Part A General Provisions
Part B Credit Transactions
Part C Credit Advertising and Limits On Credit Card Fees
Part D Credit Billing
Part E Consumer Leases

Terms Used In U.S. Code > Title 15 > Chapter 41 > Subchapter I - Consumer Credit Cost Disclosure

  • Administrator: means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. See 42 USC 7602
  • Administrator: means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. See 15 USC 2602
  • Advice and consent: Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate, and international treaties become effective only when the Senate approves them by a two-thirds vote.
  • Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • affiliate: means any person who (other than by means of a franchise) controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, any other person. See 15 USC 2801
  • air pollutant: means any air pollution agent or combination of such agents, including any physical, chemical, biological, radioactive (including source material, special nuclear material, and byproduct material) substance or matter which is emitted into or otherwise enters the ambient air. See 42 USC 7602
  • air pollution control agency: means any of the following:

    (1) A single State agency designated by the Governor of that State as the official State air pollution control agency for purposes of this chapter. See 42 USC 7602

  • Allegation: something that someone says happened.
  • Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
  • Amortization: Paying off a loan by regular installments.
  • Annual percentage rate: The cost of credit at a yearly rate. It is calculated in a standard way, taking the average compound interest rate over the term of the loan so borrowers can compare loans. Lenders are required by law to disclose a card account's APR. Source: FDIC
  • Annuity: A periodic (usually annual) payment of a fixed sum of money for either the life of the recipient or for a fixed number of years. A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • applicable implementation plan: means the portion (or portions) of the implementation plan, or most recent revision thereof, which has been approved under section 7410 of this title, or promulgated under section 7410(c) of this title, or promulgated or approved pursuant to regulations promulgated under section 7601(d) of this title and which implements the relevant requirements of this chapter. See 42 USC 7602
  • Appraisal: A determination of property value.
  • Appropriation: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization
  • Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • association: when used in reference to a corporation, shall be deemed to embrace the words "successors and assigns of such company or association" in like manner as if these last-named words, or words of similar import, were expressed. See 1 USC 5
  • automotive fuel: means liquid fuel of a type distributed for use as a fuel in any motor vehicle. See 15 USC 2821
  • automotive fuel rating: means --

    (A) the octane rating of an automotive spark-ignition engine fuel. See 15 USC 2821

  • automotive fuel requirement: means , with respect to automotive fuel for use in a motor vehicle or a class thereof, imported, manufactured, or assembled by a manufacturer, the minimum automotive fuel rating of such automotive fuel which such manufacturer recommends for the efficient operation of such motor vehicle, or a substantial portion of such class, without knocking. See 15 USC 2821
  • automotive fuel retailer: means any person who markets automotive fuel to the general public for ultimate consumption. See 15 USC 2821
  • Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
  • Baseline: Projection of the receipts, outlays, and other budget amounts that would ensue in the future without any change in existing policy. Baseline projections are used to gauge the extent to which proposed legislation, if enacted into law, would alter current spending and revenue levels.
  • Bequest: Property gifted by will.
  • broadcasting: means the dissemination of radio communications intended to be received by the public, directly or by the intermediary of relay stations. See 47 USC 153
  • cetane rating: means a measure, as indicated by a cetane index or cetane number, of the ignition quality of diesel fuel oil and of the influence of the diesel fuel oil on combustion roughness. See 15 USC 2821
  • commerce: means trade, traffic, transportation, or other commerce (A) between a place in a State and any place outside of such State, or (B) which affects trade, traffic, transportation, or commerce described in clause (A). See 15 USC 2602
  • commerce: means any trade, traffic, transportation, exchange, or other commerce--

    (A) between any State and any place outside of such State. See 15 USC 2801

  • commerce: means any trade, traffic, transportation, exchange, or other commerce--

