Merkley: Credit Card Act Will Protect Consumers

Merkley: Credit Card Act Will Protect Consumers

First phase of act will give consumers more time to pay bills and more notice of rate hikes

– 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.

 “The 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:

        Notify 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.”