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§ 1026.59 Reevaluation of rate increases.

(a) General rule

(1) Evaluation of increased rate. If a card issuer increases an annual percentage rate that applies to a credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan, based on the credit risk of the consumer, market conditions, or other factors, or increased such a rate on or after January 1, 2009, and 45 days' advance notice of the rate increase is required pursuant to § 1026.9(c)(2) or (g), the card issuer must:

1. Types of rate increases covered. Section 1026.59(a) applies both to increases in annual percentage rates imposed on a consumer's account based on that consumer's credit risk or other circumstances specific to that consumer and to increases in annual percentage rates imposed based on factors that are not specific to the consumer, such as changes in market conditions or the issuer's cost of funds.

2. Rate increases actually imposed. Under § 1026.59(a), a card issuer must review changes in factors only if the increased rate is actually imposed on the consumer's account. For example, if a card issuer increases the penalty rate for a credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan and the consumer's account has no balances that are currently subject to the penalty rate, the card issuer is required to provide a notice pursuant to § 1026.9(c) of the change in terms, but the requirements of § 1026.59 do not apply. However, if the consumer's account later becomes subject to the penalty rate, the card issuer is required to provide a notice pursuant to § 1026.9(g) and the requirements of § 1026.59 begin to apply upon imposition of the penalty rate. Similarly, if a card issuer raises the cash advance rate applicable to a consumer's account but the consumer engages in no cash advance transactions to which that increased rate is applied, the card issuer is required to provide a notice pursuant to § 1026.9(c) of the change in terms, but the requirements of § 1026.59 do not apply. If the consumer subsequently engages in a cash advance transaction, the requirements of § 1026.59 begin to apply at that time.

3. Change in type of rate.

i. Generally. A change from a variable rate to a non-variable rate or from a non-variable rate to a variable rate is not a rate increase for purposes of § 1026.59, if the rate in effect immediately prior to the change in type of rate is equal to or greater than the rate in effect immediately after the change. For example, a change from a variable rate of 15.99% to a non-variable rate of 15.99% is not a rate increase for purposes of § 1026.59 at the time of the change. See § 1026.55 for limitations on the permissibility of changing from a non-variable rate to a variable rate.

ii. Change from non-variable rate to variable rate. A change from a non-variable to a variable rate constitutes a rate increase for purposes of § 1026.59 if the variable rate exceeds the non-variable rate that would have applied if the change in type of rate had not occurred. For example, assume a new credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan is opened on January 1 of year 1 and that a non-variable annual percentage rate of 12% applies to all transactions on the account. On January 1 of year 2, upon 45 days' advance notice pursuant to § 1026.9(c)(2), the rate on all new transactions is changed to a variable rate that is currently 12% and is determined by adding a margin of 10 percentage points to a publicly-available index not under the card issuer's control. The change from the 12% non-variable rate to the 12% variable rate on January 1 of year 2 is not a rate increase for purposes of § 1026.59(a). On April 1 of year 2, the value of the variable rate increases to 12.5%. The increase in the rate from 12% to 12.5% is a rate increase for purposes of § 1026.59, and the card issuer must begin periodically conducting reviews of the account pursuant to § 1026.59. The increase that must be evaluated for purposes of § 1026.59 is the increase from a non-variable rate of 12% to a variable rate of 12.5%.

