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Comment for 1005.11 Procedures for Resolving Errors

11(a) Definition of Error

1. Terminal location. With regard to deposits at an ATM, a consumer's request for the terminal location or other information triggers the error resolution procedures, but the financial institution need only provide the ATM location if it has captured that information.

2. Verifying an account debit or credit. If the consumer contacts the financial institution to ascertain whether a payment (for example, in a home-banking or bill-payment program) or any other type of EFT was debited to the account, or whether a deposit made via ATM, preauthorized transfer, or any other type of EFT was credited to the account, without asserting an error, the error resolution procedures do not apply.

3. Loss or theft of access device. A financial institution is required to comply with the error resolution procedures when a consumer reports the loss or theft of an access device if the consumer also alleges possible unauthorized use as a consequence of the loss or theft.

4. Error asserted after account closed. The financial institution must comply with the error resolution procedures when a consumer properly asserts an error, even if the account has been closed.

5. Request for documentation or information. A request for documentation or other information must be treated as an error unless it is clear that the consumer is requesting a duplicate copy for tax or other record-keeping purposes.

6. Terminal receipts for transfers of $15 or less. The fact that an institution does not make a terminal receipt available for a transfer of $15 or less in accordance with § 1005.9(e) is not an error for purposes of § 1005.11(a)(1)(vi) or (vii).

11(b) Notice of Error From Consumer

11(b)(1) Timing; Contents

1. Content of error notice. The notice of error is effective even if it does not contain the consumer's account number, so long as the financial institution is able to identify the account in question. For example, the consumer could provide a Social Security number or other unique means of identification.

2. Investigation pending receipt of information. While a financial institution may request a written, signed statement from the consumer relating to a notice of error, it may not delay initiating or completing an investigation pending receipt of the statement.

3. Statement held for consumer. When a consumer has arranged for periodic statements to be held until picked up, the statement for a particular cycle is deemed to have been transmitted on the date the financial institution first makes the statement available to the consumer.

4. Failure to provide statement. When a financial institution fails to provide the consumer with a periodic statement, a request for a copy is governed by this section if the consumer gives notice within 60 days from the date on which the statement should have been transmitted.

5. Discovery of error by institution. The error resolution procedures of this section apply when a notice of error is received from the consumer, and not when the financial institution itself discovers and corrects an error.

6. Notice at particular phone number or address. A financial institution may require the consumer to give notice only at the telephone number or address disclosed by the institution, provided the institution maintains reasonable procedures to refer the consumer to the specified telephone number or address if the consumer attempts to give notice to the institution in a different manner.

7. Effect of late notice. An institution is not required to comply with the requirements of this section for any notice of error from the consumer that is received by the institution later than 60 days from the date on which the periodic statement first reflecting the error is sent. Where the consumer's assertion of error involves an unauthorized EFT, however, the institution must comply with § 1005.6 before it may impose any liability on the consumer.

11(b)(2) Written Confirmation

1. Written confirmation-of-error notice. If the consumer sends a written confirmation of error to the wrong address, the financial institution must process the confirmation through normal procedures. But the institution need not provisionally credit the consumer's account if the written confirmation is delayed beyond 10 business days in getting to the right place because it was sent to the wrong address.

11(c) Time Limits and Extent of Investigation

1. Notice to consumer. Unless otherwise indicated in this section, the financial institution may provide the required notices to the consumer either orally or in writing.

2. Written confirmation of oral notice. A financial institution must begin its investigation promptly upon receipt of an oral notice. It may not delay until it has received a written confirmation.

3. Charges for error resolution. If a billing error occurred, whether as alleged or in a different amount or manner, the financial institution may not impose a charge related to any aspect of the error-resolution process (including charges for documentation or investigation). Since the Act grants the consumer error-resolution rights, the institution should avoid any chilling effect on the good-faith assertion of errors that might result if charges are assessed when no billing error has occurred.

4. Correction without investigation. A financial institution may make, without investigation, a final correction to a consumer's account in the amount or manner alleged by the consumer to be in error, but must comply with all other applicable requirements of § 1005.11.

5. Correction notice. A financial institution may include the notice of correction on a periodic statement that is mailed or delivered within the 10-business-day or 45-calendar-day time limits and that clearly identifies the correction to the consumer's account. The institution must determine whether such a mailing will be prompt enough to satisfy the requirements of this section, taking into account the specific facts involved.

6. Correction of an error. If the financial institution determines an error occurred, within either the 10-day or 45-day period, it must correct the error (subject to the liability provisions of §§ 1005.6(a) and (b)) including, where applicable, the crediting of interest and the refunding of any fees imposed by the institution. In a combined credit/EFT transaction, for example, the institution must refund any finance charges incurred as a result of the error. The institution need not refund fees that would have been imposed whether or not the error occurred.

