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02-027
Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
Bureau of Consumer Credit Regulation

2001-2002 Regulatory Agenda

UMBRELLA-UNIT NUMBER: 02-030
AGENCY NAME: Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Office of Consumer Credit Regulation

CONTACT PERSON: William N. Lund, Director, 35 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0035. Tel: (207) 624-8527.

EMERGENCY RULES ADOPTED SINCE THE LAST REGULATORY AGENDA: None

EXPECTED 2001-2002 RULE-MAKING ACTIVITY:

CHAPTER 110 (or new joint rule with the Bureau of Financial Institutions): Bureau Organization, Administration and Procedure
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 6-104(4)(A); 6-104(1)(E)
PURPOSE: This rule sets forth the basic organizational and procedural structure of the agency. Due to changes in the statutory framework of the agency and the sharing of jurisdiction with the Bureau of Financial Institutions, this rule will be revised to reflect those changes.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Consumers, non-bank lenders, general creditors and other regulated entities.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 120 (or new joint rule with the Bureau of Financial Institutions): Multiple of the Federal Minimum Wage
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 5-105(2)(C); 6-104
PURPOSE: Engage in joint rulemaking, as appropriate, with the Bureau of Financial Institutions to promulgate a rule that establishes the method by which an employee's wages may be garnished when the employee is paid other than weekly pursuant to the limitations of the Maine Consumer Credit Code. In addition, the dollar amounts may be updated to more closely reflect the current minimum wage.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Consumers, non-bank lenders, general creditors, and other regulated entities.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 140 (or new joint rule with the Bureau of Financial Institutions): Limited Coverage on Property Related to Credit Transactions
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 4-301(4); 6-104
PURPOSE: Engage in joint rulemaking, as appropriate, with the Bureau of Financial Institutions to promulgate a rule which prohibits dual coverage of insurance on items related to credit transactions. The rule may also be amended to facilitate the offering of various insurance products.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Consumers, non-bank lenders, general creditors, and other regulated entities.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 150 (or new joint rule with the Bureau of Financial Institutions): Authorization of Rate Tables to Determine Unearned Finance Charge
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 2-510(3)
PURPOSE: The Director is authorized to promulgate rate tables to assist creditors in determining appropriate refunds if consumers pay off precomputed credit contracts prior to the scheduled termination date. The agency may amend the regulation to make it applicable to a wider range of cases in which consumers make large partial prepayments in precomputed credit transactions.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Consumers, non-bank lenders, general creditors, and other regulated entities.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 180 (or new joint rule with the Bureau of Financial Institutions): Definition of Official Fees
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 6-104(1); 1-301(25)
PURPOSE: This rule defines what will be considered "official fees," excludable from the finance charge in the Maine consumer credit transactions. The office, together with the Bureau of Financial Institutions, may review this regulation to determine whether it should be updated, or even repealed in deference to existing state and federal Truth-in-Lending laws.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Consumers, non-bank lenders, general creditors, and other regulated entities.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 190 (or new joint rule with the Bureau of Financial Institutions): Enforcement Policy Guidelines
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 8-108(3)
PURPOSE: The rule sets forth the procedures to be followed when violations of the Maine Consumer Credit Code or related laws are established following an examination, or in response to consumer complaints. As the Office of Consumer Credit Regulation and the Bureau of Financial Institutions utilize this rule and weigh the costs to creditors of compliance against the benefits derived by consumers, the agencies may amend the rule to make certain that penalties do not outweigh benefits. In addition, the state agencies follow general guidelines and tolerances promulgated and established by various federal regulatory agencies, and as those federal standards change the State must be prepared to conform to the new standards.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Consumers, non-bank lenders, general creditors, and other regulated entities.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 200 (or new joint rule with the Bureau of Financial Institutions): Rule on Refinancing Multiple Transactions
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 6-104(1)(E)
PURPOSE: Engage in joint rulemaking, as appropriate, with the Bureau of Financial Institutions to promulgate a rule that defines "refinancing" and "consolidation" as those terms are used in the Maine Consumer Credit Code and establishes a formula to be used in refinancing multiple transactions. The rule may even be repealed, due to changes in the underlying Consumer Credit Code provision (9-A M.R.S.A. 2-504).
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Consumers, non-bank lenders, general creditors, and other regulated entities.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 220 (or new joint rule with the Bureau of Financial Institutions): Change in Dollar Amounts
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 1-106(4)
