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8000 - Miscellaneous Statutes and Regulations


SUBCHAPTER G—PREEMPTION OF STATE LENDING RESTRICTIONS

PART 590—PREEMPTION OF STATE USURY LAWS

Sec.

INTERPRETATIONS

AUTHORITY:  12 U.S.C.1735f-7a

SOURCE:  The provisions of this Part 590 appear at 54 Fed. Reg. 49715, November 30, 1989, except as otherwise noted.

§ 590.1  Authority, purpose, and scope.

(a)  Authority.  This part contains regulations issued under section 501 of the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980, Pub. L. No. 96-221, 94 Stat. 161.

(b)  Purpose and scope.  The purpose of this permanent preemption of state interest-rate ceilings applicable to federally-related residential mortgage loans is to ensure that the availability of such loans is not impeded in states having restrictive interest limitations. This part applies to loans, mortgages, credit sales, and advances, secured by first liens on residential real property, stock in residential cooperative housing corporations, or residential manufactured homes as defined in § 590.2 of this part.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 590.1]

§ 590.2  Definitions.

For the purposes of this part, the following definitions apply:

(a)  Loans means any loans, mortgages, credit sales, or advances.

(b)  Federally-related loans include any loan:

(1)  Made by any lender whose deposits or accounts are insured by any agency of the Federal government;

(2)  Made by any lender regulated by any agency of the Federal government;

(3)  Made by any lender approved by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for participation in any mortgage insurance program under the National Housing Act;

(4)  Made in whole or in part by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; insured, guaranteed, supplemented, or assisted in any way by the Secretary or any officer or agency of the Federal government, or made under or in connection with a housing or urban development program administered by the Secretary, or a housing or related program administered by any other such officer or agency;

(5)  Eligible for purchase by the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Government National Mortgage Association, or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or made by any financial institution from which the loan could be purchased by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation; or

(6)  Made in whole or in part by any entity which:

(i)  Regularly extends, or arranges for the extension of, credit payable by agreement in more than four installments or for which the payment of a finance charge is or may be required; and

(ii)  Makes or invests in residential real property loans, including loans secured by first liens on residential manufactured homes that aggregate more then $1,000,000 per year; except that the latter requirement shall not apply to such an entity selling residential manufactured homes and providing financing for such sales through loans or credit sales secured by first liens on residential manufactured homes, if the entity has an arrangement to sell such loans or credit sales in whole or in part, or where such loans or credit sales are sold in whole or in part, to a lender or other institution otherwise included in this section.

(c)  Loans which are secured by first liens on real estate means loans on the security of any instrument (whether a mortgage, deed of trust, or land contract) which makes the interest in real estate (whether in fee, or in a leasehold or subleasehold extending, or renewable, automatically or at the option of the holder or the lender, for a period of at least 5 years beyond the maturity of the loan) specific security for the payment of the obligation secured by the instrument; Provided That the instrument is of such a nature that, in the event of default, the real estate described in the instrument could be subjected to the satisfaction of the obligation with the same priority as a first mortgage of a first deed of trust in the jurisdiction where the real estate is located.

(d)  Loans secured by first liens on stock in a residential cooperative housing corporation means loans on the security of: (1) a first security interest in stock or a membership certificate issued to a tenant stockholder or resident member by a cooperative housing organization; and (2) an assignment of the borrower's interest in the proprietary lease or occupancy agreement issued by such organization.

(e)  Loans secured by first liens on residential manufactured homes means a loan made pursuant to an agreement by which the party extending the credit acquires a security interest in the residential manufactured home which will have priority over any conflicting security interest.

(f)  Residential real property means real estate improved or to be improved by a structure or structures designed primarily for dwelling, as opposed to commercial, use.

(g)  Residential manufactured home shall mean a manufactured home as defined in the National Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards Act, 42 U.S.C. 5402(6), which is or will be used as a residence.

(h)  State means the several states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands except as provided in § 501(a)(2)(B) of the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980, Pub. L. No. 96-221, 94 Stat. 161.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 590.2]

§ 590.3  Operation.

