Section: Effect of definitions on treaties, compacts, or agreements
3. a. Every depository institution that maintains regular checking accounts in this State shall make available to consumers a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account at all offices of that depository institution where regular checking accounts are offered or available. A New Jersey Consumer Checking Account shall be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes. No depository institution shall be required to offer a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account at a cost which is below its actual cost to provide such an account. The calculation made by a depository institution of the actual cost of providing a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account shall be determinative in the absence of mathematical error or a request from the commissioner for other data and information deemed relevant or appropriate for evaluating the actual cost of providing a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account. New Jersey Consumer Checking Accounts shall contain the features specified in subsection c. of this section or be an account the features and terms of which have been approved by the commissioner pursuant to subsection d. of this section.
b. An applicant for a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account shall provide the depository institution with the same information an applicant for a regular checking account is required to provide at that depository institution.
c. The commissioner shall establish by regulation pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), all of the following features of a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account which may be stated in terms of a range of options rather than a specific number:
(1) the initial deposit amount, if any, necessary to open a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account;
(2) the maximum amount, if any, permitted to be required by a depository institution as a minimum balance necessary to maintain the account;
(3) the number of checks, if any, that may be used within a periodic cycle without charge to withdraw funds from the account;
(4) the number of other withdrawals, if any, that may be made by a method other than check within a periodic cycle without charge;
(5) a maximum amount, if any, that may be charged per periodic cycle for maintaining the account;
(6) the maximum number of deposits, if any, that may be made in a periodic cycle without charge; and
(7) a maximum amount that may be charged per transaction in excess of the number permitted under paragraphs (3), (4) and (6) of this subsection.
d. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection c. of this section, a depository institution may establish a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account by submitting an account to the commissioner for approval as a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account by providing the commissioner information which details the features and terms of the account.
(2) The commissioner shall approve or reject the account as a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account within 30 business days of receipt of the information from a depository institution.
(3) If the commissioner does not approve an account as a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account, the commissioner shall provide to the depository institution, in writing, the reasons for the commissioner's decision.
e. The commissioner shall, prior to promulgating regulations pursuant to subsection c. of this section or accepting any account for approval pursuant to subsection d. of this section, review the terms and conditions of the low cost personal checking accounts currently available to consumers in this State and shall consider those terms and conditions in complying with the provisions of subsections c. and d. of this section.
f. The holder of a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account shall:
(1) have no less access to mail or electronic banking services, including direct deposits to the account by payors, than that offered to holders of regular checking accounts at that depository institution;
(2) not be assessed any fee in excess of the usual fee or charge made by the depository institution to its regular checking account holders.
g. A depository institution shall provide a periodic account statement to every holder of a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account.
h. A depository institution may close a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account under the same standards for fraudulent activity and overdrafts as it applies to holders of regular checking accounts at the depository institution or close or refuse to open a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account if the consumer:
(1) has a regular checking account or another New Jersey Consumer Checking Account in that depository institution or in any other depository institution; or
(2) makes an intentional material misrepresentation in the information provided to the depository institution to open the account.
i. A depository institution shall not require any holder of a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account to have any other account at that or any other depository institution or have a credit card issued by it or any other depository institution as a condition to opening or maintaining a New Jersey Consumer Checking Account.
L.1991,c.210,s.3; amended 1997, c.33, s.16.
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