part 1009, implementing the disclosure requirements in the FDIA for depository institutions lacking Federal deposit insurance. II. Summary of the Interim Final Rule A. General The interim final rule substantially duplicates the Commission’s rule in 16 CFR Part 320 as the Bureau’s new Regulation I, 12 CFR Part 1009, making only certain non-substantive, technical, formatting, and stylistic changes. To minimize any potential confusion, other than republishing the Commission’s existing rule in 16 CFR Part 320 with the Bureau’s part number, the Bureau is preserving where possible the numbering the Commission used in its existing rule. Additionally, while this interim final rule generally incorporates the Commission’s existing regulatory 2 12 U.S.C. 1831t. 3 Id. 4 Public Law 111–203,124 Stat. 1376 (2010). section 1029 generally excludes from this transfer of authority, subject to certain exceptions, any rulemaking 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. 5 Dodd-Frank E:\FR\FM\16DER1.SGM 16DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 242 (Friday, December 16, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 78121-78126]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-31733]


=======================================================================
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BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION

12 CFR Part 1006

[Docket No. CFPB-2011-0022]
RIN 3170-AA06


Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Regulation F)

AGENCY: Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION: Interim final rule with request for public comment.

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SUMMARY: Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer 
Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) transferred rulemaking authority for a 
number of consumer financial protection laws from seven Federal 
agencies to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) as of 
July 21, 2011. The Bureau is in the process of republishing the 
regulations implementing those laws with technical and conforming 
changes to reflect the transfer of authority and certain other changes 
made by the Dodd-Frank Act. In light of the transfer of the Federal 
Trade Commission's (Commission's) rulemaking authority for the Fair 
Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to the Bureau, the Bureau is 
publishing for public comment an interim final rule establishing a new 
Regulation F (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). This interim final 
rule does not impose any new substantive obligations on persons subject 
to the existing regulations, previously published by the Commission.

DATES: This interim final rule is effective December 30, 2011. Comments 
must be received on or before February 14, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CFPB-2011-
0022 or RIN 3170-AA06, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Monica Jackson, Office of the Executive Secretary, 
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. 
(Attn: 1801 L Street), Washington, DC 20220.
     Hand Delivery/Courier in Lieu of Mail: Monica Jackson, 
Office of the Executive Secretary, Bureau of Consumer Financial 
Protection, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20006.
    All submissions must include the agency name and docket number or 
Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. In general, 
all comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. In addition, comments will be available for public 
inspection and copying at 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20006, on 
official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern 
Time. You can make an appointment to inspect the documents by 
telephoning (202) 435-7275.
    All comments, including attachments and other supporting materials, 
will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. 
Sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social 
Security numbers, should not be included. Comments will not be edited 
to remove any identifying or contact information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Krista Ayoub or Jane Gao, Office of 
Regulations, at (202) 435-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted to 
eliminate abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors, to 
insure that those debt collectors who refrain from using abusive debt 
collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and to 
promote consistent state action to protect consumers against debt 
collection abuses.\1\ Prior to July 21, 2011, the FDCPA provided that 
the Federal Trade Commission (Commission) must by regulation exempt 
from the FDCPA requirements any class of debt collection practices 
within any state if the Commission determines that under the law of 
that state that class of debt collection practices is subject to 
requirements substantially similar to those imposed by the FDCPA, and 
that there is adequate provision for enforcement.\2\

[[Page 78122]]