PURPOSE: Engage in joint rulemaking, as appropriate, with the Bureau of Financial Institutions to repeal the rule that adjusts certain dollar limitations in the Maine Consumer Credit Code to keep pace with the consumer price index, based on the fact that in 1998 the Legislature adopted non-adjustable dollar amounts in the Consumer Credit Code.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Consumers, non-bank lenders, general creditors, and other regulated entities.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 240 (or new joint rule with the Bureau of Financial Institutions): Truth in Lending, Regulation Z-2
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 6-104, 8-104, 8-108
PURPOSE: Agency Rule 240 incorporates federal Regulation Z, "Truth-in-Lending," into state law. The terms of the State's exemption from the federal regulation require that the State retain the flexibility to amend its regulation to match changes on the federal level. This regulation determines how the true cost of credit and lending is disclosed to Maine consumers. It also incorporates Regulation M, Truth-in-Leasing. Although recently updated, the rule is always subject to further amendment to reflect changes in parallel federal regulations.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Consumers, non-bank lenders, general creditors, and other regulated entities.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 245 (or new joint rule with the Bureau of Financial Institutions): Student Loan Disclosures
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 8-104(1); Title 10 M.R.S.A. 363(8)(A)
PURPOSE: This joint rule established disclosure and procedural requirements regarding the terms and conditions for student loan products offered by lenders and issuers and funded by an allocation of the state's bond ceiling. It may be amended as needed.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002 if necessary.
AFFECTED PARTIES: All lenders and issuers of student loan products that are funded under an allocation of the state's bond ceiling, and consumers borrowing under those programs.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 250 (or new joint rule with the Bureau of Financial Institutions): Alternative Mortgage Transactions
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 9-302
PURPOSE: Alternative mortgage transactions include adjustable rate and partially-amortizing mortgage loans. Rule 250 applies consumer protections to the offering of these loans. Many innovative products being offered in other parts of the country are not allowed under the current restrictions of Rule 250. A revised rule was recently issued jointly with the Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions. Both agencies remain prepared to reexamine the role in light of innovative new products which may be offered over the coming year.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Consumers, non-bank lenders, general creditors, and other regulated entities.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 300: Collection Agencies - Application and Record Keeping Requirements
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 32 M.R.S.A. 11034
PURPOSE: This rule sets forth requirements for those individuals and companies which wish to collect debts or repossess vehicles in Maine. The agency is constantly striving to find ways to clarify this rule, to ease regulatory burdens, while maintaining appropriate consumer protection.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Applicants for licensure to collect debts or repossess collateral.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 350: Credit Services Organization
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 10-305
PURPOSE: Chapter 350 clarifies Article X of the Maine Consumer Credit Code, which regulates the activities of the Credit Services Organizations. These are innovative and mobile businesses, and the agency may propose amendments to the rule to address problems which may be encountered.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Loan brokers, and credit clinics, and their customers.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER 400: Sale of Insurance Products by Financial Institutions and Supervised Lenders.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 4-407 (enacted 1997)
PURPOSE: This regulation, issued jointly by the Office of Consumer Credit Regulation, the Bureau of Financial Institutions and the Bureau of Insurance, addresses issues regarding sales of insurance products by financial institutions. If its implementation reveals areas of needed change, amendments may be proposed.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Reviewed prior to December, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Insurers, financial institutions, supervised lenders, and consumers.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER - : Money Order Issuers/Money Transmitters/Check Cashers/Foreign Currency Exchangers
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 32 M.R.S.A. 6125; 6144
PURPOSE: The Legislature authorized appropriate, routine rulemaking to implement the 1997 statutory provisions relative to those financial companies.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Regulated companies; consumers.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER - : Non-Bank Cash-Dispensing Machines
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 32 M.R.S.A. 6159
PURPOSE: A new chapter may be promulgated to implement the 1999 Public Law, Chapter 229, "An Act to Protect Customers of Nonbank Cash-dispensing Machines."
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: October, 2002
AFFECTED PARTIES: Consumers; owners and operators of non-bank ATM's.
CONSENSUS-BASED RULEMAKING: The agency does not plan to employ consensus-based rule development in formulating its planned rule changes.

CHAPTER : New Rule
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 9-A M.R.S.A. 2-501
PURPOSE: Engage in joint rulemaking, as appropriate, with the Bureau of Financial Institutions to promulgate a rule addressing permissible charges for benefits conferred upon the consumer.
ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE: Prior to October, 2002.
AFFECTED PARTIES: Maine credit consumers, financial institutions, non-bank lenders, and general creditors.


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