Regulatory Developments

In recent blog entries we have discussed the role being played by Elizabeth Warren in standing up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, including efforts to identify a Director for the newly-formed Bureau.  Those efforts have continued recently as Ms. Warren has been meeting with various State Attorneys General about the Bureau. Businessweek reported last week that Ms. Warren has met with attorneys general Tom Miller of Iowa, Lisa Madigan of Illinois, Roy Cooper of North Carolina and Martha Coakley of Massachusetts. While the article states that the implication is that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Director position with these individuals, the article also notes that the White House has stated it is not close to announcing a nominee.


Continue Reading Search for CFPB Director Continues

This is an update to an earlier post regarding the Federal Reserve Board’s final rules implementing the gift card provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (“CARD Act”). On July 27, 2010, H.R. 5502 was signed into law, extending the effective date of disclosure requirements under the CARD Act from August 22, 2010 to January 31, 2011, for qualifying gift cards produced prior to April 1, 2010. You may recall that the rules restrict fees and expiration dates on various types of gift certificates and cards, and require sellers and issuers to make specific disclosures.

Gift Certificates, Store Gift Cards, and General-Use Prepaid Cards

Generally, the rules restrict fees, expiration dates, and impose certain disclosure requirements for (A) gift certificates, (B) store gift cards, and (C) general-use prepaid cards, as these terms (collectively, “gift cards”) are defined in the CARD Act.

Definitions

(A) Gift Certificates – are defined in the CARD Act as a card, code, or other device that is: (i) redeemable at a single merchant or an affiliated group of merchants that share the same name, mark, or logo; (ii) issued in a specified amount that may not be increased or reloaded; (iii) purchased on a prepaid basis in exchange for payment; and (iv) honored upon presentation by such single merchant or affiliated group of merchants for goods or services.

(B) Store Gift Cards – these types of cards are commonly known as “closed-loop cards”, and are essentially the same as Gift Certificates, but are reloadable or may be increased in value. The CARD Act specifically defines these cards as electronic promises, plastic cards, or other payment codes or devices that are: (i) redeemable at a single merchant or an affiliated group of merchants that share the same name, mark, or logo; (ii) issued in a specified amount, whether or not that amount may be increased in value or reloaded at the request of the holder; (iii) purchased on a prepaid basis in exchange for payment; and (iv) honored upon presentation by such single merchant or affiliated group of merchants for goods or services.

(C) General-Use Prepaid Cards – commonly referred to as “open-loop cards”, are defined in the CARD Act as cards or other payment codes or devices issued by any person that are: (i) redeemable at multiple, unaffiliated merchants or service providers, or automated teller machines; (ii) issued in a requested amount, whether or not that amount may, at the option of the issuer, be increased in value or reloaded if requested by the holder; (iii) purchased or loaded on a prepaid basis; and (iv) honored, upon presentation, by merchants for goods or services or at automated teller machines.


Continue Reading UPDATE: New Gift Card Rules To Take Effect on August 22, 2010 and Disclosure Requirements Will Now Take Effect on January 31, 2011

Recent posts on this blog have discussed questions as to the continued viability of arbitration clauses that require consumer agreements to contain an arbitration clause and a waiver of the customer’s right to bring a class action. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court is to decide in the upcoming term whether agreements barring class-wide arbitration

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Recently, the Federal Reserve Board announced the final rules that amend Regulation E to implement the gift card provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (“CARD Act”). The rules restrict fees and expiration dates on various types of gift certificates and cards, and require sellers and issuers to make specific disclosures. These

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