Historically, procedures that states may use to apply for this 
exemption have been implemented by the Commission in 16 CFR Part 901. 
Under the FDCPA, the Commission did not have general authority to 
promulgate trade regulations or other regulations with respect to the 
collection of debts by debt collectors as defined in the FDCPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 15 U.S.C. 1692 et seq.
    \2\ 15 U.S.C. 16992o.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 
(Dodd-Frank Act) \3\ amended a number of consumer financial protection 
laws, including the FDCPA. The Dodd-Frank Act transferred rulemaking 
authority related to the state exemptions under the FDCPA to the Bureau 
of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau), effective July 21, 2011.\4\ 
See sections 1061 and 1089 of the Dodd-Frank Act.\5\ Pursuant to the 
Dodd-Frank Act and the FDCPA, as amended, the Bureau is publishing for 
public comment an interim final rule establishing a new Regulation F 
(Fair Debt Collection Practices Act), 12 CFR Part 1006, implementing 
the FDCPA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).
    \4\ Dodd-Frank section 1029 generally excludes from this 
transfer of authority, subject to certain exceptions, any rulemaking 
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.
    \5\ In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act granted the Bureau 
rulemaking authority to prescribe regulations with respect to the 
collection of debts by debt collectors, as defined in the FDCPA, 
except as provided for in section 1029 of the Consumer Financial 
Protection Act of 2010. Public Law 111-203, section 1089(4); 15 
U.S.C.1692l(d).
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II. Summary of the Interim Final Rule

A. General

    The interim final rule substantially duplicates the Commission's 
rule related to state exemptions under the FDCPA as the Bureau's new 
Regulation F, 12 CFR Part 1006, making only certain non-substantive, 
technical, formatting, and stylistic changes. Subpart A of Regulation F 
contains the rule related to state exemptions under the FDCPA. Subpart 
B is reserved for any future rulemaking by the Bureau under the FDCPA. 
To minimize any potential confusion, other than republishing the 
Commission's rule in 16 CFR Part 901 with the Bureau's part number, the 
Bureau is preserving where possible the numbering the Commission used 
in 16 CFR Part 901. Additionally, while this interim final rule 
generally incorporates the Commission's existing regulatory text, the 
rule has been edited as necessary to reflect nomenclature and other 
technical amendments required by the Dodd-Frank Act. Notably, this 
interim final rule does not impose any new substantive obligations on 
regulated entities.

B. Specific Changes

    Footnotes 1 and 2 in the Commission's rule (16 CFR 901.2) that 
provide guidance on the meaning of ``state law'' and ``class of debt 
collection practices'' respectively were moved to a newly-created 
subsection for definitions in Sec.  1006.1. Footnote 3 in the 
Commission's rule (16 CFR 901.4) was moved to newly-created paragraph 
(a)(2) in Sec.  1006.4, and other text in that section was renumbered 
accordingly. In Sec.  1006.5, an address in the Commission's rule (16 
CFR 901.5) is replaced with an address for the Bureau, indicating where 
interested parties may go to review applications submitted by states 
for exemptions from the FDCPA. In addition, the Commission's rule (16 
CFR 901.6) indicated that the Commission would inform the appropriate 
official of any state that receives such an exemption of any subsequent 
amendments of the FDCPA (including the Commission's formal advisory 
opinions, and informal staff interpretations issued by an authorized 
official or employee of the Commission). In Sec.  1006.6, the Bureau 
indicates that it will inform the appropriate official of any state 
that receives such an exemption of any subsequent amendments to the 
FDCPA or Regulation F. The Bureau anticipates that it will adopt any 
additional guidance on the FDCPA as part of Regulation F, instead of 
through formal advisory opinions or informal staff interpretations. In 
addition, references to the Commission and its administrative structure 
have been replaced with references to the Bureau. Conforming edits have 
been made to internal cross-references. Conforming edits have also been 
made to reflect the scope of the Bureau's authority pursuant to the 
FDCPA, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Act.

