Washington Report - Page 3 of 4

Washington Report

House Votes to Accelerate Tougher Credit Card Rules

creditcards1In response to complaints from constituents that some credit card companies are taking advantage of the period before new rules enacted earlier this take effect in February 2010, the House of Representatives voted on November 4 to implement the rules immediately. The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, 331-92. Its fate in the Senate, however, remains unclear.

The credit card companies were taking advantage of the delay in implement to raise rates and conduct other onerous practices, so we had to act quickly,” Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. (D-Missouri) said. “The senate sees how the industry has reacted to new regulations and realize that to protect consumers we must act now.”

Last May, Congress passed the Credit Card Act of 2009 to prohibit rate increases on existing balances unless the cardholder is at least 60 days late paying the bill and creditors must provide 45 days’ notice before increasing rates. They are banned from charging a fee to process payments made by telephone or online and or on an outstanding balance at the end of a billing period if the fee is attributed to the interest accrued on an outstanding balance that was fully repaid during the preceding billing period.