    (A) between any State and any place outside of such State. See 15 USC 2821

  • Committee: means the Committee on Earth and Environmental Sciences established under section 2932 of this title. See 15 USC 2921
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Concurrent resolution: A legislative measure, designated "S. Con. Res." and numbered consecutively upon introduction, generally employed to address the sentiments of both chambers, to deal with issues or matters affecting both houses, such as a concurrent budget resolution, or to create a temporary joint committee. Concurrent resolutions are not submitted to the President/Governor and thus do not have the force of law.
  • Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • contract: means any oral or written agreement. See 15 USC 2801
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • corporation: includes any corporation, joint-stock company, or association. See 47 USC 153
  • Council: means the Federal Coordinating Council on Science, Engineering, and Technology. See 15 USC 2921
  • Counterclaim: A claim that a defendant makes against a plaintiff.
  • county: includes a parish, or any other equivalent subdivision of a State or Territory of the United States. See 1 USC 2
  • Credit report: A detailed report of an individual's credit history prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender in determining a loan applicant's creditworthiness. Source: OCC
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Devise: To gift property by will.
  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • distributor: means any person, including any affiliate of such person, who--

    (A) purchases motor fuel for sale, consignment, or distribution to another. See 15 USC 2801

  • distributor: means any person who receives automotive fuel and distributes such automotive fuel to another person other than the ultimate purchaser. See 15 USC 2821
  • Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
  • Donor: The person who makes a gift.
  • environment: includes water, air, and land and the interrelationship which exists among and between water, air, and land and all living things. See 15 USC 2602
  • Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
  • Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
  • Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: A government corporation that insures the deposits of all national and state banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Source: OCC
  • Federal land manager: means , with respect to any lands in the United States, the Secretary of the department with authority over such lands. See 42 USC 7602
  • Federal Reserve System: The central bank of the United States. The Fed, as it is commonly called, regulates the U.S. monetary and financial system. The Federal Reserve System is composed of a central governmental agency in Washington, D.C. (the Board of Governors) and twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks in major cities throughout the United States. Source: OCC
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • Finance charge: The total cost of credit a customer must pay on a consumer loan, including interest. The Truth in Lending Act requires disclosure of the finance charge. Source: OCC
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Fixed Rate: Having a "fixed" rate means that the APR doesn't change based on fluctuations of some external rate (such as the "Prime Rate"). In other words, a fixed rate is a rate that is not a variable rate. A fixed APR can change over time, in several circumstances:
    • You are late making a payment or commit some other default, triggering an increase to a penalty rate
    • The bank changes the terms of your account and you do not reject the change.
    • The rate expires (if the rate was fixed for only a certain period of time).
  • Foreclosure: A legal process in which property that is collateral or security for a loan may be sold to help repay the loan when the loan is in default. Source: OCC
  • franchise: includes --

    (i) any contract under which a retailer or distributor (as the case may be) is authorized or permitted to occupy leased marketing premises, which premises are to be employed in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel under a trademark which is owned or controlled by such refiner or by a refiner which supplies motor fuel to the distributor which authorizes or permits such occupancy. See 15 USC 2801

  • franchise relationship: means the respective motor fuel marketing or distribution obligations and responsibilities of a franchisor and a franchisee which result from the marketing of motor fuel under a franchise. See 15 USC 2801
  • franchisee: means a retailer or distributor (as the case may be) who is authorized or permitted, under a franchise, to use a trademark in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel. See 15 USC 2801
  • franchisor: means a refiner or distributor (as the case may be) who authorizes or permits, under a franchise, a retailer or distributor to use a trademark in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel. See 15 USC 2801
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • global change: means changes in the global environment (including alterations in climate, land productivity, oceans or other water resources, atmospheric chemistry, and ecological systems) that may alter the capacity of the Earth to sustain life. See 15 USC 2921
  • global change research: means study, monitoring, assessment, prediction, and information management activities to describe and understand--

    (A) the interactive physical, chemical, and biological processes that regulate the total Earth system. See 15 USC 2921

