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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 17, 2014

Title 16Chapter ISubchapter F → Part 680


Title 16: Commercial Practices


PART 680—AFFILIATE MARKETING


Contents
§680.1   Purpose and scope.
§680.2   Examples.
§680.3   Definitions.
§§680.4-680.20   [Reserved]
§680.21   Affiliate marketing opt-out and exceptions.
§680.22   Scope and duration of opt-out.
§680.23   Contents of opt-out notice; consolidated and equivalent notices.
§680.24   Reasonable opportunity to opt out.
§680.25   Reasonable and simple methods of opting out.
§680.26   Delivery of opt-out notices.
§680.27   Renewal of opt-out.
§680.28   Effective date, compliance date, and prospective application.

Authority: Sec. 214(b), Pub. L. 108-159; 15 U.S.C. 1681s-3

Source: 72 FR 61455, Oct. 30, 2007, unless otherwise noted.

§680.1   Purpose and scope.

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this part is to implement section 214 of the Fair and Accu-rate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, which (by adding section 624 to Fair Credit Reporting Act) regulates the use, for marketing solicitation purposes, of consumer information provided by persons affiliated with the person making the solicitation.

(b) Scope. This part applies to any person over which the Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction that uses information from its affiliates for the purpose of marketing solicitations, or provides information to its affiliates for that purpose.

§680.2   Examples.

The examples in this part are not exclusive. Compliance with an example, to the extent applicable, constitutes compliance with this part. Examples in a paragraph illustrate only the issue described in the paragraph and do not illustrate any other issue that may arise in this part.

§680.3   Definitions.

As used in this part:

(a) Act. The term “Act” means the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.).

(b) Affiliate. The term “affiliate” means any company that is related by common ownership or common corporate control with another company.

(c) Clear and conspicuous. The term “clear and conspicuous” means reasonably under-standable and designed to call attention to the nature and significance of the information presented.

(d) Common ownership or common corporate control. The term “common ownership or common corporate control” means a relationship between two companies under which:

(1) One company has, with respect to the other company:

(i) Ownership, control, or the power to vote 25 percent or more of the outstanding shares of any class of voting security of a company, directly or indirectly, or acting through one or more other persons;

(ii) Control in any manner over the election of a majority of the directors, trustees, or general partners (or individuals exercising similar functions) of a company; or

(iii) The power to exercise, directly or indirectly, a controlling influence over the management or policies of a company, as the Commission determines; or

(2) Any person has, with respect to both companies, a relationship described in paragraphs (d)(1)(i) through (d)(1)(iii) of this section.

(e) Company. The term “company” means any corporation, limited liability company, business trust, general or limited partnership, association, or similar organization.

(f) Concise—(1) In general. The term “concise” means a reasonably brief expression or statement.

(2) Combination with other required disclosures. A notice required by this part may be concise even if it is combined with other disclosures required or authorized by federal or state law.

(g) Consumer. The term “consumer” means an individual.

(h) Eligibility information. The term “eligibility information” means any information the communication of which would be a consumer report if the exclusions from the definition of “consumer report” in section 603(d)(2)(A) of the Act did not apply. Eligibility information does not include aggregate or blind data that does not contain personal identifiers such as account numbers, names, or addresses.

(i) Person. The term “person” means any individual, partnership, corporation, trust, estate, cooperative, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or other entity.

(j) Pre-existing business relationship—(1) In general. The term “pre-existing business relationship” means a relationship between a person, or a person's licensed agent, and a consumer based on—

(i) A financial contract between the person and the consumer which is in force on the date on which the consumer is sent a solicitation covered by this part;

(ii) The purchase, rental, or lease by the consumer of the persons' goods or services, or a financial transaction (including holding an active account or a policy in force or having another continuing relationship) between the consumer and the person, during the 18-month period immediately preceding the date on which the consumer is sent a solicitation covered by this part; or

(iii) An inquiry or application by the consumer regarding a product or service offered by that person during the three-month period immediately preceding the date on which the consumer is sent a solicitation covered by this part.

(2) Examples of pre-existing business relationships. (i) If a consumer has an existing loan account with a creditor, the creditor has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer and can use eligibility information it receives from its affiliates to make solicitations to the consumer about its products or services.

(ii) If a consumer obtained a mortgage from a mortgage lender, but refinanced the mortgage loan with a different lender when the mortgage loan came due, the first mortgage lender has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer and can use eligibility information it receives from its affiliates to make solicitations to the consumer about its products or services for 18 months after the date the outstanding balance of the loan is paid and the loan is closed.

(iii) If a consumer obtains a mortgage, the mortgage lender has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer. If the mortgage lender sells the consumer's entire loan to an investor, the mortgage lender has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer and can use eligibility information it receives from its affiliates to make solicitations to the consumer about its products or services for 18 months after the date it sells the loan, and the investor has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer upon purchasing the loan. If, however, the mortgage lender sells a fractional interest in the consumer's loan to an investor but also retains an ownership interest in the loan, the mortgage lender continues to have a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer, but the investor does not have a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer. If the mortgage lender retains ownership of the loan, but sells ownership of the servicing rights to the consumer's loan, the mortgage lender continues to have a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer. The purchaser of the servicing rights also has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer as of the date it purchases ownership of the servicing rights, but only if it collects payments from or otherwise deals directly with the consumer on a continuing basis.

