Skip to main content

§ 1026.5 General disclosure requirements.

(a) Form of disclosures

(1) General.

(i) The creditor shall make the disclosures required by this subpart clearly and conspicuously.

(ii) The creditor shall make the disclosures required by this subpart in writing, in a form that the consumer may keep, except that:

(A) The following disclosures need not be written: Disclosures under § 1026.6(b)(3) of charges that are imposed as part of an open-end (not home-secured) plan that are not required to be disclosed under § 1026.6(b)(2) and related disclosures of charges under § 1026.9(c)(2)(iii)(B); disclosures under § 1026.9(c)(2)(vi); disclosures under § 1026.9(d) when a finance charge is imposed at the time of the transaction; and disclosures under § 1026.56(b)(1)(i).

1. Electronic disclosures. Disclosures that need not be provided in writing under § 1026.5(a)(1)(ii)(A) may be provided in writing, orally, or in electronic form. If the consumer requests the service in electronic form, such as on the creditor's Web site, the specified disclosures may be provided in electronic form without regard to the consumer consent or other provisions of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act) (15 U.S.C. 7001 et seq.).

See interpretation of Paragraph 5(a)(1)(ii)(A) in Supplement I

(B) The following disclosures need not be in a retainable form: Disclosures that need not be written under paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(A) of this section; disclosures for credit and charge card applications and solicitations under § 1026.60; home-equity disclosures under § 1026.40(d); the alternative summary billing-rights statement under § 1026.9(a)(2); the credit and charge card renewal disclosures required under § 1026.9(e); and the payment requirements under § 1026.10(b), except as provided in § 1026.7(b)(13).

(iii) The disclosures required by this subpart may be provided to the consumer in electronic form, subject to compliance with the consumer consent and other applicable provisions of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act) (15 U.S.C. 7001 et seq.). The disclosures required by §§ 1026.60, 1026.40, and 1026.16 may be provided to the consumer in electronic form without regard to the consumer consent or other provisions of the E-Sign Act in the circumstances set forth in those sections.

1. Disclosures not subject to E-Sign Act. See the commentary to § 1026.5(a)(1)(ii)(A) regarding disclosures (in addition to those specified under § 1026.5(a)(1)(iii)) that may be provided in electronic form without regard to the consumer consent or other provisions of the E-Sign Act.

See interpretation of Paragraph 5(a)(1)(iii) in Supplement I

(2) Terminology.

1. When disclosures must be more conspicuous. For home-equity plans subject to § 1026.40, the terms finance charge and annual percentage rate, when required to be used with a number, must be disclosed more conspicuously than other required disclosures, except in the cases provided in § 1026.5(a)(2)(ii). At the creditor's option, finance charge and annual percentage rate may also be disclosed more conspicuously than the other required disclosures even when the regulation does not so require. The following examples illustrate these rules:

i. In disclosing the annual percentage rate as required by § 1026.6(a)(1)(ii), the term annual percentage rate is subject to the more conspicuous rule.

ii. In disclosing the amount of the finance charge, required by § 1026.7(a)(6)(i), the term finance charge is subject to the more conspicuous rule.

iii. Although neither finance charge nor annual percentage rate need be emphasized when used as part of general informational material or in textual descriptions of other terms, emphasis is permissible in such cases. For example, when the terms appear as part of the explanations required under § 1026.6(a)(1)(iii) and (a)(1)(iv), they may be equally conspicuous as the disclosures required under §§ 1026.6(a)(1)(ii) and 1026.7(a)(7).

2. Making disclosures more conspicuous. In disclosing the terms finance charge and annual percentage rate more conspicuously for home-equity plans subject to § 1026.40, only the words finance charge and annual percentage rate should be accentuated. For example, if the term total finance charge is used, only finance charge should be emphasized. The disclosures may be made more conspicuous by, for example:

i. Capitalizing the words when other disclosures are printed in lower case.

ii. Putting them in bold print or a contrasting color.

iii. Underlining them.

iv. Setting them off with asterisks.

v. Printing them in larger type.

3. Disclosure of figures - exception to more conspicuous rule. For home-equity plans subject to § 1026.40, the terms annual percentage rate and finance charge need not be more conspicuous than figures (including, for example, numbers, percentages, and dollar signs).

4. Consistent terminology. Language used in disclosures required in this subpart must be close enough in meaning to enable the consumer to relate the different disclosures; however, the language need not be identical.

