12 U.S. Code § 5517 - Limitations on authorities of the Bureau; preservation of authorities

(a) Exclusion for merchants, retailers, and other sellers of nonfinancial goods or services
(1) Sale or brokerage of nonfinancial good or service
The Bureau may not exercise any rulemaking, supervisory, enforcement or other authority under this title  [1] with respect to a person who is a merchant, retailer, or seller of any nonfinancial good or service and is engaged in the sale or brokerage of such nonfinancial good or service, except to the extent that such person is engaged in offering or providing any consumer financial product or service, or is otherwise subject to any enumerated consumer law or any law for which authorities are transferred under subtitle F or H.
(2) Offering or provision of certain consumer financial products or services in connection with the sale or brokerage of nonfinancial good or service
(A) In general
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), and subject to subparagraph (C), the Bureau may not exercise any rulemaking, supervisory, enforcement, or other authority under this title  [1] with respect to a merchant, retailer, or seller of nonfinancial goods or services, but only to the extent that such person—
(i) extends credit directly to a consumer, in a case in which the good or service being provided is not itself a consumer financial product or service (other than credit described in this subparagraph), exclusively for the purpose of enabling that consumer to purchase such nonfinancial good or service directly from the merchant, retailer, or seller;
(ii) directly, or through an agreement with another person, collects debt arising from credit extended as described in clause (i); or
(iii) sells or conveys debt described in clause (i) that is delinquent or otherwise in default.
(B) Applicability
Subparagraph (A) does not apply to any credit transaction or collection of debt, other than as described in subparagraph (C)(i), arising from a transaction described in subparagraph (A)—
(i) in which the merchant, retailer, or seller of nonfinancial goods or services assigns, sells or otherwise conveys to another person such debt owed by the consumer (except for a sale of debt that is delinquent or otherwise in default, as described in subparagraph (A)(iii));
(ii) in which the credit extended significantly exceeds the market value of the nonfinancial good or service provided, or the Bureau otherwise finds that the sale of the nonfinancial good or service is done as a subterfuge, so as to evade or circumvent the provisions of this title;  [1] or
(iii) in which the merchant, retailer, or seller of nonfinancial goods or services regularly extends credit and the credit is subject to a finance charge.
(C) Limitations
(i) In general Notwithstanding subparagraph (B), subparagraph (A) shall apply with respect to a merchant, retailer, or seller of nonfinancial goods or services that is not engaged significantly in offering or providing consumer financial products or services.
(ii) Exception Subparagraph (A) and clause (i) of this subparagraph do not apply to any merchant, retailer, or seller of nonfinancial goods or services—
(I) if such merchant, retailer, or seller of nonfinancial goods or services is engaged in a transaction described in subparagraph (B)(i) or (B)(ii); or
(II) to the extent that such merchant, retailer, or seller is subject to any enumerated consumer law or any law for which authorities are transferred under subtitle F or H, but the Bureau may exercise such authority only with respect to that law.
(D) Rules
(i) Authority of other agencies No provision of this title  [1] shall be construed as modifying, limiting, or superseding the supervisory or enforcement authority of the Federal Trade Commission or any other agency (other than the Bureau) with respect to credit extended, or the collection of debt arising from such extension, directly by a merchant or retailer to a consumer exclusively for the purpose of enabling that consumer to purchase nonfinancial goods or services directly from the merchant or retailer.
(ii) Small businesses A merchant, retailer, or seller of nonfinancial goods or services that would otherwise be subject to the authority of the Bureau solely by virtue of the application of subparagraph (B)(iii) shall be deemed not to be engaged significantly in offering or providing consumer financial products or services under subparagraph (C)(i), if such person—
(I) only extends credit for the sale of nonfinancial goods or services, as described in subparagraph (A)(i);
(II) retains such credit on its own accounts (except to sell or convey such debt that is delinquent or otherwise in default); and
(III) meets the relevant industry size threshold to be a small business concern, based on annual receipts, pursuant to section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632) and the implementing rules thereunder.
(iii) Initial year A merchant, retailer, or seller of nonfinancial goods or services shall be deemed to meet the relevant industry size threshold described in clause (ii)(III) during the first year of operations of that business concern if, during that year, the receipts of that business concern reasonably are expected to meet that size threshold.
(iv) Other standards for small business With respect to a merchant, retailer, or seller of nonfinancial goods or services that is a classified on a basis other than annual receipts for the purposes of section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632) and the implementing rules thereunder, such merchant, retailer, or seller shall be deemed to meet the relevant industry size threshold described in clause (ii)(III) if such merchant, retailer, or seller meets the relevant industry size threshold to be a small business concern based on the number of employees, or other such applicable measure, established under that Act [15 U.S.C. 631 et seq.].
(E) Exception from State enforcement
To the extent that the Bureau may not exercise authority under this subsection with respect to a merchant, retailer, or seller of nonfinancial goods or services, no action by a State attorney general or State regulator with respect to a claim made under this title  [1] may be brought under subsection 5552(a) of this title, with respect to an activity described in any of clauses (i) through (iii) of subparagraph (A) by such merchant, retailer, or seller of nonfinancial goods or services.
