Cardholder’s Bill Not in Place, and Showingby Tim Manni
Back on April 25 we posted a story entitled “The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights,” which reported on “unfair” practices by credit card companies that critics say serve to keep cardholders in debt. Practices like unannounced rates increases, decreased credit limits, and due dates, universal default, and two-cycle billing have been hard fought against by consumers and legislators alike who want to end such practices and reform an industry that many critics feel extends consumer debt.
According to Consumer Action’s 2008 Credit Card Survey, many credit-card companies are continuing these practices, despite pending legislation:
Members of Congress introduced bills that will help protect consumers and retailers from the banks’ and credit card companies’ continued abuses. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), introduced The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights on February 7, 2008; Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT) introduced the Credit Card Fair Fee Act on March 6, 2008; Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO) introduced the Senate companion to the Credit Card Fair Fee Act on June 5, 2008; and Rep. Peter Welch introduced the Credit Card Interchange Fees Act of 2008 on June 11, 2008.
The survey, conducted from February 26-April 9, 2008, examined 41 credit cards from 22 financial institutions, was released July 22. A press release from last Wednesday summarized most of the survey’s findings:
Three of the top ten credit card issuers cited factors beyond a consumer’s control that might cause an interest rate increase such as: “market conditions,” “the economy,” and “business strategies.”
77% of surveyed credit card issuers (17 of 22) answered “Yes” to the question “Can you increase my APR or change my terms ‘any time for any reason’?”…
Consumer Action is a consumer and education advocacy organization.