iii. Change from variable rate to non-variable rate. A change from a variable to a non-variable rate constitutes a rate increase for purposes of § 1026.59 if the non-variable rate exceeds the variable rate that would have applied if the change in type of rate had not occurred. For example, assume a new credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan is opened on January 1 of year 1 and that a variable annual percentage rate that is currently 15% and is determined by adding a margin of 10 percentage points to a publicly-available index not under the card issuer's control applies to all transactions on the account. On January 1 of year 2, upon 45 days' advance notice pursuant to § 1026.9(c)(2), the rate on all existing balances and new transactions is changed to a non-variable rate that is currently 15%. The change from the 15% variable rate to the 15% non-variable rate on January 1 of year 2 is not a rate increase for purposes of § 1026.59(a). On April 1 of year 2, the value of the variable rate that would have applied to the account decreases to 12.5%. Accordingly, on April 1 of year 2, the non-variable rate of 15% exceeds the 12.5% variable rate that would have applied but for the change in type of rate. At this time, the change to the non-variable rate of 15% constitutes a rate increase for purposes of § 1026.59, and the card issuer must begin periodically conducting reviews of the account pursuant to § 1026.59. The increase that must be evaluated for purposes of § 1026.59 is the increase from a variable rate of 12.5% to a non-variable rate of 15%.

4. Rate increases prior to effective date of rule. For increases in annual percentage rates made on or after January 1, 2009, and prior to August 22, 2010, § 1026.59(a) requires the card issuer to review the factors described in § 1026.59(d) and reduce the rate, as appropriate, if the rate increase is of a type for which 45 days' advance notice would currently be required under § 1026.9(c)(2) or (g). For example, 45 days' notice is not required under § 1026.9(c)(2) if the rate increase results from the increase in the index by which a properly-disclosed variable rate is determined in accordance with § 1026.9(c)(2)(v)(C) or if the increase occurs upon expiration of a specified period of time and disclosures complying with § 1026.9(c)(2)(v)(B) have been provided. The requirements of § 1026.59 do not apply to such rate increases.

5. Amount of rate decrease.

i. General. Even in circumstances where a rate reduction is required, § 1026.59 does not require that a card issuer decrease the rate that applies to a credit card account to the rate that was in effect prior to the rate increase subject to § 1026.59(a). The amount of the rate decrease that is required must be determined based upon the card issuer's reasonable policies and procedures under § 1026.59(b) for consideration of factors described in § 1026.59(a) and (d). For example, assume a consumer's rate on new purchases is increased from a variable rate of 15.99% to a variable rate of 23.99% based on the consumer's making a required minimum periodic payment five days late. The consumer makes all of the payments required on the account on time for the six months following the rate increase. Assume that the card issuer evaluates the account by reviewing the factors on which the increase in an annual percentage rate was originally based, in accordance with § 1026.59(d)(1)(i). The card issuer is not required to decrease the consumer's rate to the 15.99% that applied prior to the rate increase. However, the card issuer's policies and procedures for performing the review required by § 1026.59(a) must be reasonable, as required by § 1026.59(b), and must take into account any reduction in the consumer's credit risk based upon the consumer's timely payments.

ii. Change in type of rate. If the rate increase subject to § 1026.59 involves a change from a variable rate to a non-variable rate or from a non-variable rate to a variable rate, § 1026.59 does not require that the issuer reinstate the same type of rate that applied prior to the change. However, the amount of any rate decrease that is required must be determined based upon the card issuer's reasonable policies and procedures under § 1026.59(b) for consideration of factors described in § 1026.59(a) and (d).

See interpretation of 59(a)(1) Evaluation of Increased Rate in Supplement I

(i) Evaluate the factors described in paragraph (d) of this section; and

(ii) Based on its review of such factors, reduce the annual percentage rate applicable to the consumer's account, as appropriate.

(2) Rate reductions

(i) Timing. If a card issuer is required to reduce the rate applicable to an account pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the card issuer must reduce the rate not later than 45 days after completion of the evaluation described in paragraph (a)(1).

