Today marks the one-year anniversary of the, which ushered in a set of sweeping new reforms to protect consumers from some of the most egregious credit card practices.
The CARD Act has made a big difference by putting an end to some of the bait and switch tactics that unfairly trap credit card consumers in high interest debt.Thanks to the new law, consumers stand a much better chance of avoiding the credit card gotchas.
However, we are working to make sure that the CFPB
Reduce the amount that credit card banks can charge for a penalty fee, such as a late fee, from the $25 permitted by existing regulations to $10. Reduce the penalty fee level for a repeat incident from $35 to $15.
Limit the size of penalty interest rates to amounts that are “reasonable and proportional” to the incident, such as no more than 7 percentage points over the prior rate. The current regulation addresses only the amounts of penalty fees, not penalty interest rate charges.
Require credit card banks to give “earn your way back to a good rate” to all consumers who make six consecutive on time payments. Currently, consumers get this opportunity only if the first six payments after a penalty interest rate begins are all on time.
Find and stop all evasions and violations of the Credit CARD Act.
Require that credit card terms and conditions be simple enough to fit on a two page plain language contract.
The CFPB will get its full powers in July. In the meantime, it is asking consumers to send in their ideas for which issues it should tackle. You should share your experience of an unfair credit card practice or any other shady financial deal at www.consumerfinance.gov