7. Extent of required investigation. A financial institution complies with its duty to investigate, correct, and report its determination regarding an error described in § 1005.11(a)(1)(vii) by transmitting the requested information, clarification, or documentation within the time limits set forth in § 1005.11(c). If the institution has provisionally credited the consumer's account in accordance with § 1005.11(c)(2), it may debit the amount upon transmitting the requested information, clarification, or documentation.

Paragraph 11(c)(2)(i)

1. Compliance with all requirements. Financial institutions exempted from provisionally crediting a consumer's account under §§ 1005.11(c)(2)(i)(A) and (B) must still comply with all other requirements of § 1005.11.

11(c)(3) Extension of Time Periods

1. POS debit card transactions. The extended deadlines for investigating errors resulting from POS debit card transactions apply to all debit card transactions, including those for cash only, at merchants' POS terminals, and also including mail and telephone orders. The deadlines do not apply to transactions at an ATM, however, even though the ATM may be in a merchant location.

11(c)(4) Investigation

1. Third parties. When information or documentation requested by the consumer is in the possession of a third party with whom the financial institution does not have an agreement, the institution satisfies the error resolution requirement by so advising the consumer within the specified time period.

2. Scope of investigation. When an alleged error involves a payment to a third party under the financial institution's telephone bill-payment plan, a review of the institution's own records is sufficient, assuming no agreement exists between the institution and the third party concerning the bill-payment service.

3. POS transfers. When a consumer alleges an error involving a transfer to a merchant via a POS terminal, the institution must verify the information previously transmitted when executing the transfer. For example, the financial institution may request a copy of the sales receipt to verify that the amount of the transfer correctly corresponds to the amount of the consumer's purchase.

4. Agreement. An agreement that a third party will honor an access device is an agreement for purposes of this paragraph. A financial institution does not have an agreement for purposes of § 1005.11(c)(4)(ii) solely because it participates in transactions that occur under the Federal recurring payments programs, or that are cleared through an ACH or similar arrangement for the clearing and settlement of fund transfers generally, or because the institution agrees to be bound by the rules of such an arrangement.

5. No EFT agreement. When there is no agreement between the institution and the third party for the type of EFT involved, the financial institution must review any relevant information within the institution's own records for the particular account to resolve the consumer's claim. The extent of the investigation required may vary depending on the facts and circumstances. However, a financial institution may not limit its investigation solely to the payment instructions where additional information within its own records pertaining to the particular account in question could help to resolve a consumer's claim. Information that may be reviewed as part of an investigation might include:

i. The ACH transaction records for the transfer;

ii. The transaction history of the particular account for a reasonable period of time immediately preceding the allegation of error;

iii. Whether the check number of the transaction in question is notably out-of-sequence;

iv. The location of either the transaction or the payee in question relative to the consumer's place of residence and habitual transaction area;

v. Information relative to the account in question within the control of the institution's third-party service providers if the financial institution reasonably believes that it may have records or other information that could be dispositive; or

vi. Any other information appropriate to resolve the claim.

11(d) Procedures if Financial Institution Determines No Error or Different Error Occurred

1. Error different from that alleged. When a financial institution determines that an error occurred in a manner or amount different from that described by the consumer, it must comply with the requirements of both §§ 1005.11(c) and (d), as relevant. The institution may give the notice of correction and the explanation separately or in a combined form.

11(d)(1) Written Explanation

1. Request for documentation. When a consumer requests copies of documents, the financial institution must provide the copies in an understandable form. If an institution relied on magnetic tape, it must convert the applicable data into readable form, for example, by printing it and explaining any codes.

11(d)(2) Debiting Provisional Credit

1. Alternative procedure for debiting of credited funds. The financial institution may comply with the requirements of this section by notifying the consumer that the consumer's account will be debited five business days from the transmittal of the notification, specifying the calendar date on which the debiting will occur.

2. Fees for overdrafts. The financial institution may not impose fees for items it is required to honor under § 1005.11. It may, however, impose any normal transaction or item fee that is unrelated to an overdraft resulting from the debiting. If the account is still overdrawn after five business days, the institution may impose the fees or finance charges to which it is entitled, if any, under an overdraft credit plan.

11(e) Reassertion of Error

1. Withdrawal of error; right to reassert. The financial institution has no further error resolution responsibilities if the consumer voluntarily withdraws the notice alleging an error. A consumer who has withdrawn an allegation of error has the right to reassert the allegation unless the financial institution had already complied with all of the error resolution requirements before the allegation was withdrawn. The consumer must do so, however, within the original 60-day period.