(ii) Applicability of rate reduction. Any reduction in an annual percentage rate required pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall apply to:

1. Applicability of reduced rate to new transactions. Section 1026.59(a)(2)(ii) requires, in part, that any reduction in rate required pursuant to § 1026.59(a)(1) must apply to new transactions that occur after the effective date of the rate reduction, if those transactions would otherwise have been subject to the increased rate described in § 1026.59(a)(1). A credit card account may have multiple types of balances, for example, purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers, to which different rates apply. For example, assume a new credit card account opened on January 1 of year one has a rate applicable to purchases of 15% and a rate applicable to cash advances and balance transfers of 20%. Effective March 1 of year two, consistent with the limitations in § 1026.55 and upon giving notice required by § 1026.9(c)(2), the card issuer raises the rate applicable to new purchases to 18% based on market conditions. The only transaction in which the consumer engages in year two is a $1,000 purchase made on July 1. The rate for cash advances and balance transfers remains at 20%. Based on a subsequent review required by § 1026.59(a)(1), the card issuer determines that the rate on purchases must be reduced to 16%. Section 1026.59(a)(2)(ii) requires that the 16% rate be applied to the $1,000 purchase made on July 1 and to all new purchases. The rate for new cash advances and balance transfers may remain at 20%, because there was no rate increase applicable to those types of transactions and, therefore, the requirements of § 1026.59(a) do not apply.

See interpretation of 59(a)(2)(ii) Applicability of Rate Reduction in Supplement I

(A) Any outstanding balances to which the increased rate described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section has been applied; and

(B) New transactions that occur after the effective date of the rate reduction that would otherwise have been subject to the increased rate.

(b) Policies and procedures. A card issuer must have reasonable written policies and procedures in place to conduct the review described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Timing. A card issuer that is subject to paragraph (a) of this section must conduct the review described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section not less frequently than once every six months after the rate increase.

1. In general. The issuer may review all of its accounts subject to § 1026.59(a) at the same time once every six months, may review each account once each six months on a rolling basis based on the date on which the rate was increased for that account, or may otherwise review each account not less frequently than once every six months.

2. Example. A card issuer increases the rates applicable to one half of its credit card accounts on June 1, 2011. The card issuer increases the rates applicable to the other half of its credit card accounts on September 1, 2011. The card issuer may review the rate increases for all of its credit card accounts on or before December 1, 2011, and at least every six months thereafter. In the alternative, the card issuer may first review the rate increases for the accounts that were repriced on June 1, 2011 on or before December 1, 2011, and may first review the rate increases for the accounts that were repriced on September 1, 2011 on or before March 1, 2012.

3. Rate increases prior to effective date of rule. For increases in annual percentage rates applicable to a credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan on or after January 1, 2009 and prior to August 22, 2010, § 1026.59(c) requires that the first review for such rate increases be conducted prior to February 22, 2011.

See interpretation of 59(c) Timing in Supplement I

(d) Factors

1. Change in factors. A creditor that complies with § 1026.59(a) by reviewing the factors it currently considers in determining the annual percentage rates applicable to similar new credit card accounts may change those factors from time to time. When a creditor changes the factors it considers in determining the annual percentage rates applicable to similar new credit card accounts from time to time, it may comply with § 1026.59(a) by reviewing the set of factors it considered immediately prior to the change in factors for a brief transition period, or may consider the new factors. For example, a creditor changes the factors it uses to determine the rates applicable to similar new credit card accounts on January 1, 2012. The creditor reviews the rates applicable to its existing accounts that have been subject to a rate increase pursuant to § 1026.59(a) on January 25, 2012. The creditor complies with § 1026.59(a) by reviewing, at its option, either the factors that it considered on December 31, 2011 when determining the rates applicable to similar new credit card accounts or the factors that it considers as of January 25, 2012. For purposes of compliance with § 1026.59(d), a transition period of 60 days from the change of factors constitutes a brief transition period.