See interpretation of 5(a)(2) Terminology in Supplement I

(i) Terminology used in providing the disclosures required by this subpart shall be consistent.

(ii) For home-equity plans subject to § 1026.40, the terms inance charge and annual percentage rate,* when required to be disclosed with a corresponding amount or percentage rate, shall be more conspicuous than any other required disclosure. The terms need not be more conspicuous when used for periodic statement disclosures under § 1026.7(a)(4) and for advertisements under § 1026.16.

(iii) If disclosures are required to be presented in a tabular format pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the term penalty APR shall be used, as applicable. The term penalty APR need not be used in reference to the annual percentage rate that applies with the loss of a promotional rate, assuming the annual percentage rate that applies is not greater than the annual percentage rate that would have applied at the end of the promotional period; or if the annual percentage rate that applies with the loss of a promotional rate is a variable rate, the annual percentage rate is calculated using the same index and margin as would have been used to calculate the annual percentage rate that would have applied at the end of the promotional period. If credit insurance or debt cancellation or debt suspension coverage is required as part of the plan, the term required shall be used and the program shall be identified by its name. If an annual percentage rate is required to be presented in a tabular format pursuant to paragraph (a)(3)(i) or (a)(3)(iii) of this section, the term fixed, or a similar term, may not be used to describe such rate unless the creditor also specifies a time period that the rate will be fixed and the rate will not increase during that period, or if no such time period is provided, the rate will not increase while the plan is open.

(3) Specific formats.

(i) Certain disclosures for credit and charge card applications and solicitations must be provided in a tabular format in accordance with the requirements of § 1026.60(a)(2).

(ii) Certain disclosures for home-equity plans must precede other disclosures and must be given in accordance with the requirements of § 1026.40(a).

(iii) Certain account-opening disclosures must be provided in a tabular format in accordance with the requirements of § 1026.6(b)(1).

(iv) Certain disclosures provided on periodic statements must be grouped together in accordance with the requirements of § 1026.7(b)(6) and (b)(13).

(v) Certain disclosures provided on periodic statements must be given in accordance with the requirements of § 1026.7(b)(12).

(vi) Certain disclosures accompanying checks that access a credit card account must be provided in a tabular format in accordance with the requirements of § 1026.9(b)(3).

(vii) Certain disclosures provided in a change-in-terms notice must be provided in a tabular format in accordance with the requirements of § 1026.9(c)(2)(iv)(D).

(viii) Certain disclosures provided when a rate is increased due to delinquency, default or as a penalty must be provided in a tabular format in accordance with the requirements of § 1026.9(g)(3)(ii).

(b) Time of disclosures

(1) Account-opening disclosures

(i) General rule. The creditor shall furnish account-opening disclosures required by § 1026.6 before the first transaction is made under the plan.

1. Disclosure before the first transaction. When disclosures must be furnished “before the first transaction,” account-opening disclosures must be delivered before the consumer becomes obligated on the plan. Examples include:

i. Purchases. The consumer makes the first purchase, such as when a consumer opens a credit plan and makes purchases contemporaneously at a retail store, except when the consumer places a telephone call to make the purchase and opens the plan contemporaneously. (See commentary to § 1026.5(b)(1)(iii) below.)

ii. Advances. The consumer receives the first advance. If the consumer receives a cash advance check at the same time the account-opening disclosures are provided, disclosures are still timely if the consumer can, after receiving the disclosures, return the cash advance check to the creditor without obligation (for example, without paying finance charges).

2. Reactivation of suspended account. If an account is temporarily suspended (for example, because the consumer has exceeded a credit limit, or because a credit card is reported lost or stolen) and then is reactivated, no new account-opening disclosures are required.

3. Reopening closed account. If an account has been closed (for example, due to inactivity, cancellation, or expiration) and then is reopened, new account-opening disclosures are required. No new account-opening disclosures are required, however, when the account is closed merely to assign it a new number (for example, when a credit card is reported lost or stolen) and the “new” account then continues on the same terms.

4. Converting closed-end to open-end credit. If a closed-end credit transaction is converted to an open-end credit account under a written agreement with the consumer, account-opening disclosures under § 1026.6 must be given before the consumer becomes obligated on the open-end credit plan. (See the commentary to § 1026.17 on converting open-end credit to closed-end credit.)

