The amount of credit card debt juggled by a majority of American households has exploded in the past few decades, due to aggressive marketing as well as a host of abusive and deceptive practices. Creditors would increase a cardholder’s interest rate when a single payment was late or if the consumer’s credit score has changed, even if every payment was received on time. Card companies also imposed a host of fees and punitive charges that exacerbated the problems of consumers who had hit hard times.
Despite the serious and growing abuses in credit card practices, there was little regulation of these lenders, due to the sweeping expansion of federal bank preemption. Most credit card lenders are big banks, who are legally permitted to ignore state limits on interest rates, fees, and other lending practices. As a result, abuses by credit card lenders spun out of control, creating enormous hardships for consumers.
The era of credit card deregulation ended in 2009, with the enactment of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosures (CARD) Act. NCLC played a key role in the passage of the Credit CARD Act. NCLC will continue to advocate on behalf of consumers as regulations are written to implement the Credit CARD Act and new reforms are pushed to stop abuses not addressed by that Act.
Policy Briefs, Reports & Press Releases
- Report: Deceptive Bargain: The Hidden Trap of Deferred Interest Credit Cards, Dec. 2015
- Press Release: Consumer tips with a data breach, Dec. 19, 2013
- Press release: Consumer Advocates Applaud CFPB for CareCredit Enforcement Action, Dec. 10, 2013
- Statement re: CFPB Report on Credit Card Act Reform, Oct. 2, 2013
- Press Release: CFPB Rule on Fee-Harvester Credit Cards, March 28, 2013
- Issue Brief: Myths & Realities About the CARD Act Independent Ability-To-Pay Provision, June 2012. See also NCLC original and reply comments to CFPB
- Advocates Urge Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Stand Firm on Protection from Fee-Harvester Credit Cards, April 2012
- U.S. Supreme Court CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood Decision Denies Basic Legal Right to Day in Court, Jan. 2012
- Beyond the Credit CARD Act: Features of a Safer Credit Card Policy Brief and Press Release, Nov. 2010
- Credit CARD Protections Take Effect Feb. 22 But Loopholes and Abuses Persist: Financial watchdog needed to crack down on evasion, abuse and unfairness. Advice for Consumers, Feb. 17, 2010
- Press Releases Archive
Credit Cards Comments
- First Set and Second Set of Comments of NCLC in response to CFPB Request for Information Regarding the Credit Card Market, May 18, 2015
- Comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding the Credit CARD Act of 2009, Feb. 19, 2013
- Comments on proposed CFPB rules amending ability-to-pay requirements to permit consideration of household income, Jan. 7, 2012
- Comments on proposed rule on fee harvester cards, June 11, 2012
- Comments on Regulations Implementing $50,000 threshold for transactions exempt from Truth in Lending, Feb. 1, 2011
- Consumer Groups’ Comments on Regulations Implementing the Credit CARD Act of 2009
January 3, 2011 - Comments on cleanup rules to prevent evasions
March 14, 2010 – Comments on Reasonable and Proportional Penalty Fees and Re-Evaluation of Rate Increases
November 20, 2009 – Comments on CARD Act Regulations. Cites examples of tactics designed to avoid Credit CARD Act protections
September 21, 2009 – Comments on Right to Reject Changes and 45 days Notice Requirements
Credit Cards Letters
- Violations of the Credit CARD Act: Letters to Office of Comptroller of Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision regarding violations of the Credit CARD Act, July 7, 2010
- Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Reform Act, S. 414.: Support Letter for Senator Dodd Credit CARD Act
- Coalition Letter asking Treasury Secretary Geithner to impose fairness in conditions on the use of our tax money to support the purchase of credit card debt, Jan. 2009
- Policy Analysis Archive
- In re: Chase Bank USA, N.A. “Check Loan” Contract Litigation, Master Class Action Complaint
NCLC attorney Lauren Saunders testifying at a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's hearing on the Credit CARD Act, October 2, 2013 (See 31:46 and 57:36 for Saunders' testimony).