1. Official status.This commentary is the primary vehicle by which the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection issues official interpretations of Regulation X. Good faith compliance with this commentary affords protection from liability under section 19(b) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), 12 U.S.C. 2617(b).

  2. Requests for official interpretations.A request for an official interpretation shall be in writing and addressed to the Associate Director, Research, Markets, and Regulations, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552. A request shall contain a complete statement of all relevant facts concerning the issue, including copies of all pertinent documents. Except in unusual circumstances, such official interpretations will not be issued separately but will be incorporated in the official commentary to this part, which will be amended periodically. No official interpretations will be issued approving financial institutions' forms or statements. This restriction does not apply to forms or statements whose use is required or sanctioned by a government agency.

  3. Unofficial oral interpretations.Unofficial oral interpretations may be provided at the discretion of Bureau staff. Written requests for such interpretations should be sent to the address set forth for official interpretations. Unofficial oral interpretations provide no protection under section 19(b) of RESPA. Ordinarily, staff will not issue unofficial oral interpretations on matters adequately covered by this part or the official Bureau interpretations.

  4. Rules of construction.(a) Lists that appear in the commentary may be exhaustive or illustrative; the appropriate construction should be clear from the context. In most cases, illustrative lists are introduced by phrases such as “including, but not limited to,” “among other things,” “for example,” or “such as.” (b) Throughout the commentary, reference to “this section” or “this paragraph” means the section or paragraph in the regulation that is the subject of the comment.

  5. Comment designations.Each comment in the commentary is identified by a number and the regulatory section or paragraph that the comment interprets. The comments are designated with as much specificity as possible according to the particular regulatory provision addressed. For example, some of the comments to § 1024.37(c)(1) are further divided by subparagraph, such as comment 37(c)(1)(i)-1. In other cases, comments have more general application and are designated, for example, as comment 40(a)-1. This introduction may be cited as comments I-1 through I-5.