Merkley: Credit Card Act Will Protect Consumers

– New protections for credit card users
will start tomorrow with the enactment of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility
and Disclosure Act. Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley was an
original co-sponsor of the bill which was signed into law in May.

Credit CARD ACT is a huge victory for American consumers,” said Merkley. 
“This legislation will end deceptive practices that are stripping wealth from
Oregon families.  The first phase will
give families more time to pay their bills and notice of rate increases; soon
we’ll also see an end to repeated and unfair fees and retroactive rate
hikes.  These steps are instrumental in defusing the ticking time bomb of
exploding credit card debt.”

·       Not all of the Credit CARD Act’s measures will start tomorrow. the reforms that will start include requiring credit card companies to:

cardholders 45 days before any interest rate, fee and finance charge increases
on their accounts or other significant changes to their accounts;

·       Give
cardholders the right to opt out of interest rate hikes and fee increases and
allow them to cancel their accounts; 

Re     Refrain
from treating a cardholder’s payment as late unless the statement has been
mailed 21 days prior to the bill’s due date, rather than the current 14.

For a full summary of the Credit CARD Act, click here

“While this act is an excellent start to protecting consumers, what we
really need is a consumer financial protection agency to protect consumers
long-term. We shouldn’t have to wait for a once in a generation piece of
legislation to restore fairness to consumers’ relationships with credit card
companies,” said Merkley.  “I look forward to working with my colleagues
and the Administration to create this agency this fall.”