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RULE §91.403Debt Cancellation Products; Federal Parity; Adoption by Reference

(a) Authority. Provided it complies with this section, the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1601), and the applicable provisions of Regulation Z (12 C.F.R. Part 226), a credit union may offer any debt cancellation product, including a debt cancellation contract (DCC) and a debt suspension agreement (DSA), a federal credit union is permitted to offer. For the purposes of this section, a debt cancellation product is a two-party agreement between the credit union and the member under which the credit union agrees to waive, suspend, defer, or cancel all or part of a member's obligation to pay an indebtedness under a lease, loan, or other extension of credit upon the occurrence of a specified event. Debt cancellation products are considered loan products governed by this section and applicable provisions of the Finance Code, not insurance products and, consequently, are not regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance. The credit union may offer debt cancellation products for a fee pursuant to the authority set forth in Finance Code §123.003, relating to enlargement of powers and parity and the authority federal credit unions have to offer such products; the fee also is authorized by Finance Code §124.101, relating to borrower payment of loan expenses. If the debt cancellation product is offered for a fee, the member's participation in the debt cancellation program must be optional, and the member must be informed of the fee and that participation is optional.

(b) Anti-tying and Refund Rules. For any debt cancellation product offered by a credit union:

  (1) The credit union may not extend credit nor alter the terms or conditions of an extension of credit conditioned upon the member entering into a debt cancellation product with the credit union; and

  (2) If the debt cancellation product provides for a refund of unearned fees, the unearned fees must be calculated using a method that produces a result at least as favorable to the member as the actuarial method. Before the member purchases the debt cancellation product, the credit union must state in writing that the purchase of the debt cancellation product is optional, the conditions for and method of calculating any refund of the debt cancellation fee, including when fees are considered earned by the credit union, and that the member should carefully review all of the terms and conditions of the debt cancellation agreement prior to signing the agreement.

(c) Notice to Department. A credit union must notify the commissioner in writing of its intent to offer any type of debt cancellation product at least 30 days prior to the product being offered to members. The notice must contain a statement describing the type(s) of debt cancellation product(s) that the credit union will offer to its membership.

(d) Risk Management and Controls. Before offering any debt cancellation products, each credit union's board of directors, shall adopt written policies that establish and maintain effective risk management and control processes for these products. Such processes include appropriate recognition and financial reporting of income, expenses, assets and liabilities, and appropriate treatment of all expected and unexpected losses associated with the products. A credit union should also assess the adequacy of its internal control and risk mitigation activities in view of the nature and scope of its debt cancellation program. In addition, the policies shall establish reasonable fees, if any, that will be charged, the appropriate disclosures that will be given, and the claims processing procedures that will be utilized.

(e) For purposes of this section "actuarial method" means the method of allocating payments made on a debt between the amount financed 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 unpaid balance of the amount financed.

(f) Best Practices. The Commission seeks to preserve and promote parity with regard to federal credit unions, foreign credit unions, and other depository institutions, as referenced in Finance Code §§15.402(b) - (1) and 123.003. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has provided as guidance for federal credit unions the standards set forth in the rules of the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), related to DCCs and DSAs. The Commission, therefore, adopts by reference the guidance issued by NCUA in May 2003 (Letter No. 03-FCU-06). Credit unions should also look to OCC's rules, codified at 12 C.F.R. Part 37, for guidance as to best practices in the industry regarding the offer and sale of DCCs and DSAs. A copy of the NCUA letter and of the OCC rules may be obtained on the Department website at: www.cud.texas.gov.

Source Note: The provisions of this §91.403 adopted to be effective May 13, 1999, 24 TexReg 3473; amended to be effective June 8, 2003, 28 TexReg 4411; amended to be effective March 6, 2005, 30 TexReg 1064; amended to be effective March 14, 2010, 35 TexReg 1979; amended to be effective November 5, 2018, 43 TexReg 7342

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