III. Legal Authority

A. Rulemaking Authority

    The Bureau is issuing this interim final rule pursuant to its 
authority under the FDCPA and the Dodd-Frank Act. Effective July 21, 
2011, section 1061 of the Dodd-Frank Act transferred to the Bureau all 
of the Commission's authority under an enumerated consumer law to 
prescribe rules, issue guidelines, conduct studies, or issue 
reports.\6\ The FDCPA is an enumerated consumer law.\7\ Accordingly, 
effective July 21, 2011, the authority of the Commission to issue 
regulations related to state exemptions under the FDCPA transferred to 
the Bureau.\8\
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    \6\ Public Law 111-203, section 1061(b)(5).
    \7\ Id. Section 1002(12)(H) (defining ``enumerated consumer 
laws'' to include the FDCPA).
    \8\ Section 1066 of the Dodd-Frank Act grants the Secretary of 
the Treasury interim authority to perform certain functions of the 
Bureau. Pursuant to that authority, Treasury is publishing this 
interim final rule on behalf of the Bureau. Until this and other 
interim final rules take effect, existing regulations for which 
rulemaking authority transferred to the Bureau continue to govern 
persons covered by this rule. See 76 FR 43569 (July 21, 2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FDCPA, as amended, requires that the Bureau by regulation 
exempt from the requirements of the FDCPA any class of debt collection 
practices within any state if the Bureau determines that under the law 
of that state that class of debt collection practices is subject to 
requirements substantially similar to those imposed by the FDCPA, and 
that there is adequate provision for enforcement.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Public Law 111-203, section 1089(1); 15 U.S.C. 1692o.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Authority To Issue an Interim Final Rule Without Prior Notice and 
Comment

    The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) \10\ generally requires 
public notice and an opportunity to comment before promulgation of 
substantive regulations.\11\ The APA provides exceptions to notice-and-
comment procedures, however, where an agency for good cause finds that 
such procedures are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the 
public interest or when a rulemaking relates to agency organization, 
procedure, and practice.\12\ The Bureau finds that there is good cause 
to conclude that providing notice and opportunity for comment would be 
unnecessary and contrary to the public interest under these 
circumstances. In addition, substantially all the changes made by this 
interim final rule, which were necessitated by the Dodd-Frank Act's 
transfer of FDCPA authority from the Commission to the Bureau, relate 
to agency organization, procedure, and practice and are thus exempt 
from the APA's notice-and-comment requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq.
    \11\ 5 U.S.C. 553(b), (c).
    \12\ 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A), (B).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Bureau's good cause findings are based on the following 
considerations. As an initial matter, the Commission's existing 
regulation was a result of notice-and-comment rulemaking to the extent 
required. Moreover, the interim final rule published today does not 
impose any new, substantive obligations on regulated entities. Rather, 
the interim final rule makes only non-substantive, technical changes to 
the existing text of the regulation, such as changing internal cross-
references, replacing appropriate

[[Page 78123]]

nomenclature to reflect the transfer of authority to the Bureau, and 
changing the address for reviewing applications submitted by state 
officials and notices. Given the technical nature of these changes, and 
the fact that the interim final rule does not impose any additional 
substantive requirements on covered entities, an opportunity for prior 
public comment is unnecessary. In addition, recodifying the 
Commission's regulation to reflect the transfer of authority to the 
Bureau will help facilitate compliance with FDCPA and its implementing 
regulations, and the new regulations will help reduce uncertainty the 
applicable regulatory framework. Using notice-and-comment procedures 
would delay this process and thus be contrary to the public interest.
    The APA generally requires that rules be published not less than 30 
days before their effective dates. See 5 U.S.C. 553(d). As with the 
notice and comment requirement, however, the APA allows an exception 
when ``otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and 
published with the rule.'' 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). The Bureau finds that 
there is good cause for providing less than 30 days notice here. A 
delayed effective date would harm consumers and regulated entities by 
needlessly perpetuating discrepancies between the amended statutory 
text and the implementing regulation, thereby hindering compliance and 
prolonging uncertainty regarding the applicable regulatory 
framework.\13\
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    \13\ This interim final rule is one of 14 companion rulemakings 
that together restate and recodify the implementing regulations 
under 14 existing consumer financial laws (part III.C, below, lists 
the 14 laws involved). In the interest of proper coordination of 
this overall regulatory framework, which includes numerous cross-
references among some of the regulations, the Bureau is establishing 
the same effective date of December 30, 2011 for those rules 
published on or before that date and making those published 
thereafter (if any) effective immediately.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, delaying the effective date of the interim final rule 
for 30 days would provide no practical benefit to regulated entities in 
this context and in fact could operate to their detriment. As discussed 
above, the interim final rule published today does not impose any new, 
substantive obligations on regulated entities. Instead, the rule makes 
only non-substantive, technical changes to the existing text of the 
regulation. Thus, regulated entities that are already in compliance 
with the existing rules will not need to modify business practices as a 
result of this rule.

