03/31/2009 - We all know what an uphill battle reforming abusive credit card practices has been. As a twenty-five year veteran of that fight, I know it as well as anyone. But this morning, the Senate took a big step up that mountain.
Today, the Senate Banking Committee passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act - legislation I wrote to stop abusive and deceptive credit card practices once and for all. Indeed, 2009 may well prove a watershed moment for credit card reform.
Here are a few other practices the Credit C.A.R.D Act ends:
"Any Time, Any Reason" interest rate hikes. Issuers often unilaterally change the terms of a credit card contract before the term is up. One issuer "voluntarily" eliminated these hikes after Congress exposed them. They even ran ads stating that "a deal is a deal." But there is nothing binding them to that commitment, and most issuers have already gone back to the practice - one a Pew Charitable Trusts survey found in 93% of 400 cards issued by the country's largest banks and issuers. This bill makes that practice illegal.
Read the full article The Moment for Credit Card Reform on The Huffington Post's Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Credit Cards Project on PewHealth.org.