  • Grace period: The number of days you'll have to pay your bill for purchases in full without triggering a finance charge. Source: Federal Reserve
  • Grantor: The person who establishes a trust and places property into it.
  • Guarantor: A party who agrees to be responsible for the payment of another party's debts should that party default. Source: OCC
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • guidance: means any significant written guidance of general applicability prepared by the Administrator. See 15 USC 2602
  • Indemnification: In general, a collateral contract or assurance under which one person agrees to secure another person against either anticipated financial losses or potential adverse legal consequences. Source: FDIC
  • individual: shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. See 1 USC 8
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
  • Interrogatories: Written questions asked by one party of an opposing party, who must answer them in writing under oath; a discovery device in a lawsuit.
  • Joint committee: Committees including membership from both houses of teh legislature. Joint committees are usually established with narrow jurisdictions and normally lack authority to report legislation.
  • Judgement: The official decision of a court finally determining the respective rights and claims of the parties to a suit.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • leased marketing premises: means marketing premises owned, leased, or in any way controlled by a franchisor and which the franchisee is authorized or permitted, under the franchise, to employ in connection with the sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel. See 15 USC 2801
  • Legacy: A gift of property made by will.
  • Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
  • licensee: means the holder of a radio station license granted or continued in force under authority of this chapter. See 47 USC 153
  • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • manufacture: means to import into the customs territory of the United States (as defined in general note 2 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States), produce, or manufacture. See 15 USC 2602
  • manufacturer: means any person who imports, manufactures, or assembles motor vehicles for sale. See 15 USC 2821
  • marketing premises: means , in the case of any franchise, premises which, under such franchise, are to be employed by the franchisee in connection with sale, consignment, or distribution of motor fuel. See 15 USC 2801
  • Minimum finance charge: The minimum, or fixed, finance charge that will be imposed during a billing cycle. A minimum finance charge usually applies only when a finance charge is imposed, that is, when you carry over a balance. Source: Federal Reserve
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • Mortgage loan: A loan made by a lender to a borrower for the financing of real property. Source: OCC
  • Mortgagor: The person who pledges property to a creditor as collateral for a loan and who receives the money.
  • motor fuel: means gasoline and diesel fuel of a type distributed for use as a fuel in self-propelled vehicles designed primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways. See 15 USC 2801
  • motor vehicle: means any self-propelled four-wheeled vehicle, of less than 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, which is designed primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways. See 15 USC 2821
  • National Credit Union Administration: The federal regulatory agency that charters and supervises federal credit unions. (NCUA also administers the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which insures the deposits of federal credit unions.) Source: OCC
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • octane rating: means the rating of the antiknock characteristics of a grade or type of automotive fuel as determined by dividing by 2 the sum of the research octane number plus the motor octane number, unless another procedure is prescribed under section 2823(c)(3) of this title, in which case such term means the rating of such characteristics as determined under the procedure so prescribed. See 15 USC 2821
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 1 USC 1
  • Open-end credit: A credit agreement (typically a credit card) that allows a customer to borrow against a preapproved credit line when purchasing goods and services. The borrower is only billed for the amount that is actually borrowed plus any interest due. (Also called a charge account or revolving credit.) Source: OCC
  • Outlays: Outlays are payments made (generally through the issuance of checks or disbursement of cash) to liquidate obligations. Outlays during a fiscal year may be for payment of obligations incurred in prior years or in the same year.
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • person: includes an individual, corporation, partnership, association, State, municipality, political subdivision of a State, and any agency, department, or instrumentality of the United States and any officer, agent, or employee thereof. See 42 USC 7602
  • person: includes an individual, partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, or corporation. See 47 USC 153
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Plan: means the National Global Change Research Plan developed under section 2934 of this title, or any revision thereof. See 15 USC 2921
  • Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
  • process: means the preparation of a chemical substance or mixture, after its manufacture, for distribution in commerce--

    (A) in the same form or physical state as, or in a different form or physical state from, that in which it was received by the person so preparing such substance or mixture, or

    (B) as part of an article containing the chemical substance or mixture. See 15 USC 2602