C. Section 1022(b)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act

    In developing the interim final rule, the Bureau has conducted an 
analysis of potential benefits, costs, and impacts.\14\ The Bureau 
believes that the interim final rule will benefit consumers and covered 
persons by updating and recodifying the Commission's rules in 16 CFR 
Part 901 to reflect the transfer of authority to the Bureau and certain 
other changes mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. This will help reduce any 
uncertainty regarding the applicable regulatory framework. The interim 
final rule will not impose any new substantive obligations on consumers 
or covered persons and is not expected to have any impact on consumers' 
access to consumer financial products and services.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ Section 1022(b)(2)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Act addresses the 
consideration of the potential benefits and costs of regulation to 
consumers and covered persons, including the potential reduction of 
access by consumers to consumer financial products or services; the 
impact on depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion 
or less in total assets as described in section 1026 of the Dodd-
Frank Act; and the impact on consumers in rural areas. Section 
1022(b)(2)(B) requires that the Bureau ``consult with the 
appropriate prudential regulators or other Federal agencies prior to 
proposing a rule and during the comment process regarding 
consistency with prudential, market, or systemic objectives 
administered by such agencies.'' The manner and extent to which 
these provisions apply to interim final rules and to costs, 
benefits, and impacts that are compelled by statutory changes rather 
than discretionary Bureau action is unclear. Nevertheless, to inform 
this rulemaking more fully, the Bureau performed the described 
analyses and consultations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The interim final rule will have no unique impact on depository 
institutions or credit unions with $10 billion or less in assets as 
described in section 1026(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act. Also, the interim 
final rule will have no unique impact on rural consumers.
    In undertaking the process of recodifying the Commission's rules in 
16 CFR Part 901, as well as regulations implementing thirteen other 
existing consumer financial laws,\15\ the Bureau consulted the Federal 
Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the 
Currency, the National Credit Union Administration, the Board of 
Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Trade Commission, 
and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, including with 
respect to consistency with any prudential, market or systemic 
objectives that may be administered by such agencies.\16\ The Bureau 
also has consulted with the Office of Management and Budget for 
technical assistance. The Bureau expects to have further consultations 
with the appropriate Federal agencies during the comment period.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ The fourteen laws implemented by this and its companion 
rulemakings are: The Consumer Leasing Act, the Electronic Fund 
Transfer Act (except with respect to section 920 of that Act), the 
Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (except 
with respect to sections 615(e) and 628 of that act), the Fair Debt 
Collection Practices Act, Subsections (b) through (f) of section 43 
of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, sections 502 through 509 of 
the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (except for section 505 as it applies to 
section 501(b)), the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, the Real Estate 
Settlement Procedures Act, the S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act, the 
Truth in Lending Act, the Truth in Savings Act, section 626 of the 
Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, and the Interstate Land Sales Full 
Disclosure Act.
    \16\ In light of the technical but voluminous nature of this 
recodification project, the Bureau focused the consultation process 
on a representative sample of the recodified regulations, while 
making information on the other regulations available. The Bureau 
expects to conduct differently its future consultations regarding 
substantive rulemakings.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. Request for Comment

    Although notice and comment rulemaking procedures are not required, 
the Bureau invites comments on this notice. Commenters are specifically 
encouraged to identify any technical issues raised by the rule. The 
Bureau is also seeking comment in response to a notice published at 76 
FR 75825 (Dec. 5, 2011) concerning its efforts to identify priorities 
for streamlining regulations that it has inherited from other Federal 
agencies to address provisions that are outdated, unduly burdensome, or 
unnecessary.

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, requires each 
agency to consider the potential impact of its regulations on small 
entities, including small businesses, small governmental units, and 
small not-for-profit organizations.\17\ The RFA generally requires an 
agency to conduct an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and 
a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) of any rule subject to 
notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies 
that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.\18\ The Bureau also is subject to 
certain additional procedures under the RFA involving the convening of 
a panel to consult with small business representatives prior to 
proposing a rule for which an IRFA is required.\19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.
    \18\ 5 U.S.C. 603, 604.
    \19\ 5 U.S.C. 609.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The IRFA and FRFA requirements described above apply only where a 
notice of proposed rulemaking is

[[Page 78124]]

required,\20\ and the panel requirement applies only when a rulemaking 
requires an IRFA.\21\ As discussed above in part III, a notice of 
proposed rulemaking is not required for this rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ 5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604(a); 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).
    \21\ 5 U.S.C. 609(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, as discussed above, the rule imposes no new, 
substantive obligations on entities subject to Regulation F. 
Accordingly, the undersigned certifies that this interim final rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.