5. Balance transfers. A creditor that solicits the transfer by a consumer of outstanding balances from an existing account to a new open-end plan must furnish the disclosures required by § 1026.6 so that the consumer has an opportunity, after receiving the disclosures, to contact the creditor before the balance is transferred and decline the transfer. For example, assume a consumer responds to a card issuer's solicitation for a credit card account subject to § 1026.60 that offers a range of balance transfer annual percentage rates, based on the consumer's creditworthiness. If the creditor opens an account for the consumer, the creditor would comply with the timing rules of this section by providing the consumer with the annual percentage rate (along with the fees and other required disclosures) that would apply to the balance transfer in time for the consumer to contact the creditor and withdraw the request. A creditor that permits consumers to withdraw the request by telephone has met this timing standard if the creditor does not effect the balance transfer until 10 days after the creditor has sent account-opening disclosures to the consumer, assuming the consumer has not contacted the creditor to withdraw the request. Card issuers that are subject to the requirements of § 1026.60 may establish procedures that comply with both §§ 1026.60 and 1026.6 in a single disclosure statement.

6. Substitution or replacement of credit card accounts.

i. Generally. When a card issuer substitutes or replaces an existing credit card account with another credit card account, the card issuer must either provide notice of the terms of the new account consistent with § 1026.6(b) or provide notice of the changes in the terms of the existing account consistent with § 1026.9(c)(2). Whether a substitution or replacement results in the opening of a new account or a change in the terms of an existing account for purposes of the disclosure requirements in §§ 1026.6(b) and 1026.9(c)(2) is determined in light of all the relevant facts and circumstances. For additional requirements and limitations related to the substitution or replacement of credit card accounts, see §§ 1026.12(a) and 1026.55(d) and comments 12(a)(1)-1 through -8, 12(a)(2)-1 through -9, 55(b)(3)-3, and 55(d)-1 through -3.

ii. Relevant facts and circumstances. Listed below are facts and circumstances that are relevant to whether a substitution or replacement results in the opening of a new account or a change in the terms of an existing account for purposes of the disclosure requirements in §§ 1026.6(b) and 1026.9(c)(2). When most of the facts and circumstances listed below are present, the substitution or replacement likely constitutes the opening of a new account for which § 1026.6(b) disclosures are appropriate. When few of the facts and circumstances listed below are present, the substitution or replacement likely constitutes a change in the terms of an existing account for which § 1026.9(c)(2) disclosures are appropriate.

A. Whether the card issuer provides the consumer with a new credit card;

B. Whether the card issuer provides the consumer with a new account number;

C. Whether the account provides new features or benefits after the substitution or replacement (such as rewards on purchases);

D. Whether the account can be used to conduct transactions at a greater or lesser number of merchants after the substitution or replacement (such as when a retail card is replaced with a cobranded general purpose credit card that can be used at a wider number of merchants);

E. Whether the card issuer implemented the substitution or replacement on an individualized basis (such as in response to a consumer's request); and

F. Whether the account becomes a different type of open-end plan after the substitution or replacement (such as when a charge card is replaced by a credit card).

iii. Replacement as a result of theft or unauthorized use. Notwithstanding paragraphs i and ii above, a card issuer that replaces a credit card or provides a new account number because the consumer has reported the card stolen or because the account appears to have been used for unauthorized transactions is not required to provide a notice under §§ 1026.6(b) or 1026.9(c)(2) unless the card issuer has changed a term of the account that is subject to §§ 1026.6(b) or 1026.9(c)(2).

See interpretation of 5(b)(1)(i) General Rule in Supplement I

(ii) Charges imposed as part of an open-end (not home-secured) plan. Charges that are imposed as part of an open-end (not home-secured) plan and are not required to be disclosed under § 1026.6(b)(2) may be disclosed after account opening but before the consumer agrees to pay or becomes obligated to pay for the charge, provided they are disclosed at a time and in a manner that a consumer would be likely to notice them. This provision does not apply to charges imposed as part of a home-equity plan subject to the requirements of § 1026.40.