(iv) If a consumer applies to a creditor for a product or service that it offers, but does not obtain a product or service from or enter into a financial contract or transaction with the creditor, the creditor has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer and can therefore use eligibility information it receives from an affiliate to make solicitations to the consumer about its products or services for three months after the date of the application.

(v) If a consumer makes a telephone inquiry to a creditor about its products or services and provides contact information to the creditor, but does not obtain a product or service from or enter into a financial contract or transaction with the creditor, the creditor has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer and can therefore use eligibility information it receives from an affiliate to make solicitations to the consumer about its products or services for three months after the date of the inquiry.

(vi) If a consumer makes an inquiry to a creditor by e-mail about its products or services, but does not obtain a product or service from or enter into a financial contract or transaction with the creditor, the creditor has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer and can therefore use eligibility information it receives from an affiliate to make solicitations to the consumer about its products or services for three months after the date of the inquiry.

(vii) If a consumer has an existing relationship with a creditor that is part of a group of affiliated companies, makes a telephone call to the centralized call center for the group of affiliated companies to inquire about products or services offered by the insurance affiliate, and provides contact information to the call center, the call constitutes an inquiry to the insurance affiliate that offers those products or services. The insurance affiliate has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer and can therefore use eligibility information it receives from its affiliated creditor to make solicitations to the consumer about its products or services for three months after the date of the inquiry.

(3) Examples where no pre-existing business relationship is created. (i) If a consumer makes a telephone call to a centralized call center for a group of affiliated companies to inquire about the consumer's existing account with a creditor, the call does not constitute an inquiry to any affiliate other than the creditor that holds the consumer's account and does not establish a pre-existing business relationship between the consumer and any affiliate of the account-holding creditor.

(ii) If a consumer who has a loan account with a creditor makes a telephone call to an af-filiate of the creditor to ask about the affiliate's retail locations and hours, but does not make an inquiry about the affiliate's products or services, the call does not constitute an inquiry and does not establish a pre-existing business relationship between the consumer and the affiliate. Also, the affiliate's capture of the consumer's telephone number does not constitute an inquiry and does not establish a pre-existing business relationship between the consumer and the affiliate.

(iii) If a consumer makes a telephone call to a creditor in response to an advertisement that offers a free promotional item to consumers who call a toll-free number, but the advertisement does not indicate that creditor's products or services will be marketed to consumers who call in response, the call does not create a pre-existing business relationship between the consumer and the creditor because the consumer has not made an inquiry about a product or service offered by the creditor, but has merely responded to an offer for a free promotional item.

(k) Solicitation—(1) In general. The term “solicitation” means the marketing of a product or service initiated by a person to a particular consumer that is—

(i) Based on eligibility information communicated to that person by its affiliate as described in this part; and

(ii) Intended to encourage the consumer to purchase or obtain such product or service.

(2) Exclusion of marketing directed at the general public. A solicitation does not include marketing communications that are directed at the general public. For example, television, general circulation magazine, and billboard advertisements do not constitute solicitations, even if those communications are intended to encourage consumers to purchase products and services from the person initiating the communications.

(3) Examples of solicitations. A solicitation would include, for example, a telemarketing call, direct mail, e-mail, or other form of marketing communication directed to a particular consumer that is based on eligibility information received from an affiliate.

(l) You means a person described in §680.1(b).

§§680.4-680.20   [Reserved]

§680.21   Affiliate marketing opt-out and exceptions.

(a) Initial notice and opt-out requirement—(1) In general. You may not use eligibility information about a consumer that you receive from an affiliate to make a solicitation for marketing purposes to the consumer, unless—

(i) It is clearly and conspicuously disclosed to the consumer in writing or, if the consumer agrees, electronically, in a concise notice that you may use eligibility information about that consumer received from an affiliate to make solicitations for marketing purposes to the consumer;

(ii) The consumer is provided a reasonable opportunity and a reasonable and simple method to “opt out,” or prohibit you from using eligibility information to make solicitations for marketing purposes to the consumer; and

(iii) The consumer has not opted out.

(2) Example. A consumer has a homeowner's insurance policy with an insurance company. The insurance company furnishes eligibility information about the consumer to its affiliated creditor. Based on that eligibility information, the creditor wants to make a solicitation to the consumer about its home equity loan products. The creditor does not have a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer and none of the other exceptions apply. The creditor is prohibited from using eligibility information received from its insurance affiliate to make solicitations to the consumer about its home equity loan products unless the consumer is given a notice and opportunity to opt out and the consumer does not opt out.

(3) Affiliates who may provide the notice. The notice required by this paragraph (a) must be provided:

(i) By an affiliate that has or has previously had a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer; or

(ii) As part of a joint notice from two or more members of an affiliated group of companies, provided that at least one of the affiliates on the joint notice has or has previously had a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer.

