Washington, DC -
05/19/2009 - Statement of Nick Bourke, manager of the Safe Credit Cards Project at the Pew Health Group:
“The Senate today joined the House in coming together to pass smart, strong, bipartisan legislation that puts an end to many unfair and deceptive credit card practices. This is a tremendous victory for the millions of credit card carrying consumers, many of whom will be able to avoid hundreds, even thousands of dollars in unfair fees and interest rate hikes.
“Today’s Senate bill includes many protections found in the House bill passed in April, including limits on retroactive rate increases on outstanding balances. The Senate bill also adds a critical new provision--enabling consumers to reduce penalty interest rate increases after six months of on-time payments. As leaders from the House and Senate negotiate final details, we strongly urge them to preserve these important protections.”
The Pew Safe Credit Cards Project recently evaluated general purpose credit cards offered online by the largest 12 issuers, which control nearly 90 percent of all outstanding credit card debt in America. The project found that 100 percent of these cards contained features that the Federal Reserve has determined cause substantial harm to consumers.
Please see the related press release and issue brief on this topic.
Representatives from the Pew Health Group were in attendance at the White House bill signing ceremony on May 22. Watch a video of this landmark occasion on the White House'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Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Credit Cards Project on PewHealth.org.