12 CFR § 1026.2 - Definitions and rules of construction.

§ 1026.2 Definitions and rules of construction.

(a) Definitions. For purposes of this part, the following definitions apply:

(1) Act means the Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).

(2) Advertisement means a commercial message in any medium that promotes, directly or indirectly, a credit transaction.


(i) Application means the submission of a consumer's financial information for the purposes of obtaining an extension of credit.

(ii) For transactions subject to § 1026.19(e), (f), or (g) of this part, an application consists of the submission of the consumer's name, the consumer's income, the consumer's social security number to obtain a credit report, the property address, an estimate of the value of the property, and the mortgage loan amount sought.

(4) Billing cycle or cycle means the interval between the days or dates of regular periodic statements. These intervals shall be equal and no longer than a quarter of a year. An interval will be considered equal if the number of days in the cycle does not vary more than four days from the regular day or date of the periodic statement.

(5) Bureau means the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

(6) Business day means a day on which the creditor's offices are open to the public for carrying on substantially all of its business functions. However, for purposes of rescission under §§ 1026.15 and 1026.23, and for purposes of §§ 1026.19(a)(1)(ii), 1026.19(a)(2), 1026.19(e)(1)(iii)(B), 1026.19(e)(1)(iv), 1026.19(e)(2)(i)(A), 1026.19(e)(4)(ii), 1026.19(f)(1)(ii), 1026.19(f)(1)(iii), 1026.20(e)(5), 1026.31, and 1026.46(d)(4), the term means all calendar days except Sundays and the legal public holidays specified in 5 U.S.C. 6103(a), such as New Year's Day, the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

(7) Card issuer means a person that issues a credit card or that person's agent with respect to the card.

(8) Cardholder means a natural person to whom a credit card is issued for consumer credit purposes, or a natural person who has agreed with the card issuer to pay consumer credit obligations arising from the issuance of a credit card to another natural person. For purposes of § 1026.12(a) and (b), the term includes any person to whom a credit card is issued for any purpose, including business, commercial or agricultural use, or a person who has agreed with the card issuer to pay obligations arising from the issuance of such a credit card to another person.

(9) Cash price means the price at which a creditor, in the ordinary course of business, offers to sell for cash property or service that is the subject of the transaction. At the creditor's option, the term may include the price of accessories, services related to the sale, service contracts and taxes and fees for license, title, and registration. The term does not include any finance charge.

(10) Closed-end credit means consumer credit other than “open-end credit” as defined in this section.

(11) Consumer means a cardholder or natural person to whom consumer credit is offered or extended. However, for purposes of rescission under §§ 1026.15 and 1026.23, the term also includes a natural person in whose principal dwelling a security interest is or will be retained or acquired, if that person's ownership interest in the dwelling is or will be subject to the security interest. For purposes of §§ 1026.20(c) through (e), 1026.36(c), 1026.39, and 1026.41, the term includes a confirmed successor in interest.

(12) Consumer credit means credit offered or extended to a consumer primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

(13) Consummation means the time that a consumer becomes contractually obligated on a credit transaction.

(14) Credit means the right to defer payment of debt or to incur debt and defer its payment.


(i) Credit card means any card, plate, or other single credit device that may be used from time to time to obtain credit. The term credit card includes a hybrid prepaid-credit card as defined in § 1026.61.

(ii) Credit card account under an open-end (not home-secured) consumer credit plan means any open-end credit account that is accessed by a credit card, except:

(A) A home-equity plan subject to the requirements of § 1026.40 that is accessed by a credit card;

(B) An overdraft line of credit that is accessed by a debit card; or

(C) An overdraft line of credit that is accessed by an account number, except if the account number is a hybrid prepaid-credit card that can access a covered separate credit feature as defined in § 1026.61.

(iii) Charge card means a credit card on an account for which no periodic rate is used to compute a finance charge.

(iv) Debit card means any card, plate, or other single device that may be used from time to time to access an asset account other than a prepaid account as defined in § 1026.61. The term debit card does not include a prepaid card as defined in § 1026.61.

(16) Credit sale means a sale in which the seller is a creditor. The term includes a bailment or lease (unless terminable without penalty at any time by the consumer) under which the consumer:

(i) Agrees to pay as compensation for use a sum substantially equivalent to, or in excess of, the total value of the property and service involved; and

(ii) Will become (or has the option to become), for no additional consideration or for nominal consideration, the owner of the property upon compliance with the agreement.

(17) Creditor means:

(i) A person who regularly extends consumer credit that is subject to a finance charge or is payable by written agreement in more than four installments (not including a down payment), and to whom the obligation is initially payable, either on the face of the note or contract, or by agreement when there is no note or contract.

(ii) For purposes of §§ 1026.4(c)(8) (Discounts), 1026.9(d) (Finance charge imposed at time of transaction), and 1026.12(e) (Prompt notification of returns and crediting of refunds), a person that honors a credit card.

(iii) For purposes of subpart B, any card issuer that extends either open-end credit or credit that is not subject to a finance charge and is not payable by written agreement in more than four installments.