(a)  The provisions of the constitution or law of any state expressly limiting the rate or amount of interest, discount points, finance charges, or other charges which may be charged, taken, received, or reserved shall not apply to any federally-related loan:

(1)  Made after March 31, 1980; and

(2)  Secured by a first lien on:

(i)  Residential real property;

(ii)  Stock in a residential cooperative housing corporation when the loan is used to finance the acquisition of such stock; or

(iii)  A residential manufactured home: Provided that the loan so secured contains the consumer safeguards required by § 590.4 of this part;

(b)  The provisions of paragraph (a) shall apply to loans made in any state on or before the date (after April 1, 1980 and prior to April 1, 1983) on which the state adopts a law or certifies that the voters of such state have voted in favor of any law, constitutional or otherwise, which states explicitly and by its terms that such state does not want the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section to apply with respect to loans made in such state, except that--

(1)  The provisions of paragraph (a) of this section shall apply to any loan which is made after such date pursuant to a commitment therefor which was entered into during the period beginning on April 1, 1980, and ending on the date the state takes such action;

(2)  The provisions of paragraph (a) of this section shall apply to any rollover of a loan which loan was made, or committed to be made, during the period beginning on April 1, 1980, and ending on the date the state takes such action, if the mortgage document or loan note provided that the interest rate to the original borrower could be changed through the use of such a rollover; and

(3)  At any time after the date of adoption of these regulations, any state may adopt a provision of law placing limitations on discount points or such other charges on any loan described in this part.

(c)  Nothing in this section preempts limitations in state laws on prepayment charges, attorneys' fees, late charges or other provisions designed to protect borrowers.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 590.3]

[Section 590.3 amended at 66 Fed. Reg. 65822, December 21, 2001]

§ 590.4  Federally-related residential manufactured housing loans--consumer protection provisions.

(a)  Definitions.  As used in this section:

(1)  Prepayment.  A "prepayment" occurs upon--

(i)  Refinancing or consolidation of the indebtedness;

(ii)  Actual prepayment of the indebtedness by the debtor, whether voluntarily or following acceleration of the payment obligation by the creditor; or

(iii)  the entry of a judgment for the indebtedness in favor of the creditor.

(2)  Actuarial method.--The term "actuarial method" means the method of allocating payments made on a debt between the outstanding balance of the obligation and the finance charge pursuant to which a payment is applied first to the accumulated finance charge and any remainder is subtracted from, or any deficiency is added to, the outstanding balance of the obligation.

(3)  Precomputed Finance Charge.  The term "precomputed finance charge" means interest or a time/price differential as computed by the add-on or discount method. Precomputed finance charges do not include loan fees, points, finder's fees, or similar charges.

(4)  Creditor.  The term creditor means any entity covered by this part, including those which regularly extend or arrange for the extension of credit and assignees that are creditors under § 501(a)(1)(C)(v) of the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980.

(b)  General.  (1) The provisions of the constitution or the laws of any state expressly limiting the rate or amount of interest, discount points, finance charges, or other charges which may be charged, taken, received, or reserved shall not apply to any loan, mortgage, credit sale, or advance which is secured by a first lien on a residential mobile home if a creditor covered by this part complies with the consumer protection regulations of this section.

(2)  Relation to State Law.  (i) In making loans or credit sales subject to this section, creditors shall comply with State and Federal law in accordance with the following:

(A)  State law regulating matters not covered by this section.  When state law regulating matters not covered by this section is otherwise applicable to a loan or credit sale subject to this section, creditors shall comply with such State law provisions.

(B)  State law regulating matters covered by this section.  Creditors need comply only with the provisions of this section, unless the Board determines that an otherwise applicable state law regulating matters covered by this section provides greater protection to consumers. Such determinations shall be published in the FEDERAL REGISTER and shall operate prospectively.

(ii)  Any interested party may petition the Office for a determination that State law requirements are more protective of consumers than the provisions of this section. Petitions shall be sent to: Secretary to the Office of Thrift Supervision, 1700 G Street, NW., Washington, D.C. 20552, and shall include:

(A)  A copy of the state law to be considered;

(B)  Copies of any relevant judicial, regulatory, or administrative interpretations of the state law; and

(C)  An opinion or memorandum from the State Attorney General or other appropriate state official having primary enforcement responsibilities for the subject state law provision, indicating how the State law to be considered offers greater protection to consumers than the Board's regulation.

