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RULE §1.201Official Interpretations and Advisory Letters

(a) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, will have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Advisory letter--A letter by the commissioner or an OCCC employee providing an informal advisory response to a question concerning a provision of law. The term does not include:

    (A) an official interpretation;

    (B) an advisory bulletin addressed to a body of stakeholders;

    (C) instructions for submitting required information to the OCCC (e.g., annual report instructions);

    (D) a report or study provided to the Texas Legislature or the Finance Commission of Texas; or

    (E) a letter sent in connection with an examination, investigation, license or registration application, complaint, or enforcement action.

  (2) Agency or OCCC--The Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner of the State of Texas.

  (3) Commissioner--The Consumer Credit Commissioner of the State of Texas.

  (4) Official interpretation--A letter issued by the commissioner and approved by the Finance Commission of Texas under Texas Finance Code, §14.108 interpreting a provision of Texas Finance Code, Title 4, Subtitle A or B in light of relevant facts provided by a requestor.

(b) Required information for official interpretation request. Any person may submit a request for an official interpretation. All requests must be directed to the commissioner and contain the following items:

  (1) Statement requesting official interpretation. The requestor must state explicitly that an official interpretation approved by the Finance Commission of Texas is desired.

  (2) Description of transaction, facts, and legal issues. The requestor must provide a concise description of the contemplated transaction or activity, the legal issue raised, and all facts necessary to reach a conclusion in the matter.

  (3) Pending litigation. The requestor must state whether, to the best of the requestor's knowledge, the issue to be considered is an issue in pending litigation. Matters in litigation will ordinarily not be answered.

  (4) Fee. The agency will charge a $500 fee for an official interpretation to compensate the agency for the expense involved in researching and answering the request. The requestor should submit the payment of $500 with the request. The agency may remit a partial or full refund if deemed appropriate. The agency may waive the fee.

  (5) Additional information. The requestor should identify each provision of law involved, state the requestor's opinion of how the legal issues should be resolved, and state the basis for that opinion, including an analysis of any relevant court decisions or related official interpretations.

(c) Processing an official interpretation request. Within 10 business days of receiving a valid request under subsection (b), the agency will file the request with the Texas Register for publication. Within 31 calendar days of publication in the Texas Register, any person may submit briefs or proposals pertaining to the request.

  (1) Official interpretation not issued. After publication of a valid request for an official interpretation, the agency may decline to issue an official interpretation. A summary of the agency's reasons for deciding not to issue an official interpretation will be published in the Texas Register.

  (2) Approved official interpretation. If the agency drafts an official interpretation, then the agency will present the official interpretation to the Finance Commission of Texas for approval. If the Finance Commission approves the official interpretation, then within 10 business days of the approval, the agency will file a summary of the official interpretation with the Texas Register for publication. Copies of official interpretations will contain a statement of approval and the date of action by the Finance Commission.

(d) OCCC advisory letters. If the OCCC sends an advisory letter concerning a provision of Texas Finance Code, Title 4, Subtitle A or B, then the advisory letter will include the following statement: "This advisory letter is not an official interpretation approved by the Finance Commission of Texas. The requirements for requesting an official interpretation are in Title 7, Section 1.201(b) of the Texas Administrative Code."

Source Note: The provisions of this §1.201 adopted to be effective September 5, 2002, 27 TexReg 8195; amended to be effective January 4, 2007, 31 TexReg 10756; amended to be effective September 6, 2012, 37 TexReg 6907; amended to be effective June 30, 2016, 41 TexReg 4635

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