(b) Exclusion for real estate brokerage activities
(1) Real estate brokerage activities excluded
Without limiting subsection (a), and except as permitted in paragraph (2), the Bureau may not exercise any rulemaking, supervisory, enforcement, or other authority under this title  [1] with respect to a person that is licensed or registered as a real estate broker or real estate agent, in accordance with State law, to the extent that such person—
(A) acts as a real estate agent or broker for a buyer, seller, lessor, or lessee of real property;
(B) brings together parties interested in the sale, purchase, lease, rental, or exchange of real property;
(C) negotiates, on behalf of any party, any portion of a contract relating to the sale, purchase, lease, rental, or exchange of real property (other than in connection with the provision of financing with respect to any such transaction); or
(D) offers to engage in any activity, or act in any capacity, described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C).
(2) Description of activities
The Bureau may exercise rulemaking, supervisory, enforcement, or other authority under this title  [1] with respect to a person described in paragraph (1) when such person is—
(A) engaged in an activity of offering or providing any consumer financial product or service, except that the Bureau may exercise such authority only with respect to that activity; or
(B) otherwise subject to any enumerated consumer law or any law for which authorities are transferred under subtitle F or H, but the Bureau may exercise such authority only with respect to that law.
(c) Exclusion for manufactured home retailers and modular home retailers
(1) In general
The Director may not exercise any rulemaking, supervisory, enforcement, or other authority over a person to the extent that—
(A) such person is not described in paragraph (2); and
(B) such person—
(i) acts as an agent or broker for a buyer or seller of a manufactured home or a modular home;
(ii) facilitates the purchase by a consumer of a manufactured home or modular home, by negotiating the purchase price or terms of the sales contract (other than providing financing with respect to such transaction); or
(iii) offers to engage in any activity described in clause (i) or (ii).
(2) Description of activities
A person is described in this paragraph to the extent that such person is engaged in the offering or provision of any consumer financial product or service or is otherwise subject to any enumerated consumer law or any law for which authorities are transferred under subtitle F or H.
(3) Definitions
For purposes of this subsection, the following definitions shall apply:
(A) Manufactured home
The term “manufactured home” has the same meaning as in section 5402 of title 42.
(B) Modular home
The term “modular home” means a house built in a factory in 2 or more modules that meet the State or local building codes where the house will be located, and where such modules are transported to the building site, installed on foundations, and completed.
(d) Exclusion for accountants and tax preparers
(1) In general
Except as permitted in paragraph (2), the Bureau may not exercise any rulemaking, supervisory, enforcement, or other authority over—
(A) any person that is a certified public accountant, permitted to practice as a certified public accounting firm, or certified or licensed for such purpose by a State, or any individual who is employed by or holds an ownership interest with respect to a person described in this subparagraph, when such person is performing or offering to perform—
(i) customary and usual accounting activities, including the provision of accounting, tax, advisory, or other services that are subject to the regulatory authority of a State board of accountancy or a Federal authority; or
(ii) other services that are incidental to such customary and usual accounting activities, to the extent that such incidental services are not offered or provided—
(I) by the person separate and apart from such customary and usual accounting activities; or
(II) to consumers who are not receiving such customary and usual accounting activities; or
(B) any person, other than a person described in subparagraph (A)  [2] that performs income tax preparation activities for consumers.
(2) Description of activities
(A) In general
Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any person described in paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(B) to the extent that such person is engaged in any activity which is not a customary and usual accounting activity described in paragraph (1)(A) or incidental thereto but which is the offering or provision of any consumer financial product or service, except to the extent that a person described in paragraph (1)(A) is engaged in an activity which is a customary and usual accounting activity described in paragraph (1)(A), or incidental thereto.
(B) Not a customary and usual accounting activity
For purposes of this subsection, extending or brokering credit is not a customary and usual accounting activity, or incidental thereto.
(C) Rule of construction
For purposes of subparagraphs (A) and (B), a person described in paragraph (1)(A) shall not be deemed to be extending credit, if such person is only extending credit directly to a consumer, exclusively for the purpose of enabling such consumer to purchase services described in clause (i) or (ii) of paragraph (1)(A) directly from such person, and such credit is—
(i) not subject to a finance charge; and
(ii) not payable by written agreement in more than 4 installments.
(D) Other limitations
Paragraph (1) does not apply to any person described in paragraph (1)(A) or (1)(B) that is otherwise subject to any enumerated consumer law or any law for which authorities are transferred under subtitle F or H.
(e) Exclusion for practice of law
(1) In general
Except as provided under paragraph (2), the Bureau may not exercise any supervisory or enforcement authority with respect to an activity engaged in by an attorney as part of the practice of law under the laws of a State in which the attorney is licensed to practice law.
(2) Rule of construction