(b) Making solicitations—(1) In general. For purposes of this part, you make a solicitation for marketing purposes if—

(i) You receive eligibility information from an affiliate;

(ii) You use that eligibility information to do one or more of the following:

(A) Identify the consumer or type of consumer to receive a solicitation;

(B) Establish criteria used to select the consumer to receive a solicitation; or

(C) Decide which of your products or services to market to the consumer or tailor your solicitation to that consumer; and

(iii) As a result of your use of the eligibility information, the consumer is provided a solicitation.

(2) Receiving eligibility information from an affiliate, including through a common database. You may receive eligibility information from an affiliate in various ways, including when the affiliate places that information into a common database that you may access.

(3) Receipt or use of eligibility information by your service provider. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(5) of this section, you receive or use an affiliate's eligibility information if a service provider acting on your behalf (whether an affiliate or a nonaffiliated third party) receives or uses that information in the manner described in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) or (b)(1)(ii) of this section. All relevant facts and circumstances will determine whether a person is acting as your service provider when it receives or uses an affiliate's eligibility information in connection with marketing your products and services.

(4) Use by an affiliate of its own eligibility information. Unless you have used eligibility information that you receive from an affiliate in the manner described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, you do not make a solicitation subject to this part if your affiliate:

(i) Uses its own eligibility information that it obtained in connection with a pre-existing business relationship it has or had with the consumer to market your products or services to the consumer; or

(ii) Directs its service provider to use the affiliate's own eligibility information that it obtained in connection with a pre-existing business relationship it has or had with the consumer to market your products or services to the consumer, and you do not communicate directly with the service provider regarding that use.

(5) Use of eligibility information by a service provider—(i) In general. You do not make a solicitation subject to this part if a service provider (including an affiliated or third-party service provider that maintains or accesses a common database that you may access) receives eligibility information from your affiliate that your affiliate obtained in connection with a pre-existing business relationship it has or had with the consumer and uses that eligibility information to market your products or services to the consumer, so long as—

(A) Your affiliate controls access to and use of its eligibility information by the service provider (including the right to establish the specific terms and conditions under which the service provider may use such information to market your products or services);

(B) Your affiliate establishes specific terms and conditions under which the service provider may access and use the affiliate's eligibility information to market your products and services (or those of affiliates generally) to the consumer, such as the identity of the affiliated companies whose products or services may be marketed to the consumer by the service provider, the types of products or services of affiliated companies that may be marketed, and the number of times the consumer may receive marketing materials, and periodically evaluates the service provider's compliance with those terms and conditions;

(C) Your affiliate requires the service provider to implement reasonable policies and procedures designed to ensure that the service provider uses the affiliate's eligibility information in accordance with the terms and conditions established by the affiliate relating to the marketing of your products or services;

(D) Your affiliate is identified on or with the marketing materials provided to the consumer; and

(E) You do not directly use your affiliate's eligibility information in the manner described in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section.

(ii) Writing requirements. (A) The requirements of paragraphs (b)(5)(i)(A) and (C) of this section must be set forth in a written agreement between your affiliate and the service provider; and

(B) The specific terms and conditions established by your affiliate as provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(B) of this section must be set forth in writing.

(6) Examples of making solicitations. (i) A consumer has a loan account with a creditor, which is affiliated with an insurance company. The insurance company receives eligibility information about the consumer from the creditor. The insurance company uses that eligibility information to identify the consumer to receive a solicitation about insurance products, and, as a result, the insurance company provides a solicitation to the consumer about its insurance products. Pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the insurance company has made a solicitation to the consumer.

(ii) The same facts as in the example in paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section, except that after using the eligibility information to identify the consumer to receive a solicitation about insurance products, the insurance company asks the creditor to send the solicitation to the consumer and the creditor does so. Pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the insurance company has made a solicitation to the consumer because it used eligibility information about the consumer that it received from an affiliate to identify the consumer to receive a solicitation about its products or services, and, as a result, a solicitation was provided to the consumer about the insurance company's products.

(iii) The same facts as in the example in paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section, except that eligibility information about consumers that have loan accounts with the creditor is placed into a common database that all members of the affiliated group of companies may independently access and use. Without using the creditor's eligibility information, the insurance company develops selection criteria and provides those criteria, marketing materials, and related instructions to the creditor. The creditor reviews eligibility information about its own consumers using the selection criteria provided by the insurance company to determine which consumers should receive the insurance company's marketing materials and sends marketing materials about the insurance company's products to those consumers. Even though the insurance company has received eligibility information through the common database as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, it did not use that information to identify consumers or establish selection criteria; instead, the creditor used its own eligibility information. Therefore, pursuant to paragraph (b)(4)(i) of this section, the insurance company has not made a solicitation to the consumer.

(iv) The same facts as in the example in paragraph (b)(6)(iii) of this section, except that the creditor provides the insurance company's criteria to the creditor's service provider and directs the service provider to use the creditor's eligibility information to identify creditor consumers who meet the criteria and to send the insurance company's marketing materials to those consumers. The insurance company does not communicate directly with the service provider regarding the use of the creditor's information to market its products to the creditor's consumers. Pursuant to paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section, the insurance company has not made a solicitation to the consumer.