1. Disclosing charges before the fee is imposed. Creditors may disclose charges imposed as part of an open-end (not home-secured) plan orally or in writing at any time before a consumer agrees to pay the fee or becomes obligated for the charge, unless the charge is specified under § 1026.6(b)(2). (Charges imposed as part of an open-end (not home-secured plan) that are not specified under § 1026.6(b)(2) may alternatively be disclosed in electronic form; see the commentary to § 1026.5(a)(1)(ii)(A).) Creditors must provide such disclosures at a time and in a manner that a consumer would be likely to notice them. For example, if a consumer telephones a card issuer to discuss a particular service, a creditor would meet the standard if the creditor clearly and conspicuously discloses the fee associated with the service that is the topic of the telephone call orally to the consumer. Similarly, a creditor providing marketing materials in writing to a consumer about a particular service would meet the standard if the creditor provided a clear and conspicuous written disclosure of the fee for that service in those same materials. A creditor that provides written materials to a consumer about a particular service but provides a fee disclosure for another service not promoted in such materials would not meet the standard. For example, if a creditor provided marketing materials promoting payment by Internet, but included the fee for a replacement card on such materials with no explanation, the creditor would not be disclosing the fee at a time and in a manner that the consumer would be likely to notice the fee.

See interpretation of 5(b)(1)(ii) Charges Imposed as Part of an Open-End (Not Home-Secured) Plan in Supplement I

(iii) Telephone purchases. Disclosures required by § 1026.6 may be provided as soon as reasonably practicable after the first transaction if:

1. Return policies. In order for creditors to provide disclosures in accordance with the timing requirements of this paragraph, consumers must be permitted to return merchandise purchased at the time the plan was established without paying mailing or return-shipment costs. Creditors may impose costs to return subsequent purchases of merchandise under the plan, or to return merchandise purchased by other means such as a credit card issued by another creditor. A reasonable return policy would be of sufficient duration that the consumer is likely to have received the disclosures and had sufficient time to make a decision about the financing plan before his or her right to return the goods expires. Return policies need not provide a right to return goods if the consumer consumes or damages the goods, or for installed appliances or fixtures, provided there is a reasonable repair or replacement policy to cover defective goods or installations. If the consumer chooses to reject the financing plan, creditors comply with the requirements of this paragraph by permitting the consumer to pay for the goods with another reasonable form of payment acceptable to the merchant and keep the goods although the creditor cannot require the consumer to do so.

See interpretation of 5(b)(1)(iii) Telephone Purchases in Supplement I

(A) The first transaction occurs when a consumer contacts a merchant by telephone to purchase goods and at the same time the consumer accepts an offer to finance the purchase by establishing an open-end plan with the merchant or third-party creditor;

(B) The merchant or third-party creditor permits consumers to return any goods financed under the plan and provides consumers with a sufficient time to reject the plan and return the goods free of cost after the merchant or third-party creditor has provided the written disclosures required by § 1026.6; and

(C) The consumer's right to reject the plan and return the goods is disclosed to the consumer as a part of the offer to finance the purchase.

(iv) Membership fees

1. Membership fees. See § 1026.60(b)(2) and related commentary for guidance on fees for issuance or availability of a credit or charge card.

2. Rejecting the plan. If a consumer has paid or promised to pay a membership fee including an application fee excludable from the finance charge under § 1026.4(c)(1) before receiving account-opening disclosures, the consumer may, after receiving the disclosures, reject the plan and not be obligated for the membership fee, application fee, or any other fee or charge. A consumer who has received the disclosures and uses the account, or makes a payment on the account after receiving a billing statement, is deemed not to have rejected the plan.

3. Using the account. A consumer uses an account by obtaining an extension of credit after receiving the account-opening disclosures, such as by making a purchase or obtaining an advance. A consumer does not “use” the account by activating the account. A consumer also does not “use” the account when the creditor assesses fees on the account (such as start-up fees or fees associated with credit insurance or debt cancellation or suspension programs agreed to as a part of the application and before the consumer receives account-opening disclosures). For example, the consumer does not “use” the account when a creditor sends a billing statement with start-up fees, there is no other activity on the account, the consumer does not pay the fees, and the creditor subsequently assesses a late fee or interest on the unpaid fee balances. A consumer also does not “use” the account by paying an application fee excludable from the finance charge under § 1026.4(c)(1) prior to receiving the account-opening disclosures.

4. Home-equity plans. Creditors offering home-equity plans subject to the requirements of § 1026.40 are subject to the requirements of § 1026.40(h) regarding the collection of fees.

