Credit CARD Act reforms take effect

The bulk of the landmark 2009 Credit CARD Act’s consumer and student protections against unfair credit card tricks take effect Monday, 22 February. Yesterday, VPIRG’s national partners held a telephone news conference to explain the law, featuring USPIRG Consumer Advocate Ed Mierzwinski, Tim Mensing, Student Body President at the University of Washington (Seattle) and Professor Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel on the TARP and one of the nation’s leading experts on how unfair credit card practices lead to excessive credit card debt and bankruptcy.
Visit the new PIRG web page explaining the protections. On it, you can listen to our 55 minute news conference.
The historic new law offers sweeping protections that will save consumers millions of dollars in unfair credit card interest and penalties. Of course, banks will look for new ways to trick consumers, and they already are, because the current bank regulatory system is broken and bank regulators don’t care to enforce laws. The real solution is not to go back to Congress once we identify the new tricks, as it takes years to pass a new law. The solution is to create a new agency — the Consumer Financial Protection Agency — with the guts, and the sole mission — to protect consumers.
Meanwhile, consumers should do what they always should do– pay their credit cards as early in the month as possible and always pay as much as possible if you can’t pay the whole balance. We’ll win the CFPA, with your help. At our Victory on Credit Card Law page, you can take action.