Federal Reserve Board Has a Free Gift (Card) For You

Remember when Legal Bytes posted that little note about gift cards now being part of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, for the first time formally bringing gift cards under federal regulation? Remember we told you that as part of the process, “by July 2010, the Federal Reserve Board is to have crafted and approved new rules covering consumer disclosures (i.e., advertising, application forms, etc.)”?

Well today, the Federal Reserve Board announced proposed rules that would restrict gift card fees, limit expiration dates to a minimum of five years (after issuance or the last time funds were loaded), and prohibit dormancy, inactivity, and service fees, unless it was limited to once per month, the consumer was notified, and the inactivity has lasted for at least one year.

The FRB has been busy around Regulation E (EFT). Last week, the FRB announced its Final Rule surrounding ATM and one-time debit card overdrafts (See “The Fed Notices an Overdraft – Decides to Close the ATM Window”, posted on Legal Bytes earlier today). These regulations are also promulgated under Regulation E, and although the proposed rules have not yet been published in the Federal Register (expected soon), you can download a copy here: Federal Register – Gift Card Rulemaking Notice.