(v) An affiliated group of companies includes a creditor, an insurance company, and a service provider. Each affiliate in the group places information about its consumers into a common database. The service provider has access to all information in the common database. The creditor controls access to and use of its eligibility information by the service provider. This control is set forth in a written agreement between the creditor and the service provider. The written agreement also requires the service provider to establish reasonable policies and procedures designed to ensure that the service provider uses the creditor's eligibility information in accordance with specific terms and conditions established by the creditor relating to the marketing of the products and services of all affiliates, including the insurance company. In a separate written communication, the creditor specifies the terms and conditions under which the service provider may use the creditor's eligibility information to market the insurance company's products and services to the creditor's consumers. The specific terms and conditions are: a list of affiliated companies (including the insurance company) whose products or services may be marketed to the creditor's consumers by the service provider; the specific products or types of products that may be marketed to the creditor's consumers by the service provider; the categories of eligibility information that may be used by the service provider in marketing products or services to the creditor's consumers; the types or categories of the creditor's consumers to whom the service provider may market products or services of creditor affiliates; the number and/or types of marketing communications that the service provider may send to the creditor's consumers; and the length of time during which the service provider may market the prod-ucts or services of the creditor's affiliates to its consumers. The creditor periodically evaluates the service provider's compliance with these terms and conditions. The insurance company asks the service provider to market insurance products to certain consumers who have loan accounts with the creditor. Without using the creditor's eligibility information, the insurance company develops selection criteria and provides those criteria, marketing materials, and related instructions to the service provider. The service provider uses the creditor's eligibility information from the common database to identify the creditor's consumers to whom insurance products will be marketed. When the insurance company's marketing materials are provided to the identified consumers, the name of the creditor is displayed on the insurance marketing materials, an introductory letter that accompanies the marketing materials, an account statement that accompanies the marketing materials, or the envelope containing the marketing materials. The re-quirements of paragraph (b)(5) of this section have been satisfied, and the insurance company has not made a solicitation to the consumer.

(vi) The same facts as in the example in paragraph (b)(6)(v) of this section, except that the terms and conditions permit the service provider to use the creditor's eligibility information to market the products and services of other affiliates to the creditor's consumers whenever the service provider deems it appropriate to do so. The service provider uses the creditor's eligibility information in accordance with the discretion af-forded to it by the terms and conditions. Because the terms and conditions are not specific, the requirements of paragraph (b)(5) of this section have not been satisfied.

(c) Exceptions. The provisions of this part do not apply to you if you use eligibility information that you receive from an affiliate:

(1) To make a solicitation for marketing purposes to a consumer with whom you have a pre-existing business relationship;

(2) To facilitate communications to an individual for whose benefit you provide employee benefit or other services pursuant to a contract with an employer related to and arising out of the current employment relationship or status of the individual as a participant or beneficiary of an employee benefit plan;

(3) To perform services on behalf of an affiliate, except that this paragraph shall not be construed as permitting you to send solicitations on behalf of an affiliate if the affiliate would not be permitted to send the solicitation as a result of the election of the consumer to opt out under this part;

(4) In response to a communication about your products or services initiated by the consumer;

(5) In response to an authorization or request by the consumer to receive solicitations; or

(6) If your compliance with this part would prevent you from complying with any provision of State insurance laws pertaining to unfair discrimination in any State in which you are lawfully doing business.

(d) Examples of exceptions—(1) Example of the pre-existing business relationship exception. A consumer has a loan account with a creditor. The consumer also has a relationship with the creditor's securities affiliate for management of the consumer's securities portfolio. The creditor receives eligibility information about the consumer from its securities affiliate and uses that information to make a solicitation to the consumer about the creditor's wealth management services. The creditor may make this solicitation even if the consumer has not been given a notice and opportunity to opt out because the creditor has a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer.

(2) Examples of service provider exception. (i) A consumer has an insurance policy issued by an insurance company. The insurance company furnishes eligibility information about the consumer to an affiliated creditor. Based on that eligibility information, the creditor wants to make a solicitation to the consumer about its credit products. The creditor does not have a pre-existing business relationship with the consumer and none of the other exceptions in para-graph (c) of this section apply. The consumer has been given an opt-out notice and has elected to opt out of receiving such solicitations. The creditor asks a service provider to send the solicitation to the consumer on its behalf. The service provider may not send the solicitation on behalf of the creditor because, as a result of the consumer's opt-out election, the creditor is not permitted to make the solicitation.

(ii) The same facts as in paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, except the consumer has been given an opt-out notice, but has not elected to opt out. The creditor asks a service provider to send the solicitation to the consumer on its behalf. The service provider may send the solicitation on behalf of the creditor because, as a result of the consumer's not opting out, the creditor is permitted to make the solicitation.

(3) Examples of consumer-initiated communications. (i) A consumer who has a consumer loan account with a finance company initiates a communication with the creditor's mortgage lending affiliate to request information about a mortgage. The mortgage lender affiliate may use eligibility information about the consumer it obtains from the finance company or any other affiliate to make solicitations regarding mortgage products in response to the consumer-initiated communication.

