H.R. 3077 (112th): Freedom and Mobility in Consumer Banking Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Oct 03, 2011 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

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112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3077

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 3, 2011

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services

A BILL

To amend the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to ensure that customers have the right to immediately close any account at any insured depository institutions on demand, without cost to the consumer, that consumers receive any balance in their account immediately, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Freedom and Mobility in Consumer Banking Act.

2.

Federal Deposit Insurance Act amendments

The Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1811 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

51.

Right to close personal checking and savings accounts

(a)

In general

An insured depository institution may not—

(1)

prohibit any person from closing a checking or savings account, regardless of whether the balance in the account is positive, zero, or negative; or

(2)

charge any fee to close any such account.

(b)

Time limit

An account at any insured depository institution shall be closed by the institution not later than 48 hours after receiving a request from the customer to close the account.

(c)

Methods of requesting closure of an account

(1)

In general

Any accountholder of an account at an insured depository institution may request that the account be closed in person, over the phone, or by other electronic or remote means, as may be prescribed by regulation.

(2)

Exception for large accounts

Notwithstanding paragraph (1), any insured depository institution may require an accountholder of an account which has an outstanding balance of $25,000 or more on deposit at the depository institution to close the account in person, to the extent the depository institution has provided written notice of such requirement to the account holder at any time prior to receiving a request from the accountholder to close the account.

(d)

Repayment of balances

(1)

In general

Any balance in an account at an insured depository institution that is closed by the institution pursuant to a request by the accountholder shall repaid to the accountholder in accordance with the following requirements:

(A)

In person

If the request is made in person, the total amount of funds on deposit in the account shall be paid to the accountholder at the time the request is made at the consumer’s option and without a fee, by certified check provided to the consumer at the time of the request, by electronic fund transfer executed on that business day to an account designated by the consumer, or by any other means offered by the financial institution if requested by the consumer.

(B)

Request made by other means

If the request is made over the phone, or by other electronic or remote means, the total amount of funds on deposit in the account shall promptly be remitted by the institution to the accountholder at the consumer’s option and without a fee, by certified check issued on the business day on which the request is received, by electronic fund transfer executed on that business day to an account designated by the consumer, or by any other means offered by the financial institution if requested by the consumer.

(2)

Time limit

In any case, the payment by an insured depository institution of the total amount of funds on deposit in an account at the institution which the accountholder has requested be closed shall be remitted to the accountholder before the end of the 3 business day period beginning when the accountholder submits such request.

(e)

Prohibition on any fees or charges after request To close

No insured depository institution may impose any fees or charges on any deposit account at such institution after receiving a request in accordance with subsection (c) to close the account.

(f)

Prohibition on reopening account To make subsequent payment

No insured depository institution may reopen an account that the consumer has requested be closed in accordance with subsection (c) to apply subsequent debits, whether preauthorized or otherwise, or for any other reason, unless the consumer expressly requests that such account be reopened.

(g)

Notice of subsequent preauthorized recurring debits

During the 30-day period beginning on the date an account at an insured depository institution is closed pursuant to a request by the accountholder, the insured depository institution shall promptly notify the customer if a preauthorized recurring debit is directed to the account.

(h)

Limitation on reporting

(1)

Negative balance resulting from fees

If, at the time any account at an insured depository institution is closed, the account has a negative balance resulting solely from any fee assessed by the depository institution, the insured depository institution may not report the fact of the outstanding balance or any other adverse information with respect to such account to any consumer reporting agency described in section 603(f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act if such information could be used to adversely affect the consumer’s ability to open a transaction account at another depository institution.

(2)

Treatment of negative balance resulting from overdrafts

If such information could be used to adversely affect the consumer’s ability to open a transaction account at another depository institution, an insured depository institution shall not report to any consumer reporting agency (as defined in section 603 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act) that an account had a negative balance at the time of the closure of the account unless all of the following conditions are met:

(A)

Only if the negative balance is the result of funds actually paid by the depository institution to a third party.

(B)

Only for the amount it actually paid to the third party and not for any fees associated with the transaction.

(C)

Only to the extent the negative balance is the result of credit extended through an overdraft line of credit program where the fee or charge incurred in connection with the overdraft is considered a finance charge under the Truth In Lending Act.

(3)

Notice and opportunity for repayment of overdraft

If an account of an accountholder at an insured depository institution has a negative balance at the time the account is closed, the insured depository institution—

(A)

shall promptly notify the accountholder of the fact of the negative balance and the amount due; and

(B)

may, after the end of the 30-day period beginning on the date notice is provided to an accountholder under subparagraph (A)—

(i)

report the fact of the outstanding balance or any other adverse information with respect to such account to any consumer reporting agency, subject to the limitations in paragraph (2); and

(ii)

take any other collection activity with respect to such outstanding balance.

(i)

Transfer of direct deposit received after notice of closure and payment

If—

(1)

during the 30-day period beginning after any balance in an account at an insured depository institution that is closed by the institution pursuant to a request by the accountholder has been repaid to the accountholder, a previously scheduled amount intended for direct deposit into such account is received by such institution, and

(2)

before the time such amount is received, the consumer provides the insured depository institution with an account number and insured depository institution routing number for a successor transaction or savings account at another insured depository institution,

the insured depository institution which receives such amount shall transfer such amount, without a fee and by electronic fund transfer, to the insured depository institution identified by the former accountholder for deposit in the transaction or savings account identified by such former accountholder.
(j)

Regulations

The Federal banking agencies shall jointly prescribe regulations to carry out the purposes of this section.

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