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Circular Letters

Circular Letter 5613

December 19, 2003

To: All Member Banks and Others Concerned in the Third Federal Reserve District

Attention: Chief Executive Officer and Chief Compliance Officer

Subject: EFFECTIVE DATES FOR THE FAIR AND ACCURATE CREDIT TRANSACTION ACT OF 2003 - JOINT INTERIM FINAL RULES

Summary:

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has requested comment on interim final rules and proposed rules to establish effective dates for certain provisions of the Fair and Accurate Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act), including provisions that preempt state laws that regulate areas governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These regulations are being issued jointly with the Federal Trade Commission.

The recently enacted FACT Act amends the FCRA and requires the Board and the FTC, within 60 days of enactment, to adopt final rules establishing the effective dates for provisions of the FACT Act that do not have a statutorily prescribed effective date. The agencies are jointly adopting interim final rules that establish December 31, 2003 as the effective date for the preemption provisions of the FACT Act as well as provisions authorizing the agencies to adopt rules or take other actions to implement the FACT Act.

The current preemption provisions of the FCRA expire on January 1, 2004. Adopting these rules as interim final rules without advance public comment or delay is intended to avoid delays that could undermine the purpose of these provisions and cause confusion about the applicability of some state laws in areas that the Congress has determined should be governed by uniform national standards. Adopting these rules will also have the effect of preserving the current state of the law while comment is received.

The Board and the FTC also are jointly proposing rules establishing a schedule of effective dates for other provisions of the FACT Act that do not contain effective dates. The joint proposed rules would establish March 31, 2004 as the effective date for provisions of the FACT Act that do not require significant changes to business procedures. With respect to other provisions that likely entail significant changes to business procedures, the joint proposed rules would make these provisions effective on December 1, 2004, to allow industry a reasonable time to establish systems to comply with the statute.

The Federal Register notice is available here PDF Icon (187 KB, 8 pages).

Date: Comments on the joint interim final rules and/or proposed rules are due by January 12, 2004.

For Further Information: Thomas E. Scanlon, Counsel, Legal Division, (202) 452-3594; David A. Stein, Counsel, Minh-Duc T. Le, Ky Tran-Trong, Senior Attorneys, Krista P. DeLargy, Attorney, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, (202) 452-3667 or (202) 452-2412; for users of Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (“TDD”) only, contact (202) 263-4869.