Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Proposes Credit Card Agreement

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing that banks adopt a simplified credit card agreement that consumers can read and understand. Currently, no one reads the dense, fine print multi-page credit card agreements banks send to customers. The Bureau is endeavoring to change that. The Bureau has separated the key terms from the legalese, leaving a clear, readable document. Check it the proposed agreement here.

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Which Banks are Complying with the Credit Card Act?

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (“CARD” Act) goes fully into effect in February 2010. If you want to find out which credit card issuers are complying with CARD at this time, go to www.billshrink.com. You can write in the name of your bank and find out to what extent the bank is in compliance. The major credit card banks are in compliance on some, but not all of the CARD requirements. The site neatly summarizes the ten major protections afforded cardholders. They are protection from arbitrary rate increases through early notification, the right to have...

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Minnesota Atty General Suit Alleges the National Arbitration Forum Is Fraudulent

Today, the Minnesota Attorney General sued the National Arbitration Forum, the major arbitration firm that banks use to prosecute consumers who owe credit-card debt. The AG’s complaint states that NAF represents to the public, the courts, and consumers that it is independent, operates like an impartial court system, and is not affiliated with any party. However, what the consumer does not know is that NAF works alongside creditors behind the scenes against the interest of consumers. The truth is that NAF is actually controlled by major collection law firms that represent credit-card companies. A New York hedge fund known as...

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Most Credit Cards Are Unfair according to Study

A report by most credit cards in the U.S. include at least one practice that qualifies as “unfair and deceptive” under new Federal Reserve guidelines set to go into effect in 2010, according to a report from the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project. Reviewing consumer credit cards issued by the 12 largest companies, and which represent 88% of outstanding credit card debt, the researchers found: • 100 percent of cards allowed the issuer to apply payments in a manner which, according to the Federal Reserve, is likely to cause substantial monetary injury to consumers. • 93 percent of cards allowed...

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Statute of Limitations Defense to Debt Collection? Not So Fast

In May 2006 a debt collector sued an Oregon consumer–in Oregon–for a credit card debt. The consumer had made her last payment in November 2001 before she defaulted. The credit card agreement said that New Hampshire law would apply to the agreement. In New Hampshire, the statute of limitations for an action on a credit card is three years. So the consumer has a statute of limitations defense to the 2006 lawsuit, right? Wrong, according to today’s opinion by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Avery v. First Resolution Management Corp. New Hampshire law also provides that the statute...

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