Good Faith Reliance Upon Federal Reserve Board Staff Opinion Letters: The Circuits Converge
Federal Reserve Board, truth in lending, regulation z, credit, banking, disclosure, consumer, credit
The Federal Reserve Board (FRB) is the central, single agency for issuing all regulations on credit disclosures. It administers the Truth in Lending Act pursuant to Title I of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Congress intended the FRB to consolidate all disclosure requirements but the FRB did so in a confusing fashion. It utilizes three different methods of disseminating truth-in-lending information: (1) through the publication of Regulation Z, an administrative code, to prescribe disclosure rules; (2) through interpretations of the rules; and (3) through staff opinion letters. The confusion resulted from disagreements in the applicable law between the three methods. Adding to the confusion, different federal courts recognized the legitimacy of different dissemination methods. This note analyzes the evolution of the problem, the attempted resolution of the problem through a narrow "good faith" immunity amendment, and the various divergent views of the federal courts on the legitimacy of FRB's various information dissemination methods. The note concludes that the new 1976 amendment, validating staff letters as official and legitimate, may have resolved many of the problems and conflicts among the circuits and suggests that if the trend continues, even pamphlets, leaflets, and training sessions may also bind as law in the future.
Michael Thomas Kelly,
Good Faith Reliance Upon Federal Reserve Board Staff Opinion Letters: The Circuits Converge,
5 Fordham Urb. L.J. 303
Available at: https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol5/iss2/5