Paragraph (1) shall not be construed so as to limit the exercise by the Bureau of any supervisory, enforcement, or other authority regarding the offering or provision of a consumer financial product or service described in any subparagraph of section 5481 (5) of this title—
(A) that is not offered or provided as part of, or incidental to, the practice of law, occurring exclusively within the scope of the attorney-client relationship; or
(B) that is otherwise offered or provided by the attorney in question with respect to any consumer who is not receiving legal advice or services from the attorney in connection with such financial product or service.
(3) Existing authority
Paragraph (1) shall not be construed so as to limit the authority of the Bureau with respect to any attorney, to the extent that such attorney is otherwise subject to any of the enumerated consumer laws or the authorities transferred under subtitle F or H.
(f) Exclusion for persons regulated by a State insurance regulator
(1) In general
No provision of this title  [1] shall be construed as altering, amending, or affecting the authority of any State insurance regulator to adopt rules, initiate enforcement proceedings, or take any other action with respect to a person regulated by a State insurance regulator. Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Bureau shall have no authority to exercise any power to enforce this title  [1] with respect to a person regulated by a State insurance regulator.
(2) Description of activities
Paragraph (1) does not apply to any person described in such paragraph to the extent that such person is engaged in the offering or provision of any consumer financial product or service or is otherwise subject to any enumerated consumer law or any law for which authorities are transferred under subtitle F or H.
(3) State insurance authority under Gramm-Leach-Bliley
Notwithstanding paragraph (2), the Bureau shall not exercise any authorities that are granted a State insurance authority under section 6805 (a)(6) of title 15 with respect to a person regulated by a State insurance authority.
(g) Exclusion for employee benefit and compensation plans and certain other arrangements under title 26
(1) Preservation of authority of other agencies
No provision of this title  [1] shall be construed as altering, amending, or affecting the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Labor, or the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to adopt regulations, initiate enforcement proceedings, or take any actions with respect to any specified plan or arrangement.
(2) Activities not constituting the offering or provision of any consumer financial product or service
For purposes of this title, [1] a person shall not be treated as having engaged in the offering or provision of any consumer financial product or service solely because such person is—
(A) a specified plan or arrangement;
(B) engaged in the activity of establishing or maintaining, for the benefit of employees of such person (or for members of an employee organization), any specified plan or arrangement; or
(C) engaged in the activity of establishing or maintaining a qualified tuition program under section 529 (b)(1) of title 26 offered by a State or other prepaid tuition program offered by a State.
(3) Limitation on Bureau authority
(A) In general
Except as provided under subparagraphs (B) and (C), the Bureau may not exercise any rulemaking or enforcement authority with respect to products or services that relate to any specified plan or arrangement.
(B) Bureau action pursuant to agency request
(i) Agency request The Secretary and the Secretary of Labor may jointly issue a written request to the Bureau regarding implementation of appropriate consumer protection standards under this title  [1] with respect to the provision of services relating to any specified plan or arrangement.
(ii) Agency response In response to a request by the Bureau, the Secretary and the Secretary of Labor shall jointly issue a written response, not later than 90 days after receipt of such request, to grant or deny the request of the Bureau regarding implementation of appropriate consumer protection standards under this title  [1] with respect to the provision of services relating to any specified plan or arrangement.
(iii) Scope of Bureau action Subject to a request or response pursuant to clause (i) or clause (ii) by the agencies made under this subparagraph, the Bureau may exercise rulemaking authority, and may act to enforce a rule prescribed pursuant to such request or response, in accordance with the provisions of this title. [1] A request or response made by the Secretary and the Secretary of Labor under this subparagraph shall describe the basis for, and scope of, appropriate consumer protection standards to be implemented under this title  [1] with respect to the provision of services relating to any specified plan or arrangement.
(C) Description of products or services
To the extent that a person engaged in providing products or services relating to any specified plan or arrangement is subject to any enumerated consumer law or any law for which authorities are transferred under subtitle F or H, subparagraph (A) shall not apply with respect to that law.
(4) Specified plan or arrangement
For purposes of this subsection, the term “specified plan or arrangement” means any plan, account, or arrangement described in section 220, 223, 401 (a), 403 (a), 403 (b), 408, 408A, 529, or 530 of title 26, or any employee benefit or compensation plan or arrangement, including a plan that is subject to title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 [29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.], or any prepaid tuition program offered by a State.
(h) Persons regulated by a State securities commission
(1) In general
No provision of this title  [1] shall be construed as altering, amending, or affecting the authority of any securities commission (or any agency or office performing like functions) of any State to adopt rules, initiate enforcement proceedings, or take any other action with respect to a person regulated by any securities commission (or any agency or office performing like functions) of any State. Except as permitted in paragraph (2) and subsection (f), the Bureau shall have no authority to exercise any power to enforce this title  [1] with respect to a person regulated by any securities commission (or any agency or office performing like functions) of any State, but only to the extent that the person acts in such regulated capacity.