VI. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Bureau has determined that this interim final rule does not 
impose any new recordkeeping or reporting requirements on covered 
entities or members of the public that would be collections of 
information requiring approval under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1006

    Administrative practice and procedure, Consumer protection, Credit, 
Intergovernmental relations.

Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth above, the Bureau of Consumer Financial 
Protection adds part 1006 to Chapter X in Title 12 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations to read as follows:

PART 1006--FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT (REGULATION F)

Subpart A--Procedures for State Application for Exemption From the 
Provisions of the Act
Sec.
1006.1 Purpose and definitions.
1006.2 Application.
1006.3 Supporting documents.
1006.4 Criteria for determination.
1006.5 Public notice of filing.
1006.6 Exemption from requirements.
1006.7 Adverse determination.
1006.8 Revocation of exemption.
Subpart B--[Reserved]

    Authority:  12 U.S.C. 5512, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1692o.

Subpart A--Procedures for State Application for Exemption From the 
Provisions of the Act


Sec.  1006.1  Purpose and definitions.

    (a) Purpose. This part, known as Regulation F, is issued by the 
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau). This subpart 
establishes procedures and criteria whereby states may apply to the 
Bureau for exemption of a class of debt collection practices within the 
applying state from the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection 
Practices Act (the Act) as provided in section 817 of the Act, 15 
U.S.C. 1692o.
    (b) Definitions. For purposes of this subpart:
    Class of debt collection practices includes one or more such 
classes of debt collection practices.
    State law includes any regulations that implement state law and 
formal interpretations thereof by a court of competent jurisdiction or 
duly authorized agency of that state.


Sec.  1006.2  Application.

    Any state may apply to the Bureau pursuant to the terms of this 
part for a determination that, under the laws of that state, any class 
of debt collection practices within that state is subject to 
requirements that are substantially similar to, or provide greater 
protection for consumers than, those imposed under sections 803 through 
812 of the Act, and that there is adequate provision for state 
enforcement of such requirements. The application shall be in writing, 
addressed to the Bureau, signed by the Governor, Attorney General or 
state official having primary enforcement or responsibility under the 
state law which is applicable to the class of debt collection 
practices, and shall be supported by the documents specified in this 
subpart.


Sec.  1006.3  Supporting documents.

    The application shall be accompanied by the following, which may be 
submitted in paper or electronic form:
    (a) A copy of the full text of the state law that is claimed to 
contain requirements substantially similar to those imposed under 
sections 803 through 812 of the Act, or to provide greater protection 
to consumers than sections 803 through 812 of the Act, regarding the 
class of debt collection practices within that state.
    (b) A comparison of each provision of sections 803 through 812 of 
the Act with the corresponding provision of the state law, together 
with reasons supporting the claim that the corresponding provisions of 
the state law are substantially similar to or provide greater 
protection to consumers than provisions of sections 803 through 812 of 
the Act and an explanation as to why any differences between the state 
and Federal law are not inconsistent with the provisions of sections 
803 through 812 of the Act and do not result in a diminution in the 
protection otherwise afforded consumers; and a statement that no other 
state laws (including administrative or judicial interpretations) are 
related to, or would have an effect upon, the state law that is being 
considered by the Bureau in making its determination.
    (c) A copy of the full text of the state law that provides for 
enforcement of the state law referred to in paragraph (a) of this 
section.
    (d) A comparison of the provisions of the state law that provides 
for enforcement with the provisions of section 814 of the Act, together 
with reasons supporting the claim that such state law provides for 
administrative enforcement of the state law referred to in paragraph 
(a) of this section that is substantially similar to, or more extensive 
than, the enforcement provided under section 814 of the Act.
    (e) A statement identifying the office designated or to be 
designated to administer the state law referred to in paragraph (a) of 
this section, together with complete information regarding the fiscal 
arrangements for administrative enforcement (including the amount of 
funds available or to be provided), the number and qualifications of 
personnel engaged or to be engaged in enforcement, and a description of 
the procedures under which such state law is to be administratively 
enforced. The statement should also include reasons to support the 
claim that there is adequate provision for enforcement of such state 
law.


