Reg B- joint intent

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    Angie Cowell

    We would like clarification or your opinion on joint intent when you are taking the application and only one borrower is present or you are taking via phone and speaking only to one applicant. Is a single applicant allowed to provide joint intent on behalf of the other borrower? We have been obtaining joint intent from each borrower which requires additional efforts when only one borrower is present/on phone. In some training from an outside source within the past year it was noted that the joint intent rules do not require the bank to verify intent with each applicant and that it is an industry standard that one borrower can represent the interest of another borrower. Therefore in situations in which it makes sense for the borrowers to be borrowing together one person providing joint intent for the other would be reasonable as long as we noted who provided the joint intent and date accordingly. If the situation is anything different then going through the additional efforts to obtain from each would be prudent. Please let us know your thoughts on this. Thank you.


    Neither the regulation nor the commentary specifically state how you must document joint intent; it says it must be evidenced at the time of application. If you are taking a application over the telephone it is reasonable to evidence the intent to apply jointly by documenting the intent, whom it was given by and who received it. It may be acceptable to employ this method for certain written applications, and it will depend in part on what your bank’s policy is for loan applications (e.g. signatures and joint intent either are or are not required on written apps). I believe it would cause fewer problems down the road if all written applications were handled consistently.

    3. Evidence of joint application. A person’s intent to be a joint applicant must be evidenced at the time of application. Signatures on a promissory note may not be used to show intent to apply for joint credit. On the other hand, signatures or initials on a credit application affirming applicants’ intent to apply for joint credit may be used to establish intent to apply for joint credit. (See Appendix B.) The method used to establish intent must be distinct from the means used by individuals to affirm the accuracy of information. For example, signatures on a joint financial statement affirming the veracity of information are not sufficient to establish intent to apply for joint credit.

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