2. Comparison of existing account to factors used for similar new accounts. Under § 1026.59(a), if a creditor evaluates an existing account using the same factors that it considers in determining the rates applicable to similar new accounts, the review of factors need not result in existing accounts being subject to exactly the same rates and rate structure as a creditor imposes on similar new accounts. For example, a creditor may offer variable rates on similar new accounts that are computed by adding a margin that depends on various factors to the value of the LIBOR index. The account that the creditor is required to review pursuant to § 1026.59(a) may have variable rates that were determined by adding a different margin, depending on different factors, to a published prime rate. In performing the review required by § 1026.59(a), the creditor may review the factors it uses to determine the rates applicable to similar new accounts. If a rate reduction is required, however, the creditor need not base the variable rate for the existing account on the LIBOR index but may continue to use the published prime rate. Section 1026.59(a) requires, however, that the rate on the existing account after the reduction, as determined by adding the published prime rate and margin, be comparable to the rate, as determined by adding the margin and LIBOR, charged on a new account for which the factors are comparable.

3. Similar new credit card accounts. A card issuer complying with § 1026.59(d)(1)(ii) is required to consider the factors that the card issuer currently considers when determining the annual percentage rates applicable to similar new credit card accounts under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan. For example, a card issuer may review different factors in determining the annual percentage rate that applies to credit card plans for which the consumer pays an annual fee and receives rewards points than it reviews in determining the rates for credit card plans with no annual fee and no rewards points. Similarly, a card issuer may review different factors in determining the annual percentage rate that applies to private label credit cards than it reviews in determining the rates applicable to credit cards that can be used at a wider variety of merchants. In addition, a card issuer may review different factors in determining the annual percentage rate that applies to private label credit cards usable only at Merchant A than it may review for private label credit cards usable only at Merchant B. However, § 1026.59(d)(1)(ii) requires a card issuer to review the factors it considers when determining the rates for new credit card accounts with similar features that are offered for similar purposes.

4. No similar new credit card accounts. In some circumstances, a card issuer that complies with § 1026.59(a) by reviewing the factors that it currently considers in determining the annual percentage rates applicable to similar new accounts may not be able to identify a class of new accounts that are similar to the existing accounts on which a rate increase has been imposed. For example, consumers may have existing credit card accounts under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan but the card issuer may no longer offer a product to new consumers with similar characteristics, such as the availability of rewards, size of credit line, or other features. Similarly, some consumers' accounts may have been closed and therefore cannot be used for new transactions, while all new accounts can be used for new transactions. In those circumstances, § 1026.59 requires that the card issuer nonetheless perform a review of the rate increase on the existing customers' accounts. A card issuer does not comply with § 1026.59 by maintaining an increased rate without performing such an evaluation. In such circumstances, § 1026.59(d)(1)(ii) requires that the card issuer compare the existing accounts to the most closely comparable new accounts that it offers.

5. Consideration of consumer's conduct on existing account. A card issuer that complies with § 1026.59(a) by reviewing the factors that it currently considers in determining the annual percentage rates applicable to similar new accounts may consider the consumer's payment or other account behavior on the existing account only to the same extent and in the same manner that the issuer considers such information when one of its current cardholders applies for a new account with the card issuer. For example, a card issuer might obtain consumer reports for all of its applicants. The consumer reports contain certain information regarding the applicant's past performance on existing credit card accounts. However, the card issuer may have additional information about an existing cardholder's payment history or account usage that does not appear in the consumer report and that, accordingly, it would not generally have for all new applicants. For example, a consumer may have made a payment that is five days late on his or her account with the card issuer, but this information does not appear on the consumer report. The card issuer may consider this additional information in performing its review under § 1026.59(a), but only to the extent and in the manner that it considers such information if a current cardholder applies for a new account with the issuer.

