FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 23, 2010
CONTACT: MARA LEE
Protections a Part of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Passed Last Year
SACRAMENTO, CA — Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento), a Member of the House Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, highlighted two additional consumer protection provisions that went into effect yesterday, Sunday, August 22nd, 2010. The provisions are part of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights passed in May of 2009, which was supported by Congresswoman Matsui, and provides a series of protections for Sacramento families and seniors. The first of the two provisions that went into effect yesterday requires penalty fees for late payments to be both reasonable and proportional. The second requires credit card companies, if they raise a customer’s interest rate, to re-evaluate that rate increase every six months, and, if deemed appropriate, reduce that rate within 45 days of the evaluation.
“The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights is important legislation that protects consumers and cracks down on the deceptive and unfair practices of the credit card industry,” commented Congresswoman Matsui. “Over the past year, several of the bill’s provisions have already worked to cut down on consumer costs and puts control of their finances back in the hands of the American people. These two new safeguards will further protect the people of Sacramento — and families and seniors all across the nation — from inflated costs and other questionable practices by holding the credit card companies accountable for high fees and rate increases.”
Several of the provisions of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights provisions went into effect during the past year, including those requiring 45-days advance notice of fee hikes, insisting billing statements to be clear and in plain English, and ensuring fairness of due dates and interest charges. Already, estimates are that the credit card protections enacted by the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, along with the debit-card overdraft reforms instituted by the Federal Reserve on August 15, will save consumers at least $5 billion in excessive fees this year alone.
“This is an important step forward as we continue to work to reign in the excesses of the corporations that continually put their profit margins ahead of their customers’ best interests,” added Rep. Matsui. “And I am committed to continuing to fight for further protections that empower consumers to make the decisions that are best for their financial futures and the interests of their families.”
For more information about the Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights, please click here .