See interpretation of 5(b)(1)(iv) Membership Fees in Supplement I

(A) General. In general, a creditor may not collect any fee before account-opening disclosures are provided. A creditor may collect, or obtain the consumer's agreement to pay, membership fees, including application fees excludable from the finance charge under § 1026.4(c)(1), before providing account-opening disclosures if, after receiving the disclosures, the consumer may reject the plan and have no obligation to pay these fees (including application fees) or any other fee or charge. A membership fee for purposes of this paragraph has the same meaning as a fee for the issuance or availability of credit described in § 1026.60(b)(2). If the consumer rejects the plan, the creditor must promptly refund the membership fee if it has been paid, or take other action necessary to ensure the consumer is not obligated to pay that fee or any other fee or charge.

(B) Home-equity plans. Creditors offering home-equity plans subject to the requirements of § 1026.40 are not subject to the requirements of paragraph (b)(1)(iv)(A) of this section.

(v) Application fees. A creditor may collect an application fee excludable from the finance charge under § 1026.4(c)(1) before providing account-opening disclosures. However, if a consumer rejects the plan after receiving account-opening disclosures, the consumer must have no obligation to pay such an application fee, or if the fee was paid, it must be refunded. See § 1026.5(b)(1)(iv)(A).

(2) Periodic statements

(i) Statement required. The creditor shall mail or deliver a periodic statement as required by § 1026.7 for each billing cycle at the end of which an account has a debit or credit balance of more than $1 or on which a finance charge has been imposed. A periodic statement need not be sent for an account if the creditor deems it uncollectible, if delinquency collection proceedings have been instituted, if the creditor has charged off the account in accordance with loan-loss provisions and will not charge any additional fees or interest on the account, or if furnishing the statement would violate Federal law.

1. Periodic statements not required. Periodic statements need not be sent in the following cases:

i. If the creditor adjusts an account balance so that at the end of the cycle the balance is less than $1 - so long as no finance charge has been imposed on the account for that cycle.

ii. If a statement was returned as undeliverable. If a new address is provided, however, within a reasonable time before the creditor must send a statement, the creditor must resume sending statements. Receiving the address at least 20 days before the end of a cycle would be a reasonable amount of time to prepare the statement for that cycle. For example, if an address is received 22 days before the end of the June cycle, the creditor must send the periodic statement for the June cycle. (See § 1026.13(a)(7).)

2. Termination of draw privileges. When a consumer's ability to draw on an open-end account is terminated without being converted to closed-end credit under a written agreement, the creditor must continue to provide periodic statements to those consumers entitled to receive them under § 1026.5(b)(2)(i), for example, when the draw period of an open-end credit plan ends and consumers are paying off outstanding balances according to the account agreement or under the terms of a workout agreement that is not converted to a closed-end transaction. In addition, creditors must continue to follow all of the other open-end credit requirements and procedures in subpart B.

3. Uncollectible accounts. An account is deemed uncollectible for purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(i) when a creditor has ceased collection efforts, either directly or through a third party.

4. Instituting collection proceedings. Creditors institute a delinquency collection proceeding by filing a court action or initiating an adjudicatory process with a third party. Assigning a debt to a debt collector or other third party would not constitute instituting a collection proceeding.

See interpretation of 5(b)(2)(i) Statement Required in Supplement I

(ii) Timing requirements

1. Mailing or delivery of periodic statements. A creditor is not required to determine the specific date on which a periodic statement is mailed or delivered to an individual consumer for purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii). A creditor complies with § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii) if it has adopted reasonable procedures designed to ensure that periodic statements are mailed or delivered to consumers no later than a certain number of days after the closing date of the billing cycle and adds that number of days to the 21-day or 14-day period required by § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii) when determining, as applicable, the payment due date for purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A), the date on which any grace period expires for purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(1), or the date after which the payment will be treated as late for purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(2). For example:

A. If a creditor has adopted reasonable procedures designed to ensure that periodic statements for a credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan or an account under an open-end consumer credit plan that provides a grace period are mailed or delivered to consumers no later than three days after the closing date of the billing cycle, the payment due date for purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A) and the date on which any grace period expires for purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(1) must be no less than 24 days after the closing date of the billing cycle. Similarly, in these circumstances, the limitations in § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A) and (b)(2)(ii)(B)(1) on treating a payment as late and imposing finance charges apply for 24 days after the closing date of the billing cycle.

