Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, announced today that the Committee passed comprehensive legislation he authored to protect consumers from confusing, misleading and predatory practices by credit card companies. Having fought to reform the credit card industry for over two decades, Dodd wrote the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, a version of which he introduced in 2004, to provide tough new protections for consumers who are treated unfairly by their credit card companies, some of whom are encountering financial ruin as a result.
?Millions of Americans are being laid off, our economy is in crisis, and the need to modernize our financial system is clear. With this perfect storm of challenges, this is the moment to stand up for consumers in every corner of America who are struggling through this recession,? said Dodd. ?Economic recovery will only come when we put an end to the abusive practices that continue to drive so many Americans deeper and deeper into debt. It is the right thing to do for our families, and the right thing to do for our economy. Seizing that moment starts today - and it starts with reforming credit card practices. I commend the Banking Committee for passing this legislation, and am determined to see this bill pass the United States Senate and become law.?
The Credit CARD Act will help protect American consumers by bringing an end to wrongful credit card practices. Among other provisions, the legislation will:
Protect consumers from ?any time, any reason? interest rate increases and account changes;
Prohibit unfair application of card payments;
Protect cardholders who pay on time;
Limit abusive fees and penalties;
Prohibit issuers from using a consumer?s card history with another creditor to raise interest rates (?universal default? ban);
Prohibit issuers from charging interest on debt that has already been repaid;
Ensure that cardholders are informed of the terms of their account; and
Protect young consumers from aggressive credit card solicitations.
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