§ 9401.108 Restrictions on seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit or indebtedness from an entity that is a party or represents a party to a matter to which an employee is assigned or may be assigned.  


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  • (a) General rules regarding seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit or indebtedness—(1) Prohibition. While an employee is assigned to participate in a particular matter involving specific parties, the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child shall not seek, obtain, or renegotiate credit or indebtedness with an entity that is a party or represents a party to the matter. This prohibition also applies to a particular matter involving specific parties pending at the Bureau in which the employee is not currently participating but of which the employee is aware and believes it is likely that the employee will participate.

    (2) Cooling off period. The prohibition in paragraph (a)(1) of this section continues for two years after the employee's participation in the particular matter has ended.

    (b) Rules regarding credit or indebtedness secured by principal residence. Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, an employee or an employee's spouse or minor child may seek, obtain, or renegotiate credit or indebtedness secured by residential real property with an entity, subject to the following conditions:

    (1) The residential real property is or will be the principal residence of the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child;

    (2) A minimum of three months have passed since the end of the employee's participation in each particular matter involving specific parties in which that entity was a party or represented a party;

    (3) The employee is disqualified from participating in particular matters involving specific parties in which that entity is a party or represents a party while the employee or the employee's spouse or minor child is seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating the credit or indebtedness;

    (4) The employee or the employee's spouse or minor child seeking, obtaining, or negotiating the credit or indebtedness must satisfy all financial requirements generally applicable to all applicants for the same type of credit or indebtedness for residential real property; and

    (5) The credit or indebtedness is obtained on terms and conditions no more favorable than those offered to the general public.

    (c) Specific rules for employee's spouse and minor child. The prohibitions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section do not apply when the employee's spouse or minor child is seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit or indebtedness and:

    (1) The credit or indebtedness is supported only by the income or independent means of the spouse or minor child;

    (2) The credit or indebtedness is obtained on terms and conditions no more favorable than those offered to the general public; and

    (3) The employee does not participate in the negotiating for the credit or indebtedness or serve as co-maker, endorser or guarantor of the credit or indebtedness.

    (d) Disqualification requirement for credit or indebtedness sought by person related to an employee. An employee shall disqualify himself or herself from participating in a particular matter involving specific parties as soon as the employee learns that any of the following persons are seeking, obtaining, or renegotiating credit or indebtedness with an entity that is a party or represents a party to the matter:

    (1) The employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child;

    (2) A partnership in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child is a general partner;

    (3) A partnership or closely held corporation in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child individually or jointly owns or controls more than a 10 percent equity interest;

    (4) A trust in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child has a vested legal or beneficial interest;

    (5) An investment club or similar informal investment arrangement between the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child, and others;

    (6) A qualified profit sharing, retirement, or similar plan in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child has an interest; or

    (7) An entity in which the employee or the employee's spouse, domestic partner, or dependent child individually or jointly holds more than a 25 percent equity interest.

    (e) Exemptions. The following forms of credit are exempted from the prohibitions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section and the disqualification requirement in paragraph (d) of this section, provided the credit is offered on terms and conditions no more favorable than those offered to the general public:

    (1) Revolving consumer credit or charge cards;

    (2) Overdraft protection on checking accounts and similar accounts; and

    (3) The provision of telephone, cable, gas, electricity, water, or other similar utility services provided on credit (i.e., the service is provided before payment is due such that consumers incur debt as they use the service and receive periodic bills for the services used).

    (f) Waivers. The DAEO, after consultation with senior management in the Division in which the employee works, may grant a written waiver from the prohibition in paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section or the disqualification requirement in paragraph (d) of this section, based on a determination that participation in matters otherwise prohibited by this section would not be prohibited by law (18 U.S.C. 208) or create an appearance of loss of impartiality or use of public office for private gain, and would not otherwise be inconsistent with the OGE Standards or the CFPB Ethics Regulations.

    [82 FR 35886, Aug. 2, 2017]

[82 FR 35886, Aug. 2, 2017