Fredric J. Gooch – General Counsel, DocuTech Corporation
The model form is two pages long, page one has five different sections. The first section is the title of the document “What Does ABC Mortgage Do With Your Personal Information.” The second section contains introductory language called the “key frame.” It is designed to help the consumer understand the disclosures. The third section is the disclosure table that describes the types of sharing used by financial institutions that is allowable under federal law, whether the institution participates in these types of sharing and whether the consumer can limit or opt out of the sharing. The fourth section is only used if needed and it contains a box titled “To limit our sharing” for opt out information. The final section on page one contains the institutions customer service contact information. Page two of the model form contains additional information and definitions; this information ensures that the model form meets all of the requirements of the GLBA.
The drafters of the rule are aware that there are several states that have specific requirements related to privacy disclosures. For this reason they have incorporated a place on page two of the form entitled “Other important information.” This is the area where you would insert any state specific privacy language.
Use of the new model form is not required, but if institutions want to take advantage of the safe harbor protection they must use the new form by December 31, 2010. There has been a concern that the new model form may not be appropriate for institutions of varying sizes and complexity. Due to the broad applicability of the form and the varying degree of complexity in these institution’s privacy policies, institutions may continue to use a customized form as long as it meets all the requirements set forth in the regulations. The result is that institutions affected by the regulation must either adapt their privacy policies to work within the framework of the new model form or spend a considerable amount of time and resources customizing a form that will meet the requirements. Whenever possible it is advantageous to use the model form so your institution may take advantage of the safe harbor protection.