6. Multiple rate increases between January 1, 2009 and February 21, 2010.

i. General. Section 1026.59(d)(2) applies if an issuer increased the rate applicable to a credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan between January 1, 2009 and February 21, 2010, and the increase was not based solely upon factors specific to the consumer. In some cases, a credit card account may have been subject to multiple rate increases during the period from January 1, 2009 to February 21, 2010. Some such rate increases may have been based solely upon factors specific to the consumer, while others may have been based on factors not specific to the consumer, such as the issuer's cost of funds or market conditions. In such circumstances, when conducting the first two reviews required under § 1026.59, the card issuer may separately review: (i) Rate increases imposed based on factors not specific to the consumer, using the factors described in § 1026.59(d)(1)(ii) (as required by § 1026.59(d)(2)); and (ii) rate increases imposed based on consumer-specific factors, using the factors described in § 1026.59(d)(1)(i). If the review of factors described in § 1026.59(d)(1)(i) indicates that it is appropriate to continue to apply a penalty or other increased rate to the account as a result of the consumer's payment history or other factors specific to the consumer, § 1026.59 permits the card issuer to continue to impose the penalty or other increased rate, even if the review of the factors described in § 1026.59(d)(1)(ii) would otherwise require a rate decrease.

ii. Example. Assume a credit card account was subject to a rate of 15% on all transactions as of January 1, 2009. On May 1, 2009, the issuer increased the rate on existing balances and new transactions to 18%, based upon market conditions or other factors not specific to the consumer or the consumer's account. Subsequently, on September 1, 2009, based on a payment that was received five days after the due date, the issuer increased the applicable rate on existing balances and new transactions from 18% to a penalty rate of 25%. When conducting the first review required under § 1026.59, the card issuer reviews the rate increase from 15% to 18% using the factors described in § 1026.59(d)(1)(ii) (as required by § 1026.59(d)(2)), and separately but concurrently reviews the rate increase from 18% to 25% using the factors described in paragraph § 1026.59(d)(1)(i). The review of the rate increase from 15% to 18% based upon the factors described in § 1026.59(d)(1)(ii) indicates that a similarly situated new consumer would receive a rate of 17%. The review of the rate increase from 18% to 25% based upon the factors described in § 1026.59(d)(1)(i) indicates that it is appropriate to continue to apply the 25% penalty rate based upon the consumer's late payment. Section 1026.59 permits the rate on the account to remain at 25%.

See interpretation of 59(d) Factors in Supplement I

(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, a card issuer must review either:

(i) The factors on which the increase in an annual percentage rate was originally based; or

(ii) The factors that the card issuer currently considers when determining the annual percentage rates applicable to similar new credit card accounts under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan.

(2) Rate increases imposed between January 1, 2009 and February 21, 2010. For rate increases imposed between January 1, 2009 and February 21, 2010, an issuer must consider the factors described in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) when conducting the first two reviews required under paragraph (a) of this section, unless the rate increase subject to paragraph (a) of this section was based solely upon factors specific to the consumer, such as a decline in the consumer's credit risk, the consumer's delinquency or default, or a violation of the terms of the account.

(e) Rate increases due to delinquency. If an issuer increases a rate applicable to a consumer's account pursuant to § 1026.55(b)(4) based on the card issuer not receiving the consumer's required minimum periodic payment within 60 days after the due date, the issuer is not required to perform the review described in paragraph (a) of this section prior to the sixth payment due date after the effective date of the increase. However, if the annual percentage rate applicable to the consumer's account is not reduced pursuant to § 1026.55(b)(4)(ii), the card issuer must perform the review described in paragraph (a) of this section. The first such review must occur no later than six months after the sixth payment due following the effective date of the rate increase.

(f) Termination of obligation to review factors. The obligation to review factors described in paragraph (a) and (d) of this section ceases to apply:

1. Revocation of temporary rates.

i. In general. If an annual percentage rate is increased due to revocation of a temporary rate, § 1026.59(a) requires that the card issuer periodically review the increased rate. In contrast, if the rate increase results from the expiration of a temporary rate previously disclosed in accordance with § 1026.9(c)(2)(v)(B), the review requirements in § 1026.59(a) do not apply. If a temporary rate is revoked such that the requirements of § 1026.59(a) apply, § 1026.59(f) permits an issuer to terminate the review of the rate increase if and when the applicable rate is the same as the rate that would have applied if the increase had not occurred.ii. Examples. Assume that on January 1, 2011, a consumer opens a new credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan. The annual percentage rate applicable to purchases is 15%. The card issuer offers the consumer a 10% rate on purchases made between February 1, 2012 and August 1, 2013 and discloses pursuant to § 1026.9(c)(2)(v)(B) that on August 1, 2013 the rate on purchases will revert to the original 15% rate. The consumer makes a payment that is five days late in July 2012.

