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Consumer Credit Protection Act

The Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C.A. § 1601 et seq. [1972]) is federal statute designed to protect borrowers of money by mandating complete disclosure of the terms and conditions of finance charges in transactions; by limiting the GARNISHMENT of wages; and by regulating the use of charge accounts.

The Consumer Credit Protection Act was the first general federal CONSUMER PROTECTION legislation. Title I of this law, known as the TRUTH-IN-LENDING ACT (15 U.S.C.A. § 1601 et seq. [1968]), requires that the terms in CONSUMER CREDIT transactions be fully explained to the prospective debtors. Title VI of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, known as the FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT (15 U.S.C.A. § 1601 et seq. [1978]), applies to businesses that regularly obtain consumer credit information for other businesses. Its purpose is to ensure that consumer reporting activities are conducted in a manner that is fair and equitable to the affected consumer.

Whereas the Consumer Credit Protection Act is federal law, states have also passed many statutes regulating consumer credit. For example, the UNIFORM CONSUMER CREDIT CODE (UCCC) is an initiative that was drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1968 to help provide consistency among the variety of consumer credit laws that exist throughout state jurisdictions. The purpose of the UCCC is threefold: to protect consumers obtaining credit to finance transactions; to ensure that adequate credit is provided; and to generally govern the credit industry. As of 2003, the UCCC had been adopted in only seven states and Guam. Many states, however, continue to enact legislation that would provide consumer debtors similar protections contained in the provisions of the UCCC.

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