Sec.  1006.4  Criteria for determination.

    The Bureau will consider the criteria set forth below, and any 
other relevant information, in determining whether the law of a state 
is substantially similar to, or provides greater protection to 
consumers than, the provisions of sections 803 through 812 of the Act 
regarding the class of debt collection practices within that state, and 
whether there is adequate provision for state enforcement of such law. 
In making that determination, the Bureau primarily will consider each 
provision of the state law in comparison with each corresponding 
provision in sections 803 through 812 of the Act, and not the state law 
as a whole in comparison with the Act as a whole.
    (a)(1) In order for provisions of state law to be substantially 
similar to, or provide greater protection to consumers than the 
provisions of sections 803 through 812 of the Act, the provisions of 
state law at least shall provide that:
    (i) Definitions and rules of construction, as applicable, import 
the same meaning and have the same application as those prescribed by 
sections 803 through 812 of the Act.
    (ii) Debt collectors provide all of the applicable notifications 
required by the provisions of sections 803 through 812

[[Page 78125]]

of the Act, with the content and in the terminology, form, and time 
periods prescribed by this part pursuant to sections 803 through 812; 
however, required references to state law may be substituted for the 
references to Federal law required in this part. Notification 
requirements under state law in additional circumstances or with 
additional detail that do not frustrate any of the purposes of the Act 
may be determined by the Bureau to be consistent with sections 803 
through 812 of the Act;
    (iii) Debt collectors take all affirmative actions and abide by 
obligations substantially similar to, or more extensive than, those 
prescribed by sections 803 through 812 of the Act under substantially 
similar or more stringent conditions and within the same or more 
stringent time periods as are prescribed in sections 803 through 812 of 
the Act;
    (iv) Debt collectors abide by the same or more stringent 
prohibitions as are prescribed by sections 803 through 812 of the Act;
    (v) Obligations or responsibilities imposed on consumers are no 
more costly, lengthy, or burdensome relative to consumers exercising 
any of the rights or gaining the benefits of the protections provided 
in the state law than corresponding obligations or responsibilities 
imposed on consumers in sections 803 through 812 of the Act.
    (vi) Consumers' rights and protections are substantially similar 
to, or more favorable than, those provided by sections 803 through 812 
of the Act under conditions or within time periods that are 
substantially similar to, or more favorable to consumers than, those 
prescribed by sections 803 through 812 of the Act.
    (2) Paragraph (a)(1) of this section is not to be construed as 
indicating that the Bureau would consider adversely any additional 
requirements of state law that are not inconsistent with the purpose of 
the Act or the requirements imposed under sections 803 through 812 of 
the Act.
    (b) In determining whether provisions for enforcement of the state 
law referred to in Sec.  1006.3(a) of this part are adequate, 
consideration will be given to the extent to which, under state law, 
provision is made for administrative enforcement, including necessary 
facilities, personnel, and funding.


Sec.  1006.5  Public notice of filing.

    In connection with any application that has been filed in 
accordance with the requirements of Sec. Sec.  1006.2 and 1006.3 of 
this part and following initial review of the application, a notice of 
such filing shall be published by the Bureau in the Federal Register, 
and a copy of such application shall be made available for examination 
by interested persons during business hours at the Bureau of Consumer 
Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20006. A period 
of time shall be allowed from the date of such publication for 
interested parties to submit written comments to the Bureau regarding 
that application.


Sec.  1006.6  Exemption from requirements.