(2) Description of activities
Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any person to the extent such person is engaged in the offering or provision of any consumer financial product or service, or is otherwise subject to any enumerated consumer law or any law for which authorities are transferred under subtitle F or H.
(i) Exclusion for persons regulated by the Commission
(1) In general
No provision of this title  [1] may be construed as altering, amending, or affecting the authority of the Commission to adopt rules, initiate enforcement proceedings, or take any other action with respect to a person regulated by the Commission. The Bureau shall have no authority to exercise any power to enforce this title  [1] with respect to a person regulated by the Commission.
(2) Consultation and coordination
Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Commission shall consult and coordinate, where feasible, with the Bureau with respect to any rule (including any advance notice of proposed rulemaking) regarding an investment product or service that is the same type of product as, or that competes directly with, a consumer financial product or service that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Bureau under this title  [1] or under any other law. In carrying out this paragraph, the agencies shall negotiate an agreement to establish procedures for such coordination, including procedures for providing advance notice to the Bureau when the Commission is initiating a rulemaking.
(j) Exclusion for persons regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
(1) In general
No provision of this title  [1] shall be construed as altering, amending, or affecting the authority of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to adopt rules, initiate enforcement proceedings, or take any other action with respect to a person regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The Bureau shall have no authority to exercise any power to enforce this title  [1] with respect to a person regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
(2) Consultation and coordination
Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shall consult and coordinate with the Bureau with respect to any rule (including any advance notice of proposed rulemaking) regarding a product or service that is the same type of product as, or that competes directly with, a consumer financial product or service that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Bureau under this title  [1] or under any other law.
(k) Exclusion for persons regulated by the Farm Credit Administration
(1) In general
No provision of this title  [1] shall be construed as altering, amending, or affecting the authority of the Farm Credit Administration to adopt rules, initiate enforcement proceedings, or take any other action with respect to a person regulated by the Farm Credit Administration. The Bureau shall have no authority to exercise any power to enforce this title  [1] with respect to a person regulated by the Farm Credit Administration.
(2) Definition
For purposes of this subsection, the term “person regulated by the Farm Credit Administration” means any Farm Credit System institution that is chartered and subject to the provisions of the Farm Credit Act of 1971 (12 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.).
(l) Exclusion for activities relating to charitable contributions
(1) In general
The Director and the Bureau may not exercise any rulemaking, supervisory, enforcement, or other authority, including authority to order penalties, over any activities related to the solicitation or making of voluntary contributions to a tax-exempt organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service, by any agent, volunteer, or representative of such organizations to the extent the organization, agent, volunteer, or representative thereof is soliciting or providing advice, information, education, or instruction to any donor or potential donor relating to a contribution to the organization.
(2) Limitation
The exclusion in paragraph (1) does not apply to other activities not described in paragraph (1) that are the offering or provision of any consumer financial product or service, or are otherwise subject to any enumerated consumer law or any law for which authorities are transferred under subtitle F or H.
(m) Insurance
The Bureau may not define as a financial product or service, by regulation or otherwise, engaging in the business of insurance.
(n) Limited authority of the Bureau
Notwithstanding subsections (a) through (h) and (l), a person subject to or described in one or more of such provisions—
(1) may be a service provider; and
(2) may be subject to requests from, or requirements imposed by, the Bureau regarding information in order to carry out the responsibilities and functions of the Bureau and in accordance with section 5512, 5562, or 5563 of this title.
(o) No authority to impose usury limit
No provision of this title  [1] shall be construed as conferring authority on the Bureau to establish a usury limit applicable to an extension of credit offered or made by a covered person to a consumer, unless explicitly authorized by law.
(p) Attorney General
No provision of this title, [1] including section 5514 (c)(1) of this title, shall affect the authorities of the Attorney General under otherwise applicable provisions of law.
(q) Secretary of the Treasury
No provision of this title  [1] shall affect the authorities of the Secretary, including with respect to prescribing rules, initiating enforcement proceedings, or taking other actions with respect to a person that performs income tax preparation activities for consumers.
(r) Deposit insurance and share insurance
Nothing in this title  [1] shall affect the authority of the Corporation under the Federal Deposit Insurance Act [12 U.S.C. 1811 et seq.] or the National Credit Union Administration Board under the Federal Credit Union Act [12 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.] as to matters related to deposit insurance and share insurance, respectively.
(s) Fair Housing Act
No provision of this title  [1] shall be construed as affecting any authority arising under the Fair Housing Act [42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.].


