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Comprehensive List of Laws Governing Lenders and Creditors in Relation to Consumers

Lenders and creditors must adhere to a variety of laws designed to protect consumers' rights, ensure fair practices, and maintain transparency in financial transactions. Here’s a complete list of key laws:

1. Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

  • Purpose: To ensure the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer information contained in the files of credit reporting agencies.

  • Key Provisions: Consumers have the right to access their credit reports, dispute inaccurate information, and have erroneous data corrected.

2. Truth in Lending Act (TILA)

  • Purpose: To promote the informed use of consumer credit by requiring disclosures about its terms and cost.

  • Key Provisions: Lenders must provide clear and conspicuous disclosure of key terms of the credit arrangement and all costs.

3. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

  • Purpose: To eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts.

  • Key Provisions: Debt collectors must not use deceptive, unfair, or abusive practices and must provide validation of the debt upon request.

4. Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

  • Purpose: To prevent discrimination in credit transactions.

  • Key Provisions: Creditors cannot discriminate against applicants based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or because they receive public assistance.

5. Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA)

  • Purpose: To protect consumers from unfair billing practices and to provide a mechanism for addressing billing errors.

  • Key Provisions: Consumers can dispute billing errors on their credit card accounts and withhold payment on damaged goods or services purchased with a credit card.

6. Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA)

  • Purpose: To protect consumers in electronic fund transfers.

  • Key Provisions: Establishes the rights, liabilities, and responsibilities of parties in electronic fund transfers and protects consumers when they use such systems.

7. Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

  • Purpose: To protect consumers' personal financial information held by financial institutions.

  • Key Provisions: Financial institutions must explain their information-sharing practices to their customers and safeguard sensitive data.

8. Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)

  • Purpose: To provide protections for military members as they enter active duty.

  • Key Provisions: Limits the interest rate on pre-service debts and protects servicemembers from certain legal actions during active duty.

9. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

  • Purpose: To promote financial stability and protect consumers from abusive financial services practices.

  • Key Provisions: Created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which enforces consumer protection laws.

10. Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA)

  • Purpose: To ensure that credit repair organizations provide accurate information about their services and avoid deceptive practices.

  • Key Provisions: Prohibits misleading and deceptive practices by credit repair organizations.

11. Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)

  • Purpose: To protect consumers during the home buying process.

  • Key Provisions: Requires disclosures about the real estate settlement process and prohibits kickbacks and referral fees that unnecessarily increase the cost of certain settlement services.

12. Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)

  • Purpose: To provide the public with information that will help show whether financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their communities.

  • Key Provisions: Requires financial institutions to maintain and annually disclose data about home purchases, home purchase pre-approvals, home improvement, and refinance applications.

13. Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA)

  • Purpose: To address abusive practices in refinances and closed-end home equity loans with high interest rates or high fees.

  • Key Provisions: Provides additional protections for high-cost mortgages, including restrictions on loan terms and additional disclosure requirements.

14. Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)

  • Purpose: To encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

  • Key Provisions: Financial institutions are periodically evaluated on their performance in meeting the credit needs of their entire community.

15. Military Lending Act (MLA)

  • Purpose: To protect active-duty military members and their families from predatory lending practices.

  • Key Provisions: Caps the interest rates on loans to military members and provides other financial protections.

These laws collectively ensure that lenders and creditors conduct business in a fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory manner, while providing various rights and protections to consumers.

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