New Credit Card billing regulations and the Key to understanding the history of Code of Federal Regulation sections

June 9, 2010



We have had several Summer Associates call regarding difficulty that they were having determining the history of the Regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations.  Specifically at issue in a few calls have been the new credit card regulations created under the Obama administration.  You can find news stories discussing those here

In looking at those regulations some Summer Associates have been confused by the source field into thinking that the regulations have been around for some time, instead of being newly enacted. 

If you run the following search by clicking this link: we get 18 results that are mostly some newly enacted credit card rules.  If you look at bottom of each, there is a Source field.  The Source and Credit fields at the bottom of CFR sections are similar fields with a very important distinction.  The Credit field lists Federal Register documents that have amended the section you are looking at.  The Source field lists Federal Register documents that have affected any section in the Part the section resides within. 

 If you look at the first result in the 17 we get from the query above, (12 CFR 226.51), the Source field is right after the text of the section.  The Source field reads:

SOURCE: Reg. Z, 46 FR 20892, Apr. 7, 1981; 52 FR 43181, Nov. 9, 1987; 54 FR 13864, April 6, 1989; 56 FR 13754, April 4, 1991; 58 FR 17084, April 1, 1993; 59 FR 40204, Aug. 5, 1994; 73 FR 44599, July 30, 2008; 74 FR 36094, July 22, 2009; 75 FR 7818, Feb. 22, 2010, unless otherwise noted.

It is telling us that the first Federal Register document that affects any section within Part 226 is from 1981.  Each of the other listed Federal Register documents affected the part or a section within it, but not necessarily this section.  This section is new and was created February 22nd 2010, as you can see by clicking the last Federal Register document cited in the Source field.

 An example of a section with both a Credit and a Source field can be found by going to the 15th result from our search (12 CFR 567.12).  The Credit and Source field read:

[59 FR 4788, Feb. 2, 1994; 60 FR 39232, Aug. 1, 1995; 62 FR 66264, Dec. 18, 1997; 62 FR 67117, Dec. 23, 1997; 63 FR 42678, Aug. 10, 1998; 66 FR 59666, Nov. 29, 2001; 73 FR 19, Jan. 2, 2008; 73 FR 79607, Dec. 30, 2008]

SOURCE: 54 FR 49649, Nov. 30, 1989; 57 FR 33439, July 29, 1992; 58 FR 4314, Jan. 14, 1993; 59 FR 4788, Feb. 2, 1994; 59 FR 18475, April 19, 1994; 60 FR 45621, Aug. 31, 1995; 60 FR 66715, Dec. 26, 1995; 61 FR 575, Jan. 8, 1996; 62 FR 55493, Oct. 24, 1997; 72 FR 69438, Dec. 7, 2007, unless otherwise noted.

For this section, the Credit field (the top paragraph) is listing the first Federal Register document that affects this section, and then every subsequent Federal Register document that affects this section.  The Source field is indicating every Federal Register document that affects any section in Part 567 .  In short, the credit field tells you about the section you are viewing, the Source field tells you about the Part the section is within.