(c)  Refund of precomputed finance charge.  In the event the entire indebtedness is prepaid, the unearned portion of the precomputed finance charge shall be refunded to the debtor. This refund shall be in an amount not less than the amount which would be refunded if the unearned precomputed finance charge were calculated in accordance with the actuarial method, except that the debtor shall not be entitled to a refund which, is less than one dollar. The unearned portion of the precomputed finance charge is, at the option of the creditor, either:

(1)  that portion of the precomputed finance charge which is allocable to all unexpired payment periods as originally scheduled, or if deferred, as deferred. A payment period shall be deemed unexpired if prepayment is made within 15 days after the payment period's scheduled due date. The unearned precomputed finance charge is the total of that which would have been earned for each such period had the loan not been precomputed, by applying to unpaid balances of principal, according to the actuarial method, an annual percentage rate based on those charges which are considered precomputed finance charges in this section, assuming that all payments were made as originally scheduled, or as deferred, if deferred. The creditor, at its option, may round this annual percentage rate to the nearest one-quarter of one percent; or

(2)  the total precomputed finance charge less the earned precomputed finance charge. The earned precomputed finance charge shall be determined by applying an annual percentage rate based on the total precomputed finance charge (as that term is defined in this section), under the actuarial method, to the unpaid balances for the actual time those balances were unpaid up to the date of prepayment. If a late charge or deferral fee has been collected, it shall be treated as a payment.

(d)  Prepayment penalties.  A debtor may prepay in full or in part the unpaid balance of the loan at any time without penalty. The right to prepay shall be disclosed in the loan contract in type larger than that used for the body of the document.

(e)  Balloon payments.--(1) Federal savings associations.  Federal association creditors may enter into agreements with debtors which provide for nonamortized and partially amortized loans on residential manufactured homes, and such loans shall be governed by the provisions of this section and § 560.220 of this chapter.

(2)  Other creditors.  All other creditors may enter into agreements with debtors which provide for non-amortized and partially amortized loans on residential manufactured homes to the extent authorized by applicable Federal or state law or regulation.

(f)  Late charges.  (1) No late charge may be assessed, imposed, or collected unless provided for by written contract between the creditor and debtor.

(2)  To the extent that applicable state law does not provide for a longer period of time, no late charge may be collected on an installment which is paid in full on or before the 15th day after its scheduled or deferred due date even though an earlier maturing installment or a late charge on an earlier installment may not have been paid in full. For purposes of assessing late charges, payments received are deemed to be applied first to current installments.

(3)  A late charge may be imposed only once on an installment; however, no such charge may be collected for a late installment which has been deferred.

(4)  To the extent that applicable state law does not provide for a lower charge or longer grace period, a late charge on any installment not paid in full on or before the 15th day after its scheduled or deferred due date may not exceed five percent of the unpaid amount of the installment.

(5)  If, at any time after imposition of a late charge, the lender provides the borrower with written notice regarding amounts claimed to be due but unpaid, the notice shall separately state the total of all late charges claimed.

(6)  Interest after the final scheduled maturity date may not exceed the maximum rate otherwise allowable under State law for such contracts, and if such interest is charged, no separate late charge may be made on the final scheduled installment.

(g)  Deferral fees.  (1) With respect to mobile home credit transactions containing precomputed finance charges, agreements providing for deferral of all or part of one or more installments shall be in writing, signed by the parties, and

(i)  Provide, to the extent that applicable state law does not provide for a lower charge, for a charge not exceeding one percent of each installment or part thereof for each month from the date when such installment was due to the date when it is agreed to become payable and proportionately for a part of each month, counting each day as 1/30th of a month;

(ii)  Incorporate by reference the transaction to which the deferral applied;

(iii)  Disclose each installment or part thereof in the amount to be deferred, the date or dates originally payable, and the date or dates agreed to become payable; and

(iv)  Set forth the fact of the deferral charge, the dollar amount of the charge for each installment to be deferred, and the total dollar amount to be paid by the debtor for the privilege of deferring payment.