  • Program: means the United States Global Change Research Program established under section 2933 of this title. See 15 USC 2921
  • Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
  • Public debt: Cumulative amounts borrowed by the Treasury Department or the Federal Financing Bank from the public or from another fund or account. The public debt does not include agency debt (amounts borrowed by other agencies of the Federal Government). The total public debt is subject to a statutory limit.
  • Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
  • Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.
  • radio broadcast station: means a radio station equipped to engage in broadcasting as herein defined. See 47 USC 153
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act: Federal law that, among other things, requires lenders to provide "good faith" estimates of settlement costs and make other disclosures regarding the mortgage loan. RESPA also limits the amount of funds held in escrow for real estate taxes and insurance. Source: OCC
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • Recourse: An arrangement in which a bank retains, in form or in substance, any credit risk directly or indirectly associated with an asset it has sold (in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles) that exceeds a pro rata share of the bank's claim on the asset. If a bank has no claim on an asset it has sold, then the retention of any credit risk is recourse. Source: FDIC
  • refiner: means any person engaged in the refining of crude oil to produce motor fuel, and includes any affiliate of such person. See 15 USC 2801
  • refiner: means any person engaged in the production or importation of automotive fuel. See 15 USC 2821
  • relevant geographic market area: includes a State or a standard metropolitan statistical area as periodically established by the Office of Management and Budget. See 15 USC 2801
  • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
  • Rescission: The cancellation of budget authority previously provided by Congress. The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 specifies that the President may propose to Congress that funds be rescinded. If both Houses have not approved a rescission proposal (by passing legislation) within 45 days of continuous session, any funds being withheld must be made available for obligation.
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • retailer: means any person who purchases motor fuel for sale to the general public for ultimate consumption. See 15 USC 2801
  • Right of rescission: Right to cancel, within three business days, a contract that uses the home of a person as collateral, except in the case of a first mortgage loan. There is no fee to the borrower, who receives a full refund of all fees paid. The right of rescission is guaranteed by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Source: OCC
  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
  • State: means a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa and includes the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. See 42 USC 7602
  • State: means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Canal Zone, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, or any other territory or possession of the United States. See 15 USC 2602
  • State: includes Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands. See 16 USC 590q
  • State: includes the District of Columbia and the Territories and possessions. See 47 USC 153
  • State: means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States. See 15 USC 2801
  • State: means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States. See 15 USC 2821
  • station: means a station equipped to engage in radio communication or radio transmission of energy. See 47 USC 153
  • stationary source: means generally any source of an air pollutant except those emissions resulting directly from an internal combustion engine for transportation purposes or from a nonroad engine or nonroad vehicle as defined in section 7550 of this title. See 42 USC 7602
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • telecommunications: means the transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user's choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received. See 47 USC 153
  • telecommunications equipment: means equipment, other than customer premises equipment, used by a carrier to provide telecommunications services, and includes software integral to such equipment (including upgrades). See 47 USC 153
  • Temporary restraining order: Prohibits a person from an action that is likely to cause irreparable harm. This differs from an injunction in that it may be granted immediately, without notice to the opposing party, and without a hearing. It is intended to last only until a hearing can be held.
  • termination: includes cancellation. See 15 USC 2801
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
  • trademark: means any trademark, trade name, service mark, or other identifying symbol or name. See 15 USC 2801
  • Transcript: A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial or during some other conversation, as in a transcript of a hearing or oral deposition.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • ultimate purchaser: means , with respect to any item, the first person who purchases such item for purposes other than resale. See 15 USC 2821
  • United States: when used in the geographic sense, means all of the States. See 15 USC 2602
  • United States: means the several States and Territories, the District of Columbia, and the possessions of the United States, but does not include the Canal Zone. See 47 USC 153
  • User fees: Fees charged to users of goods or services provided by the government. In levying or authorizing these fees, the legislature determines whether the revenue should go into the treasury or should be available to the agency providing the goods or services.
  • Usury: Charging an illegally high interest rate on a loan. Source: OCC
  • Variable Rate: Having a "variable" rate means that the APR changes from time to time based on fluctuations in an external rate, normally the Prime Rate. This external rate is known as the "index." If the index changes, the variable rate normally changes. Also see Fixed Rate.
  • vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 1 USC 4
  • Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
  • Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
  • vessel: includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. See 1 USC 3
  • writing: includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise. See 1 USC 1