(ii) A consumer who has a loan account with a creditor contacts the creditor to request information about how to save and invest for a child's college education without specifying the type of product in which the consumer may be interested. Information about a range of different products or services offered by the creditor and one or more affiliates of the creditor may be responsive to that communication. Such products or services may include the following: mutual funds offered by the creditor's mutual fund affil-iate; section 529 plans offered by the creditor, its mutual fund affiliate, or another securities affiliate; or trust services offered by a different creditor in the affiliated group. Any affiliate offering investment products or services that would be responsive to the consumer's request for information about saving and investing for a child's college education may use eligibility information to make solicitations to the consumer in response to this communication.

(iii) A credit card issuer makes a marketing call to the consumer without using eligibility information received from an affiliate. The issuer leaves a voice-mail message that invites the consumer to call a toll-free number to apply for the issuer's credit card. If the consumer calls the toll-free number to inquire about the credit card, the call is a consumer-initiated communication about a product or service and the credit card issuer may now use eligibility information it receives from its affiliates to make solicitations to the consumer.

(iv) A consumer calls a creditor to ask about retail locations and hours, but does not request information about products or services. The creditor may not use eligibility information it receives from an affiliate to make solicitations to the consumer about its products or services because the consumer-initiated communication does not relate to the creditor's products or services. Thus, the use of eligibility information received from an affiliate would not be responsive to the communication and the exception does not apply.

(v) A consumer calls a creditor to ask about office locations and hours. The customer service representative asks the consumer if there is a particular product or service about which the consumer is seeking information. The consumer responds that the consumer wants to stop in and find out about second mortgage loans. The customer service representative offers to provide that information by telephone and mail additional information and application materials to the consumer. The consumer agrees and provides or confirms contact information for receipt of the materials to be mailed. The creditor may use eligibility information it receives from an affiliate to make solicitations to the consumer about mortgage loan products because such solicitations respond to the consumer-initiated communication about products or services.

(4) Examples of consumer authorization or request for solicitations. (i) A consumer who obtains a mortgage from a mortgage lender authorizes or requests information about homeowner's insurance offered by the mortgage lender's insurance affiliate. Such authorization or request, whether given to the mortgage lender or to the insurance affiliate, would permit the insurance affiliate to use eligibility information about the consumer it obtains from the mortgage lender or any other affiliate to make solicitations to the consumer about homeowner's insurance.

(ii) A consumer completes an online application to apply for a credit card from a department store. The store's online application contains a blank check box that the consumer may check to authorize or request information from the store's affiliates. The consumer checks the box. The consumer has authorized or requested solicitations from store's affiliates.

(iii) A consumer completes an online application to apply for a credit card from a department store. The store's online application contains a pre-selected check box indicating that the consumer authorizes or requests information from the store's affiliates. The consumer does not deselect the check box. The consumer has not authorized or requested solicitations from the store's affiliates.

(iv) The terms and conditions of a credit account agreement contain preprinted boilerplate language stating that by applying to open an account the consumer authorizes or requests to receive solicitations from the creditor's affiliates. The consumer has not authorized or requested solicitations from the creditor's affiliates.

(e) Relation to affiliate-sharing notice and opt-out. Nothing in this part limits the responsibility of a person to comply with the notice and opt-out provisions of section 603(d)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act where applicable.

§680.22   Scope and duration of opt-out.

(a) Scope of opt-out—(1) In general. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the consumer's election to opt out prohibits any affiliate covered by the opt-out notice from using eligibility information received from another affiliate as described in the notice to make solicitations to the consumer.

(2) Continuing relationship—(i) In general. If the consumer establishes a continuing relationship with you or your affiliate, an opt-out notice may apply to eligibility information obtained in connection with—

(A) A single continuing relationship or multiple continuing relationships that the consumer establishes with you or your affiliates, including continuing relationships established subsequent to delivery of the opt-out notice, so long as the notice adequately describes the continuing relationships covered by the opt-out; or

(B) Any other transaction between the consumer and you or your affiliates as described in the notice.

(ii) Examples of continuing relationships. A consumer has a continuing relationship with you or your affiliate if the consumer—

(A) Opens a credit account with you or your affiliate;

(B) Obtains a loan for which you or your affiliate owns the servicing rights;

(C) Purchases an insurance product from you or your affiliate;

(D) Holds an investment product through you or your affiliate, such as when you act or your affiliate acts as a custodian for securities or for assets in an individual retirement arrangement;

(E) Enters into an agreement or understanding with you or your affiliate whereby you or your affiliate undertakes to arrange or broker a home mortgage loan for the consumer;

(F) Enters into a lease of personal property with you or your affiliate; or

(G) Obtains financial, investment, or economic advisory services from you or your affiliate for a fee.

(3) No continuing relationship—(i) In general. If there is no continuing relationship between a consumer and you or your affiliate, and you or your affiliate obtain eligibility information about a consumer in connection with a transaction with the consumer, such as an isolated transaction or a credit application that is denied, an opt-out notice provided to the consumer only applies to eligibility information obtained in connection with that transaction.