B. If a creditor has adopted reasonable procedures designed to ensure that periodic statements for an account under an open-end consumer credit plan that does not provide a grace period are mailed or delivered to consumers no later than five days after the closing date of the billing cycle, the date on which a payment must be received in order to avoid being treated as late for purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(2) must be no less than 19 days after the closing date of the billing cycle. Similarly, in these circumstances, the limitation in § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(2) on treating a payment as late for any purpose applies for 19 days after the closing date of the billing cycle.

2. Treating a payment as late for any purpose. Treating a payment as late for any purpose includes increasing the annual percentage rate as a penalty, reporting the consumer as delinquent to a credit reporting agency, assessing a late fee or any other fee, initiating collection activities, or terminating benefits (such as rewards on purchases) based on the consumer's failure to make a payment within a specified amount of time or by a specified date. The prohibitions in § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A)(2) and (b)(2)(B)(2)(ii) on treating a payment as late for any purpose apply only during the 21-day or 14-day period (as applicable) following mailing or delivery of the periodic statement stating the due date for that payment and only if the required minimum periodic payment is received within that period. For example:

i. Assume that, for a credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan, a periodic statement mailed on April 4 states that a required minimum periodic payment of $50 is due on April 25. If the card issuer does not receive any payment on or before April 25, § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A)(2) does not prohibit the card issuer from treating the required minimum periodic payment as late.

ii. Same facts as in paragraph i above. On April 20, the card issuer receives a payment of $30 and no additional payment is received on or before April 25. Section 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A)(2) does not prohibit the card issuer from treating the required minimum periodic payment as late.

iii. Same facts as in paragraph i above. On May 4, the card issuer has not received the $50 required minimum periodic payment that was due on April 25. The periodic statement mailed on May 4 states that a required minimum periodic payment of $150 is due on May 25. Section 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A)(2) does not permit the card issuer to treat the $150 required minimum periodic payment as late until April 26. However, the card issuer may continue to treat the $50 required minimum periodic payment as late during this period.

iv. Assume that, for an account under an open-end consumer credit plan that does not provide a grace period, a periodic statement mailed on September 10 states that a required minimum periodic payment of $100 is due on September 24. If the creditor does not receive any payment on or before September 24, § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(2)(ii) does not prohibit the creditor from treating the required minimum periodic payment as late.

3. Grace periods.

i. Definition of grace period. For purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B), “grace period” means a period within which any credit extended may be repaid without incurring a finance charge due to a periodic interest rate. A deferred interest or similar promotional program under which the consumer is not obligated to pay interest that accrues on a balance if that balance is paid in full prior to the expiration of a specified period of time is not a grace period for purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B). Similarly, a period following the payment due date during which a late payment fee will not be imposed is not a grace period for purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B). See comments 7(b)(11)-1, 7(b)(11)-2, and 54(a)(1)-2.

ii. Applicability of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(1). Section 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(1) applies if an account is eligible for a grace period when the periodic statement is mailed or delivered. Section 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(1) does not require the creditor to provide a grace period or prohibit the creditor from placing limitations and conditions on a grace period to the extent consistent with § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B) and § 1026.54. See comment 54(a)(1)-1. Furthermore, the prohibition in § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(1)(ii) applies only during the 21-day period following mailing or delivery of the periodic statement and applies only when the creditor receives a payment within that 21-day period that satisfies the terms of the grace period.

iii. Example. Assume that the billing cycles for an account begin on the first day of the month and end on the last day of the month and that the payment due date for the account is the twenty-fifth of the month. Assume also that, under the terms of the account, the balance at the end of a billing cycle must be paid in full by the following payment due date in order for the account to remain eligible for the grace period. At the end of the April billing cycle, the balance on the account is $500. The grace period applies to the $500 balance because the balance for the March billing cycle was paid in full on April 25. Accordingly, § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(1)(i) requires the creditor to have reasonable procedures designed to ensure that the periodic statement reflecting the $500 balance is mailed or delivered on or before May 4. Furthermore, § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(1)(ii) requires the creditor to have reasonable procedures designed to ensure that the creditor does not impose finance charges as a result of the loss of the grace period if a $500 payment is received on or before May 25. However, if the creditor receives a payment of $300 on April 25, § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(1)(ii) would not prohibit the creditor from imposing finance charges as a result of the loss of the grace period (to the extent permitted by § 1026.54).