A. Upon providing 45 days' advance notice and to the extent permitted under § 1026.55, the card issuer increases the rate applicable to new purchases to 15%, effective on September 1, 2012. The card issuer must review that rate increase under § 1026.59(a) at least once each six months during the period from September 1, 2012 to August 1, 2013, unless and until the card issuer reduces the rate to 10%. The card issuer performs reviews of the rate increase on January 1, 2013 and July 1, 2013. Based on those reviews, the rate applicable to purchases remains at 15%. Beginning on August 1, 2013, the card issuer is not required to continue periodically reviewing the rate increase, because if the temporary rate had expired in accordance with its previously disclosed terms, the 15% rate would have applied to purchase balances as of August 1, 2013 even if the rate increase had not occurred on September 1, 2012.

B. Same facts as above except that the review conducted on July 1, 2013 indicates that a reduction to the original temporary rate of 10% is appropriate. Section 1026.59(a)(2)(i) requires that the rate be reduced no later than 45 days after completion of the review, or no later than August 15, 2013. Because the temporary rate would have expired prior to the date on which the rate decrease is required to take effect, the card issuer may, at its option, reduce the rate to 10% for any portion of the period from July 1, 2013, to August 1, 2013, or may continue to impose the 15% rate for that entire period. The card issuer is not required to conduct further reviews of the 15% rate on purchases.

C. Same facts as above except that on September 1, 2012 the card issuer increases the rate applicable to new purchases to the penalty rate on the consumer's account, which is 25%. The card issuer conducts reviews of the increased rate in accordance with § 1026.59 on January 1, 2013 and July 1, 2013. Based on those reviews, the rate applicable to purchases remains at 25%. The card issuer's obligation to review the rate increase continues to apply after August 1, 2013, because the 25% penalty rate exceeds the 15% rate that would have applied if the temporary rate expired in accordance with its previously disclosed terms. The card issuer's obligation to review the rate terminates if and when the annual percentage rate applicable to purchases is reduced to the 15% rate.

2. Example - relationship to § 1026.59(a). Assume that on January 1, 2011, a consumer opens a new credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan. The annual percentage rate applicable to purchases is 15%. Upon providing 45 days' advance notice and to the extent permitted under § 1026.55, the card issuer increases the rate applicable to new purchases to 18%, effective on September 1, 2012. The card issuer conducts reviews of the increased rate in accordance with § 1026.59 on January 1, 2013 and July 1, 2013, based on the factors described in § 1026.59(d)(1)(ii). Based on the January 1, 2013 review, the rate applicable to purchases remains at 18%. In the review conducted on July 1, 2013, the card issuer determines that, based on the relevant factors, the rate it would offer on a comparable new account would be 14%. Consistent with § 1026.59(f), § 1026.59(a) requires that the card issuer reduce the rate on the existing account to the 15% rate that was in effect prior to the September 1, 2012 rate increase.

See interpretation of 59(f) Termination of Obligation to Review Factors in Supplement I

(1) If the issuer reduces the annual percentage rate applicable to a credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan to the rate applicable immediately prior to the increase, or, if the rate applicable immediately prior to the increase was a variable rate, to a variable rate determined by the same formula (index and margin) that was used to calculate the rate applicable immediately prior to the increase; or

(2) If the issuer reduces the annual percentage rate to a rate that is lower than the rate described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

(g) Acquired accounts

(1) General. Except as provided in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, this section applies to credit card accounts that have been acquired by the card issuer from another card issuer. A card issuer that complies with this section by reviewing the factors described in paragraph (d)(1)(i) must review the factors considered by the card issuer from which it acquired the accounts in connection with the rate increase.