(ii) Examples of isolated transactions. An isolated transaction occurs if—

(A) The consumer uses your or your affiliate's ATM to withdraw cash from an account at a financial institution; or

(B) You or your affiliate sells the consumer a money order, airline tickets, travel insurance, or traveler's checks in isolated transactions.

(4) Menu of alternatives. A consumer may be given the opportunity to choose from a menu of alternatives when electing to prohibit solicitations, such as by electing to prohibit solicitations from certain types of affiliates covered by the opt-out notice but not other types of affiliates covered by the notice, electing to prohibit solicitations based on certain types of eligibility information but not other types of eligibility information, or electing to prohibit solicitations by certain methods of delivery but not other methods of delivery. However, one of the alternatives must allow the consumer to prohibit all solicitations from all of the affiliates that are covered by the notice.

(5) Special rule for a notice following termination of all continuing relationships—(i) In general. A consumer must be given a new opt-out notice if, after all continuing relationships with you or your affiliate(s) are terminated, the consumer subsequently establishes another continuing relationship with you or your affiliate(s) and the consumer's eligibility information is to be used to make a solicitation. The new opt-out notice must apply, at a minimum, to eligibility information obtained in connection with the new continuing relationship. Consistent with paragraph (b) of this section, the consumer's decision not to opt out after receiving the new opt-out notice would not override a prior opt-out election by the consumer that applies to eligibility information obtained in connection with a terminated relationship, regardless of whether the new opt-out notice applies to eligibility information obtained in connection with the terminated relationship.

(ii) Example. A consumer has an automobile loan account with a creditor that is part of an affiliated group. The consumer pays off the loan. After paying off the loan, the consumer subsequently obtains a second mortgage loan from the creditor. The consumer must be given a new notice and opportunity to opt out before the creditor's affiliates may make solicitations to the consumer using eligibility information obtained by the creditor in connection with the new mortgage relationship, regardless of whether the consumer opted out in connection with the automobile loan account.

(b) Duration of opt-out. The election of a consumer to opt out must be effective for a period of at least five years (the “opt-out period”) beginning when the consumer's opt-out election is received and implemented, unless the consumer subsequently revokes the opt-out in writing or, if the consumer agrees, electronically. An opt-out period of more than five years may be established, including an opt-out period that does not expire unless revoked by the consumer.

(c) Time of opt-out. A consumer may opt out at any time.

§680.23   Contents of opt-out notice; consolidated and equivalent notices.

(a) Contents of opt-out notice—(1) In general. A notice must be clear, conspicuous, and concise, and must accurately disclose:

(i) The name of the affiliate(s) providing the notice. If the notice is provided jointly by multiple affiliates and each affiliate shares a common name, such as “ABC,” then the notice may indicate that it is being provided by multiple companies with the ABC name or multiple companies in the ABC group or family of companies, for example, by stating that the notice is provided by “all of the ABC companies,” “the ABC banking, credit card, insurance, and securities companies,” or by listing the name of each affiliate providing the notice. But if the affiliates providing the joint notice do not all share a common name, then the notice must either separately identify each affiliate by name or identify each of the common names used by those affiliates, for example, by stating that the notice is provided by “all of the ABC and XYZ companies” or by “the ABC banking and credit card companies and the XYZ insurance companies;”

(ii) A list of the affiliates or types of affiliates whose use of eligibility information is covered by the notice, which may include companies that become affiliates after the notice is provided to the consumer. If each affiliate covered by the notice shares a common name, such as “ABC,” then the notice may indicate that it applies to multiple companies with the ABC name or multiple companies in the ABC group or family of companies, for example, by stating that the notice is provided by “all of the ABC companies,” “the ABC banking, credit card, insurance, and securities companies,” or by listing the name of each affiliate providing the notice. But if the affiliates covered by the notice do not all share a common name, then the notice must either separately identify each covered affiliate by name or identify each of the common names used by those affiliates, for example, by stating that the notice applies to “all of the ABC and XYZ companies” or to “the ABC banking and credit card companies and the XYZ insurance companies;”

(iii) A general description of the types of eligibility information that may be used to make solicitations to the consumer;

(iv) That the consumer may elect to limit the use of eligibility information to make solicitations to the consumer;

(v) That the consumer's election will apply for the specified period of time stated in the notice and, if applicable, that the consumer will be allowed to renew the election once that period expires;

(vi) If the notice is provided to consumers who may have previously opted out, such as if a notice is provided to consumers annually, that the consumer who has chosen to limit solicitations does not need to act again until the consumer receives a renewal notice; and

(vii) A reasonable and simple method for the consumer to opt out.

(2) Joint relationships. (i) If two or more consumers jointly obtain a product or service, a single opt-out notice may be provided to the joint consumers. Any of the joint consumers may exercise the right to opt out.

(ii) The opt-out notice must explain how an opt-out direction by a joint consumer will be treated. An opt-out direction by a joint consumer may be treated as applying to all of the associated joint consumers, or each joint consumer may be permitted to opt out separately. If each joint consumer is permitted to opt out separately, one of the joint consumers must be permitted to opt out on behalf of all of the joint consumers and the joint consumers must be permitted to exercise their separate rights to opt out in a single response.