4. Application of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii) to charge card and charged-off accounts.

i. Charge card accounts. For purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A)(1), the payment due date for a credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan is the date the card issuer is required to disclose on the periodic statement pursuant to § 1026.7(b)(11)(i)(A). Because § 1026.7(b)(11)(ii) provides that § 1026.7(b)(11)(i) does not apply to periodic statements provided solely for charge card accounts other than covered separate credit features that are charge card accounts accessible by hybrid prepaid-credit cards as defined in § 1026.61, § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A)(1) also does not apply to the mailing or delivery of periodic statements provided solely for such accounts. However, in these circumstances, § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A)(2) requires the card issuer to have reasonable procedures designed to ensure that a payment is not treated as late for any purpose during the 21-day period following mailing or delivery of the statement. A card issuer that complies with § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A) as discussed above with respect to a charge card account has also complied with § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(2). Section 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(1) does not apply to charge card accounts because, for purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B), a grace period is a period within which any credit extended may be repaid without incurring a finance charge due to a periodic interest rate and, consistent with § 1026.2(a)(15)(iii), charge card accounts do not impose a finance charge based on a periodic rate.

ii. Charged-off accounts. For purposes of § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A)(1), the payment due date for a credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan is the date the card issuer is required to disclose on the periodic statement pursuant to § 1026.7(b)(11)(i)(A). Because § 1026.7(b)(11)(ii) provides that § 1026.7(b)(11)(i) does not apply to periodic statements provided for charged-off accounts where full payment of the entire account balance is due immediately, § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A)(1) also does not apply to the mailing or delivery of periodic statements provided solely for such accounts. Furthermore, although § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A)(2) requires the card issuer to have reasonable procedures designed to ensure that a payment is not treated as late for any purpose during the 21-day period following mailing or delivery of the statement, § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(A)(2) does not prohibit a card issuer from continuing to treat prior payments as late during that period. See comment 5(b)(2)(ii)-2. Similarly, although § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(2) applies to open-end consumer credit accounts in these circumstances, § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(2)(ii) does not prohibit a creditor from continuing treating prior payments as late during the 14-day period following mailing or delivery of a periodic statement. Section 1026.5(b)(2)(ii)(B)(1) does not apply to charged-off accounts where full payment of the entire account balance is due immediately because such accounts do not provide a grace period.

5. Consumer request to pick up periodic statements. When a consumer initiates a request, the creditor may permit, but may not require, the consumer to pick up periodic statements. If the consumer wishes to pick up a statement, the statement must be made available in accordance with § 1026.5(b)(2)(ii).

6. Deferred interest and similar promotional programs. See comment 7(b)-1.iv.

See interpretation of 5(b)(2)(ii) Timing Requirements in Supplement I

(A) Credit card accounts under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan. For credit card accounts under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan, a card issuer must adopt reasonable procedures designed to ensure that:

(1) Periodic statements are mailed or delivered at least 21 days prior to the payment due date disclosed on the statement pursuant to § 1026.7(b)(11)(i)(A); and

(2) The card issuer does not treat as late for any purpose a required minimum periodic payment received by the card issuer within 21 days after mailing or delivery of the periodic statement disclosing the due date for that payment.

(B) Open-end consumer credit plans. For accounts under an open-end consumer credit plan, a creditor must adopt reasonable procedures designed to ensure that:

(1) If a grace period applies to the account:

(i) Periodic statements are mailed or delivered at least 21 days prior to the date on which the grace period expires; and

(ii) The creditor does not impose finance charges as a result of the loss of the grace period if a payment that satisfies the terms of the grace period is received by the creditor within 21 days after mailing or delivery of the periodic statement.

(2) Regardless of whether a grace period applies to the account:

(i) Periodic statements are mailed or delivered at least 14 days prior to the date on which the required minimum periodic payment must be received in order to avoid being treated as late for any purpose; and

(ii) The creditor does not treat as late for any purpose a required minimum periodic payment received by the creditor within 14 days after mailing or delivery of the periodic statement.

(3) For purposes of paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(B) of this section, “grace period” means a period within which any credit extended may be repaid without incurring a finance charge due to a periodic interest rate.

(3) Credit and charge card application and solicitation disclosures. The card issuer shall furnish the disclosures for credit and charge card applications and solicitations in accordance with the timing requirements of § 1026.60.

(4) Home-equity plans. Disclosures for home-equity plans shall be made in accordance with the timing requirements of § 1026.40(b).