1. Relationship to § 1026.59(d)(2) for rate increases imposed between January 1, 2009 and February 21, 2010. Section 1026.59(d)(2) applies to acquired accounts. Accordingly, if a card issuer acquires accounts on which a rate increase was imposed between January 1, 2009 and February 21, 2010 that was not based solely upon consumer-specific factors, that acquiring card issuer must consider the factors that it currently considers when determining the annual percentage rates applicable to similar new credit card accounts, if it conducts either or both of the first two reviews of such accounts that are required after August 22, 2010 under § 1026.59(a).

See interpretation of 59(g)(1) General in Supplement I

(2) Review of acquired portfolio. If, not later than six months after the acquisition of such accounts, a card issuer reviews all of the credit card accounts it acquires in accordance with the factors that it currently considers in determining the rates applicable to its similar new credit card accounts:

1. Example - general. A card issuer acquires a portfolio of accounts that currently are subject to annual percentage rates of 12%, 15%, and 18%. Not later than six months after the acquisition of such accounts, the card issuer reviews all of these accounts in accordance with the factors that it currently uses in determining the rates applicable to similar new credit card accounts. As a result of that review, the card issuer decreases the rate on the accounts that are currently subject to a 12% annual percentage rate to 10%, leaves the rate applicable to the accounts currently subject to a 15% annual percentage rate at 15%, and increases the rate applicable to the accounts currently subject to a rate of 18% to 20%. Section 1026.59(g)(2) requires the card issuer to review, no less frequently than once every six months, the accounts for which the rate has been increased to 20%. The card issuer is not required to review the accounts subject to 10% and 15% rates pursuant to § 1026.59(a), unless and until the card issuer makes a subsequent rate increase applicable to those accounts.

2. Example - penalty rates. A card issuer acquires a portfolio of accounts that currently are subject to standard annual percentage rates of 12% and 15%. In addition, several acquired accounts are subject to a penalty rate of 24%. Not later than six months after the acquisition of such accounts, the card issuer reviews all of these accounts in accordance with the factors that it currently uses in determining the rates applicable to similar new credit card accounts. As a result of that review, the card issuer leaves the standard rates applicable to the accounts at 12% and 15%, respectively. The card issuer decreases the rate applicable to the accounts currently at 24% to its penalty rate of 23%. Section 1026.59(g)(2) requires the card issuer to review, no less frequently than once every six months, the accounts that are subject to a penalty rate of 23%. The card issuer is not required to review the accounts subject to 12% and 15% rates pursuant to § 1026.59(a), unless and until the card issuer makes a subsequent rate increase applicable to those accounts.

See interpretation of 59(g)(2) Review of Acquired Portfolio in Supplement I

(i) Except as provided in paragraph (g)(2)(iii), the card issuer is required to conduct reviews described in paragraph (a) of this section only for rate increases that are imposed as a result of its review under this paragraph. See §§ 1026.9 and 1026.55 for additional requirements regarding rate increases on acquired accounts.

(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (g)(2)(iii) of this section, the card issuer is not required to conduct reviews in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section for any rate increases made prior to the card issuer's acquisition of such accounts.

(iii) If as a result of the card issuer's review, an account is subject to, or continues to be subject to, an increased rate as a penalty, or due to the consumer's delinquency or default, the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section apply.

(h) Exceptions

(1) Servicemembers Civil Relief Act exception. The requirements of this section do not apply to increases in an annual percentage rate that was previously decreased pursuant to 50 U.S.C. app. 527, provided that such a rate increase is made in accordance with § 1026.55(b)(6).

(2) Charged off accounts. The requirements of this section do not apply to accounts that the card issuer has charged off in accordance with loan-loss provisions.