[1]  See References in Text note below.

[2]  So in original. Probably should be followed by a comma.

Source

(Pub. L. 111–203, title X, § 1027,July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1995.)
References in Text

This title, where footnoted in text, is title X of Pub. L. 111–203, July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1955, known as the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, which enacted this subchapter and enacted, amended, and repealed numerous other sections and notes in the Code. For complete classification of title X to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 5301 of this title and Tables.
Subtitle F, referred to in text, is subtitle F (§§ 1061–1067) of title X of Pub. L. 111–203, July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 2035, which is classified generally to part F (§ 5581 et seq.) of this subchapter. For complete classification of subtitle F to the Code, see Tables.
Subtitle H, referred to text, is subtitle H (§§ 1081–1100H) of title X of Pub. L. 111–203, July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 2080. For complete classification of subtitle H to the Code, see Tables.
The Small Business Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(D)(iv), is Pub. L. 85–536, § 2(1 et seq.), July 18, 1958, 72 Stat. 384, which is classified generally to chapter 14A (§ 631 et seq.) of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 631 of Title 15 and Tables.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, referred to in subsec. (g)(4), is Pub. L. 93–406, Sept. 2, 1974, 88 Stat. 829. Title I of the Act is classified generally to subchapter I (§ 1001 et seq.) of chapter 18 of Title 29, Labor. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1001 of Title 29 and Tables.
The Farm Credit Act of 1971, referred to in subsec. (k)(2), is Pub. L. 92–181, Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 583, which is classified principally to chapter 23 (§ 2001 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 2001 of this title and Tables.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Act, referred to in subsec. (r), is act Sept. 21, 1950, ch. 967, § 2,64 Stat. 873, which is classified generally to chapter 16 (§ 1811 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1811 of this title and Tables.
The Federal Credit Union Act, referred to in subsec. (r), is act June 26, 1934, ch. 750, 48 Stat. 1216, which is classified principally to chapter 14 (§ 1751 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1751 of this title and Tables.
The Fair Housing Act, referred to in subsec. (s), is title VIII of Pub. L. 90–284, Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 81, which is classified principally to subchapter I (§ 3601 et seq.) of chapter 45 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 3601 of Title 42 and Tables.
Effective Date

Section effective on the designated transfer date, see section 1029A ofPub. L. 111–203, set out as a note under section 5511 of this title.

 

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