(2)  No term of a writing executed by the debtor shall constitute authority for a creditor unilaterally to grant a deferral with respect to which a charge is to be imposed or collected.

(3)  The deferral period is that period of time in which no payment is required or made by reason of the deferral.

(4)  Payments received with respect to deferred installments shall be deemed to be applied first to deferred installments.

(5)  A charge may not be collected for the deferral of an installment or any part thereof if, with respect to that installment, a refinancing or consolidation agreement is concluded by the parties, or a late charge has been imposed or collected, unless such late charge is refunded to the borrower or credited to the deferral charge.

(h)  Notice before repossession, foreclosure, or acceleration.  (1) Except in the case of abandonment or other extreme circumstances, no action to repossess or foreclose, or to accelerate payment of the entire outstanding balance of the obligation, may be taken against the debtor until 30 days after the creditor sends the debtor a notice of default in the form set forth in paragraph (h)(2) of this section. Such notice shall be sent by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested. In the case of default on payments, the sum stated in the notice may only include payments in default and applicable late or deferral charges. If the debtor cures the default within 30 days of the postmark of the notice and subsequently defaults a second time, the creditor shall again give notice as described in this paragraph (h)(1). The debtor is not entitled to notice of default more than twice in any one-year period.

(2)  The notice in the following form shall state the nature of the default, the action the debtor must take to cure the default, the creditor's intended actions upon failure of the debtor to cure the default, and the debtor's right to redeem under state law.

To:

Date:        , 19

NOTICE OF DEFAULT AND RIGHT TO CURE DEFAULT

Name, address, and telephone number of creditor

Account number, if any

Brief identification of credit transaction

You are now in default on this credit transaction. You have a right to correct this default within 30 days from the postmarked date of this notice.

If you correct the default, you may continue with the contract as though you did not default. Your default consists of:

DESCRIBE DEFAULT ALLEGED

Cure of default:  Within 30 days from the postmarked date of this notice, you may cure your default by (describe the acts necessary for cure, including, if applicable, the amount of payment required, including itemized delinquency or deferral charges).

Creditor's rights:  If you do not correct your default in the time allowed, we may exercise our rights against you under the law by (describe action creditor intends to take).

If you have any questions, write (the creditor) at the above address or call (creditor's designated employee) at (telephone number)between the hours of      and      on (state days of week).

If this default was caused by your failure to make a payment or payments, and you want to pay by mail, please send a check or money order; do not send cash.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 590.4]

[Section 590.4 amended at 61, May 13, 1983; 61 Fed. Reg. 50984, September 30, 1996, effective October 30, 1996; 67 Fed. Reg. 60554, September 26, 2002]

§ 590.100 Status of interpretations issued under Public Law 96-161.

The Board continues to adhere to the views expressed in the formal interpretations issued under the authority of section 105(c) of Pub. L. 96-161, 93 Stat. 1233 (1979). These interpretations, which relate to the temporary preemption of state interest ceilings contained in Pub. L. 96-161, may be found at 45 FR 2840 (Jan. 15, 1980); 45 FR 6165 (Jan. 25, 1980); 45 FR 8000 (Feb. 6, 1980); 45 FR 15921 (Mar. 12, 1980).

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 590.100]

§ 590.101 State criminal usury statutes.

(a)  Section 501 provides that "the provisions of the constitution or laws of any state expressly limiting the rate or amount of interest, discount points, finance charges, or other charges shall not apply to any" federally-related loan secured by a first lien on residential real property, a residential manufactured home, or all the stock allocated to a dwelling unit in a residential housing cooperative, 12 U.S.C. 1735f-7 note (Supp. IV 1980). The question has arisen as to whether the federal statute preempts a state law which deems it a criminal offense to charge interest at a rate in excess of that specified in the state law.

(b)  In the Office's view, section 501 preempts all state laws which expressly limit the rate or amount of interest chargeable on a federally-related residential first mortgage. It does not matter whether the statute in question imposes criminal or civil sanctions; section 501, by its terms, preempts "any" state law which imposes a ceiling on interest rates. The wording of the federal statute clearly expresses an intent to displace all direct state law restraints on interest. Any state law that conflicts with this Congressional purpose must yield.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 590.101]


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