09/24/2009 - Bankers groups are crying foul as legislators moved today to speed up implementation of credit card reform in the wake of a flood of rate hikes and customer cancellations.
Two powerful legislators –Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, the author of the credit reform bill, and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who is Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, announced a proposal Thursday that would require credit card issuers to adhere to the recently passed Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act) three months early.
Calling it the ‘‘Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009,” the bill would implement the remaining provisions of the CARD Act on Dec. 1, rather than in 2010 as originally scheduled. That would demand that card issuers abandon “anytime, any reason” changes in terms, hair-trigger interest rate boosts on existing balances and a series of other controversial practices at least three months early, said Nick Bourke, manager of the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project in Washington, D.C. (Most of the remaining changes in credit card rules are slated to go into effect in February; a handful more would go into effect in August of 2010.)
The move was a reaction to a raft of consumer complaints about hiked rates and changing terms in the months following the CARD Act’s passage.
Read the full article Congress to Speed New Credit Rules to Stop Bad Bank Behavior on the CBS MoneyWatch 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Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Credit Cards Project on PewHealth.org.