(iii) It is impermissible to require all joint consumers to opt out before implementing any opt-out direction.

(3) Alternative contents. If the consumer is afforded a broader right to opt out of receiving marketing than is required by this part, the requirements of this section may be satisfied by providing the consumer with a clear, conspicuous, and concise notice that accurately discloses the consumer's opt-out rights.

(4) Model notices. Model notices are provided in Appendix C of Part 698 of this chapter.

(b) Coordinated and consolidated notices. A notice required by this part may be coordinated and consolidated with any other notice or disclosure required to be issued under any other provision of law by the entity providing the notice, including but not limited to the notice de-scribed in section 603(d)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act privacy notice.

(c) Equivalent notices. A notice or other disclosure that is equivalent to the notice required by this part, and that is provided to a consumer together with disclosures required by any other provision of law, satisfies the requirements of this section.

§680.24   Reasonable opportunity to opt out.

(a) In general. You must not use eligibility information about a consumer that you receive from an affiliate to make a solicitation to the consumer about your products or services, unless the consumer is provided a reasonable opportunity to opt out, as required by

§680.21(a)(1)(ii) of this part.

(b) Examples of a reasonable opportunity to opt out. The consumer is given a reasonable opportunity to opt out if:

(1) By mail. The opt-out notice is mailed to the consumer. The consumer is given 30 days from the date the notice is mailed to elect to opt out by any reasonable means.

(2) By electronic means. (i) The opt-out notice is provided electronically to the consumer, such as by posting the notice at an Internet Web site at which the consumer has obtained a product or service. The consumer acknowledges receipt of the electronic notice. The consumer is given 30 days after the date the consumer acknowledges receipt to elect to opt out by any reasonable means.

(ii) The opt-out notice is provided to the consumer by e-mail where the consumer has agreed to receive disclosures by e-mail from the person sending the notice. The consumer is given 30 days after the e-mail is sent to elect to opt out by any reasonable means.

(3) At the time of an electronic transaction. The opt-out notice is provided to the consumer at the time of an electronic transaction, such as a transaction conducted on an Internet Web site. The consumer is required to decide, as a necessary part of proceeding with the transaction, whether to opt out before completing the transaction. There is a simple process that the consumer may use to opt out at that time using the same mechanism through which the transaction is conducted.

(4) At the time of an in-person transaction. The opt-out notice is provided to the consumer in writing at the time of an in-person transaction. The consumer is required to decide, as a necessary part of proceeding with the transaction, whether to opt out before completing the transaction, and is not permitted to complete the transaction without making a choice. There is a simple process that the consumer may use during the course of the in-person transaction to opt out, such as completing a form that requires consumers to write a “yes” or “no” to indicate their opt-out preference or that requires the consumer to check one of two blank check boxes—one that allows consumers to indicate that they want to opt out and one that allows consumers to indicate that they do not want to opt out.

(5) By including in a privacy notice. The opt-out notice is included in a Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act privacy notice. The consumer is allowed to exercise the opt-out within a reasonable period of time and in the same manner as the opt-out under that privacy notice.

§680.25   Reasonable and simple methods of opting out.

(a) In general. You must not use eligibility information about a consumer that you receive from an affiliate to make a solicitation to the consumer about your products or services, unless the consumer is provided a reasonable and simple method to opt out, as required by §680.21(a)(1)(ii) of this part.

(b) Examples—(1) Reasonable and simple opt-out methods. Reasonable and simple methods for exercising the opt-out right include—

(i) Designating a check-off box in a prominent position on the opt-out form;

(ii) Including a reply form and a self-addressed envelope together with the opt-out notice;

(iii) Providing an electronic means to opt out, such as a form that can be electronically mailed or processed at an Internet Web site, if the consumer agrees to the electronic delivery of information;

(iv) Providing a toll-free telephone number that consumers may call to opt out; or

(v) Allowing consumers to exercise all of their opt-out rights described in a consolidated opt-out notice that includes the privacy opt-out under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. 6801 et seq., the affiliate sharing opt-out under the Act, and the affiliate marketing opt-out under the Act, by a single method, such as by calling a single toll-free telephone number.

(2) Opt-out methods that are not reasonable and simple. Reasonable and simple methods for exercising an opt-out right do not include—

(i) Requiring the consumer to write his or her own letter;

(ii) Requiring the consumer to call or write to obtain a form for opting out, rather than including the form with the opt-out notice;

(iii) Requiring the consumer who receives the opt-out notice in electronic form only, such as through posting at an Internet Web site, to opt out solely by paper mail or by visiting a different Web site without providing a link to that site.

(c) Specific opt-out means. Each consumer may be required to opt out through a specific means, as long as that means is reasonable and simple for that consumer.

§680.26   Delivery of opt-out notices.

(a) In general. The opt-out notice must be provided so that each consumer can reasonably be expected to receive actual notice. For opt-out notices provided electronically, the notice may be provided in compliance with either the electronic disclosure provisions in this part or the provisions in section 101 of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. 7001 et seq.

