Q: If a creditor chooses to provide the information that is required to be provided orally by providing a toll-free telephone number, consistent with 32 CFR 232.6(d)(2)(ii)(B), when must the information be available to the borrower?
A: Section 232.6(d)(2) requires a statement of the MAPR and a clear description of the covered borrower’s payment obligation to be provided to the covered borrower orally. Creditors may satisfy this requirement by providing the information to the covered borrower in person or through a toll-free telephone number. If the creditor decides to provide the borrower with a toll-free telephone number, the toll-free telephone number must be provided on:
i) a form the creditor directs the consumer to use to apply for the transaction or account, or
ii) the written disclosure of the information that is required under § 232.6(d)(1).
Since § 232.6(d)(2) permits creditors to provide oral disclosures by providing a toll-free telephone number, such information must be available from the time the creditor provides the toll-free telephone number. The difficulty of providing this information in a timely way through a toll-free telephone system is mitigated by the Department’s interpretation of mandatory oral disclosures as allowing for a nonnumeric statement of the MAPR and a generic, clear description of the payment obligation. See § 232.6(c) and Question and Answer #12 of these Interpretations. Oral disclosures provided through a toll-free telephone system need only be available under § 232.6(d)(2)(ii)(B) for a duration of time reasonably necessary to allow a covered borrower to contact the creditor for the purpose of listening to the disclosure.