(c) Basis of disclosures and use of estimates. Disclosures shall reflect the terms of the legal obligation between the parties. If any information necessary for accurate disclosure is unknown to the creditor, it shall make the disclosure based on the best information reasonably available and shall state clearly that the disclosure is an estimate.

1. Legal obligation. The disclosures should reflect the credit terms to which the parties are legally bound at the time of giving the disclosures.

i. The legal obligation is determined by applicable state or other law.

ii. The fact that a term or contract may later be deemed unenforceable by a court on the basis of equity or other grounds does not, by itself, mean that disclosures based on that term or contract did not reflect the legal obligation.

iii. The legal obligation normally is presumed to be contained in the contract that evidences the agreement. But this may be rebutted if another agreement between the parties legally modifies that contract.

2. Estimates - obtaining information. Disclosures may be estimated when the exact information is unknown at the time disclosures are made. Information is unknown if it is not reasonably available to the creditor at the time disclosures are made. The reasonably available standard requires that the creditor, acting in good faith, exercise due diligence in obtaining information. In using estimates, the creditor is not required to disclose the basis for the estimated figures, but may include such explanations as additional information. The creditor normally may rely on the representations of other parties in obtaining information. For example, the creditor might look to insurance companies for the cost of insurance.

3. Estimates — redisclosure. If the creditor makes estimated disclosures, redisclosure is not required for that consumer, even though more accurate information becomes available before the first transaction. For example, in an open-end plan to be secured by real estate, the creditor may estimate the appraisal fees to be charged; such an estimate might reasonably be based on the prevailing market rates for similar appraisals. If the exact appraisal fee is determinable after the estimate is furnished but before the consumer receives the first advance under the plan, no new disclosure is necessary.

See interpretation of 5(c) Basis of Disclosures and Use of Estimates in Supplement I

(d) Multiple creditors; multiple consumers. If the credit plan involves more than one creditor, only one set of disclosures shall be given, and the creditors shall agree among themselves which creditor must comply with the requirements that this part imposes on any or all of them. If there is more than one consumer, the disclosures may be made to any consumer who is primarily liable on the account. If the right of rescission under § 1026.15 is applicable, however, the disclosures required by §§ 1026.6 and 1026.15(b) shall be made to each consumer having the right to rescind.

1. Multiple creditors. Under § 1026.5(d):

i. Creditors must choose which of them will make the disclosures.

ii. A single, complete set of disclosures must be provided, rather than partial disclosures from several creditors.

iii. All disclosures for the open-end credit plan must be given, even if the disclosing creditor would not otherwise have been obligated to make a particular disclosure.

2. Multiple consumers. Disclosures may be made to either obligor on a joint account. Disclosure responsibilities are not satisfied by giving disclosures to only a surety or guarantor for a principal obligor or to an authorized user. In rescindable transactions, however, separate disclosures must be given to each consumer who has the right to rescind under § 1026.15.

3. Card issuer and person extending credit not the same person. Section 127(c)(4)(D) of the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1637(c)(4)(D)) contains rules pertaining to charge card issuers with plans that allow access to an open-end credit plan that is maintained by a person other than the charge card issuer. These rules are not implemented in Regulation Z (although they were formerly implemented in § 1026.60(f)). However, the statutory provisions remain in effect and may be used by charge card issuers with plans meeting the specified criteria.

See interpretation of 5(d) Multiple Creditors; Multiple Consumers in Supplement I

(e) Effect of subsequent events. If a disclosure becomes inaccurate because of an event that occurs after the creditor mails or delivers the disclosures, the resulting inaccuracy is not a violation of this part, although new disclosures may be required under § 1026.9(c).

1. Events causing inaccuracies. Inaccuracies in disclosures are not violations if attributable to events occurring after disclosures are made. For example, when the consumer fails to fulfill a prior commitment to keep the collateral insured and the creditor then provides the coverage and charges the consumer for it, such a change does not make the original disclosures inaccurate. The creditor may, however, be required to provide a new disclosure(s) under § 1026.9(c).

2. Use of inserts. When changes in a creditor's plan affect required disclosures, the creditor may use inserts with outdated disclosure forms. Any insert:

i. Should clearly refer to the disclosure provision it replaces.

ii. Need not be physically attached or affixed to the basic disclosure statement.

iii. May be used only until the supply of outdated forms is exhausted.

See interpretation of 5(e) Effect of Subsequent Events in Supplement I