    If the Bureau determines on the basis of the information before it 
that, under the law of a state, a class of debt collection practices is 
subject to requirements substantially similar to, or that provide 
greater protection to consumers than, those imposed under sections 803 
through 812 and section 814 of the Act, and that there is adequate 
provision for state enforcement, the Bureau will exempt the class of 
debt collection practices in that state from the requirements of 
sections 803 through 812 and section 814 of the Act in the following 
manner and subject to the following conditions:
    (a) Notice of the exemption shall be published in the Federal 
Register, and the Bureau shall furnish a copy of such notice to the 
state official who made application for such exemption, to each Federal 
authority responsible for administrative enforcement of the 
requirements of sections 803 through 812 of the Act, and to the 
Attorney General of the United States. Any exemption granted shall be 
effective 90 days after the date of publication of such notice in the 
Federal Register.
    (b) The appropriate official of any state that receives an 
exemption shall inform the Bureau in writing within 30 days of any 
change in the state laws referred to in Sec.  1006.3(a) and (c) of this 
part. The report of any such change shall contain copies of the full 
text of that change, together with statements setting forth the 
information and opinions regarding that change that are specified in 
Sec.  1006.3(b) and (d). The appropriate official of any state that has 
received such an exemption also shall file with the Bureau from time to 
time such reports as the Bureau may require.
    (c) The Bureau shall inform the appropriate official of any state 
that receives such an exemption of any subsequent amendments of the Act 
or this part that might necessitate the amendment of state law for the 
exemption to continue.
    (d) No exemption shall extend to the civil liability provisions of 
section 813 of the Act. After an exemption is granted, the requirements 
of the applicable state law shall constitute the requirements of 
sections 803 through 812 of the Act, except to the extent such state 
law imposes requirements not imposed by the Act or this part.


Sec.  1006.7  Adverse determination.

    (a) If, after publication of a notice in the Federal Register as 
provided under Sec.  1006.5 of this part, the Bureau finds on the basis 
of the information before it that it cannot make a favorable 
determination in connection with the application, the Bureau shall 
notify the appropriate state official of the facts upon which such 
findings are based and shall afford that state authority a reasonable 
opportunity to demonstrate or achieve compliance.
    (b) If, after having afforded the state authority such opportunity 
to demonstrate or achieve compliance, the Bureau finds on the basis of 
the information before it that it still cannot make a favorable 
determination in connection with the application, the Bureau shall 
publish in the Federal Register a notice of its determination regarding 
the application and shall furnish a copy of such notice to the state 
official who made application for such exemption.


Sec.  1006.8  Revocation of exemption.

    (a) The Bureau reserves the right to revoke any exemption granted 
under the provisions of this part, if at any time it determines that 
the state law does not, in fact, impose requirements that are 
substantially similar to, or that provide greater protection to 
applicants than, those imposed under sections 803 through 812 of the 
Act or that there is not, in fact, adequate provision for state 
enforcement.
    (b) Before revoking any such exemption, the Bureau shall notify the 
appropriate state official of the facts or conduct that, in the 
Bureau's opinion, warrant such revocation, and shall afford that state 
such opportunity as the Bureau deems appropriate in the circumstances 
to demonstrate or achieve compliance.
    (c) If, after having been afforded the opportunity to demonstrate 
or achieve compliance, the Bureau determines that the state has not 
done so, notice of the Bureau's intention to revoke such exemption 
shall be published in the Federal Register. A period of time shall be 
allowed from the date of such publication for interested persons to 
submit written comments to the Bureau regarding the intention to 
revoke.
    (d) If such exemption is revoked, notice of such revocation shall 
be published by the Bureau in the Federal Register, and a copy of such 
notice shall

[[Page 78126]]

be furnished to the appropriate state official, to the Federal 
authorities responsible for enforcement of the requirements of the Act, 
and to the Attorney General of the United States. The revocation shall 
become effective, and the class of debt collection practices affected 
within that state shall become subject to the requirements of sections 
803 through 812 of the Act, 90 days after the date of publication of 
the notice in the Federal Register.

Subpart B--[Reserved]

    Dated: October 24, 2011.
Alastair M. Fitzpayne,
Deputy Chief of Staff and Executive Secretary, Department of the 
Treasury.
[FR Doc. 2011-31733 Filed 12-15-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P