Regging the question

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If you haven’t already, hover up to your toolbar and bookmark the FTC’s Regulatory Review page.  It’s your one-stop resource for what's coming up and what’s going down with Commission rules and guides of interest to your business and your clients.  Recent announcements about the FTC's regulatory review schedule make it a must-read.

Rules and guides are a crucial component of consumer protection, but it’s important they’re up to date, effective, and not overly burdensome.  (We’re still mourning the 1995 demise of the Frosted Cocktail Glass Rule, but that’s just us.  Here's a list of other rules and guides rescinded by the FTC as part of its regulatory review process.)

Last year the FTC put the pedal to the metal, with one-third of its 65 rules and guides reviewed or under review.  Twenty-two are under the microscope now and the FTC has announced that three more — the Jewelry Guides, the Auto Parts Guides, and the Advertising Allowances Guides — will be re-examined soon.  Watch or the MARK YOUR CALENDAR feature of the BCP Business Center for deadlines and let us know what's on your mind by filing a comment online.

The FTC also is consolidating its future review of several rules involving the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act. 

How has the Dodd-Frank Act changed the reg review landscape?  Rulemaking authority for nine FTC rules dealing with aspects of credit reporting, mortgages, and certain financial matters has moved across town to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  The CFPB has republished them and they took effect on December 30, 2011.  The FTC continues to have enforcement responsibilities for those rules.  In addition, some related rules — for example, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Safeguards Rule and the Fair Credit Reporting Act Disposal Rule — remain at the FTC.

If you have clients in the automotive industry, make a note that the FTC retains rulemaking authority for six FCRA rules and one GLB rule as they apply to motor vehicle dealers.

Due to resource constraints, the FTC announced that review of four rules originally scheduled for 2012 — the Holder in Due Course Rule, the Deceptive Pricing Guides, the Guides Against Bait Advertising, and the “Free” Guides — has been pushed back to 2017. But the postponement shouldn’t suggest you can put your guard down when it comes to compliance.  Section 5 enforcement remains consistent.

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