(b) Examples of reasonable expectation of actual notice. A consumer may reasonably be expected to receive actual notice if the affiliate providing the notice:

(1) Hand-delivers a printed copy of the notice to the consumer;

(2) Mails a printed copy of the notice to the last known mailing address of the consumer;

(3) Provides a notice by e-mail to a consumer who has agreed to receive electronic disclosures by e-mail from the affiliate providing the notice; or

(4) Posts the notice on the Internet Web site at which the consumer obtained a product or service electronically and requires the consumer to acknowledge receipt of the notice.

(c) Examples of no reasonable expectation of actual notice. A consumer may not reasonably be expected to receive actual notice if the affiliate providing the notice:

(1) Only posts the notice on a sign in a branch or office or generally publishes the notice in a newspaper;

(2) Sends the notice via e-mail to a consumer who has not agreed to receive electronic disclosures by e-mail from the affiliate providing the notice; or

(3) Posts the notice on an Internet Web site without requiring the consumer to acknowledge receipt of the notice.

§680.27   Renewal of opt-out.

(a) Renewal notice and opt-out requirement—(1) In general. After the opt-out period expires, you may not make solicitations based on eligibility information you receive from an affiliate to a consumer who previously opted out, unless:

(i) The consumer has been given a renewal notice that complies with the requirements of this section and §§680.24 through 680.26 of this part, and a reasonable opportunity and a reasonable and simple method to renew the opt-out, and the consumer does not renew the opt-out; or

(ii) An exception in §680.21(c) of this part applies.

(2) Renewal period. Each opt-out renewal must be effective for a period of at least five years as provided in §680.22(b) of this part.

(3) Affiliates who may provide the notice. The notice required by this paragraph must be provided:

(i) By the affiliate that provided the previous opt-out notice, or its successor; or

(ii) As part of a joint renewal notice from two or more members of an affiliated group of companies, or their successors, that jointly provided the previous opt-out notice.

(b) Contents of renewal notice. The renewal notice must be clear, conspicuous, and concise, and must accurately disclose:

(1) The name of the affiliate(s) providing the notice. If the notice is provided jointly by multiple affiliates and each affiliate shares a common name, such as “ABC,” then the notice may indicate that it is being provided by multiple companies with the ABC name or multiple companies in the ABC group or family of companies, for example, by stating that the notice is provided by “all of the ABC companies,” “the ABC banking, credit card, insurance, and securities companies,” or by listing the name of each affiliate providing the notice. But if the affiliates providing the joint notice do not all share a common name, then the notice must either separately identify each affiliate by name or identify each of the common names used by those affiliates, for example, by stating that the notice is provided by “all of the ABC and XYZ companies” or by “the ABC banking and credit card companies and the XYZ insurance companies;”

(2) A list of the affiliates or types of affiliates whose use of eligibility information is covered by the notice, which may include companies that become affiliates after the notice is provided to the consumer. If each affiliate covered by the notice shares a common name, such as “ABC,” then the notice may indicate that it applies to multiple companies with the ABC name or multiple companies in the ABC group or family of companies, for example, by stating that the notice is provided by “all of the ABC companies,” “the ABC banking, credit card, insurance, and securities companies,” or by listing the name of each affiliate providing the notice. But if the affiliates covered by the notice do not all share a common name, then the notice must either separately identify each covered affiliate by name or identify each of the common names used by those affiliates, for example, by stating that the notice applies to “all of the ABC and XYZ companies” or to “the ABC banking and credit card companies and the XYZ insurance companies;”

(3) A general description of the types of eligibility information that may be used to make solicitations to the consumer;

(4) That the consumer previously elected to limit the use of certain information to make solicitations to the consumer;

(5) That the consumer's election has expired or is about to expire;

(6) That the consumer may elect to renew the consumer's previous election;

(7) If applicable, that the consumer's election to renew will apply for the specified period of time stated in the notice and that the consumer will be allowed to renew the election once that period expires; and

(8) A reasonable and simple method for the consumer to opt out.

(c) Timing of the renewal notice—(1) In general. A renewal notice may be provided to the consumer either—

(i) A reasonable period of time before the expiration of the opt-out period; or

(ii) Any time after the expiration of the opt-out period but before solicitations that would have been prohibited by the expired opt-out are made to the consumer.

(2) Combination with annual privacy notice. If you provide an annual privacy notice under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. 6801 et seq., providing a renewal notice with the last annual privacy notice provided to the consumer before expiration of the opt-out period is a reasonable period of time before expiration of the opt-out in all cases.

(d) No effect on opt-out period. An opt-out period may not be shortened by sending a renewal notice to the consumer before expiration of the opt-out period, even if the consumer does not renew the opt out.

§680.28   Effective date, compliance date, and prospective application.

(a) Effective date. This part is effective January 1, 2008.

(b) Mandatory compliance date. Compliance with this part is required not later than October 1, 2008.

(c) Prospective application. The provisions of this part shall not prohibit you from using eligibility information that you receive from an affiliate to make solicitations to a consumer if you receive such information prior to October 1, 2008. For purposes of this section, you are deemed to receive eligibility information when such information is placed into a common database and is accessible by you.



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