(iv) For purposes of subpart B (except for the credit and charge card disclosures contained in §§ 1026.60 and 1026.9(e) and (f), the finance charge disclosures contained in § 1026.6(a)(1) and (b)(3)(i) and § 1026.7(a)(4) through (7) and (b)(4) through (6) and the right of rescission set forth in § 1026.15) and subpart C, any card issuer that extends closed-end credit that is subject to a finance charge or is payable by written agreement in more than four installments.

(v) A person regularly extends consumer credit only if it extended credit (other than credit subject to the requirements of § 1026.32) more than 25 times (or more than 5 times for transactions secured by a dwelling) in the preceding calendar year. If a person did not meet these numerical standards in the preceding calendar year, the numerical standards shall be applied to the current calendar year. A person regularly extends consumer credit if, in any 12-month period, the person originates more than one credit extension that is subject to the requirements of § 1026.32 or one or more such credit extensions through a mortgage broker.

(18) Downpayment means an amount, including the value of property used as a trade-in, paid to a seller to reduce the cash price of goods or services purchased in a credit sale transaction. A deferred portion of a downpayment may be treated as part of the downpayment if it is payable not later than the due date of the second otherwise regularly scheduled payment and is not subject to a finance charge.

(19) Dwelling means a residential structure that contains one to four units, whether or not that structure is attached to real property. The term includes an individual condominium unit, cooperative unit, mobile home, and trailer, if it is used as a residence.

(20) Open-end credit means consumer credit extended by a creditor under a plan in which:

(i) The creditor reasonably contemplates repeated transactions;

(ii) The creditor may impose a finance charge from time to time on an outstanding unpaid balance; and

(iii) The amount of credit that may be extended to the consumer during the term of the plan (up to any limit set by the creditor) is generally made available to the extent that any outstanding balance is repaid.

(21) Periodic rate means a rate of finance charge that is or may be imposed by a creditor on a balance for a day, week, month, or other subdivision of a year.

(22) Person means a natural person or an organization, including a corporation, partnership, proprietorship, association, cooperative, estate, trust, or government unit.

(23) Prepaid finance charge means any finance charge paid separately in cash or by check before or at consummation of a transaction, or withheld from the proceeds of the credit at any time.

(24) Residential mortgage transaction means a transaction in which a mortgage, deed of trust, purchase money security interest arising under an installment sales contract, or equivalent consensual security interest is created or retained in the consumer's principal dwelling to finance the acquisition or initial construction of that dwelling.

(25) Security interest means an interest in property that secures performance of a consumer credit obligation and that is recognized by State or Federal law. It does not include incidental interests such as interests in proceeds, accessions, additions, fixtures, insurance proceeds (whether or not the creditor is a loss payee or beneficiary), premium rebates, or interests in after-acquired property. For purposes of disclosures under §§ 1026.6, 1026.18, 1026.19(e) and (f), and 1026.38(l)(6), the term does not include an interest that arises solely by operation of law. However, for purposes of the right of rescission under §§ 1026.15 and 1026.23, the term does include interests that arise solely by operation of law.

(26) State means any state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession of the United States.


(i) Successor in interest means a person to whom an ownership interest in a dwelling securing a closed-end consumer credit transaction is transferred from a consumer, provided that the transfer is:

(A) A transfer by devise, descent, or operation of law on the death of a joint tenant or tenant by the entirety;

(B) A transfer to a relative resulting from the death of the consumer;

(C) A transfer where the spouse or children of the consumer become an owner of the property;

(D) A transfer resulting from a decree of a dissolution of marriage, legal separation agreement, or from an incidental property settlement agreement, by which the spouse of the consumer becomes an owner of the property; or

(E) A transfer into an inter vivos trust in which the consumer is and remains a beneficiary and which does not relate to a transfer of rights of occupancy in the property.

(ii) Confirmed successor in interest means a successor in interest once a servicer has confirmed the successor in interest's identity and ownership interest in the dwelling.

(28) The Board-selected benchmark replacement for consumer loans means the SOFR-based index selected by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to replace, as applicable, the 1-month, 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month tenor of U.S. Dollar LIBOR, as set forth in the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System's regulation at 12 CFR part 253, which implements the Adjustable Interest Rate (LIBOR) Act, Public Law 117-103, division U.

(b) Rules of construction. For purposes of this part, the following rules of construction apply:

(1) Where appropriate, the singular form of a word includes the plural form and plural includes singular.

(2) Where the words obligation and transaction are used in the regulation, they refer to a consumer credit obligation or transaction, depending upon the context. Where the word credit is used in the regulation, it means consumer credit unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(3) Unless defined in this part, the words used have the meanings given to them by state law or contract.

(4) Where the word amount is used in this part to describe disclosure requirements, it refers to a numerical amount.

[76 FR 79772, Dec. 22, 2011, as amended at 78 FR 80106, Dec. 31, 2013; 81 FR 72388, Oct. 19, 2016; 81 FR 84369, Nov. 22, 2016; 88 FR 30622, May 11, 2023]