WASHINGTON, DC. — Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter voted in favor of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 627). This legislation, which the Congresswoman cosponsored, applies common-sense regulations and provides cardholders with the information they need to make sound financial decisions.
“It is unacceptable for credit card companies to use deceptive gimmicks that force consumers to pay higher interest rates,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “If a person pays a bill on time, there is no reason why their interest rate should increase. This bill will help protect credit cardholders from misleading and unfair agreements.”
“This bill contains provisions that can protect small business owners’ credit by giving them enough notice to pay off debt and shop for competitive credit card offers so that they can continue to operate their businesses, said Susan Eckerly, Senior Vice Presidentof Public Policy for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “We believe this legislation does not unduly punish credit card companies in these tough economic times, but limits business practices that harm small business credit card holders.”
The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act will ban retroactive interest rate hikes on existing balances, double-cycle billing, and due-date gimmicks. It will also increase the advance notice of impending rate hikes.
Additionally, the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights will:
- Protect cardholders against arbitrary interest rate increases;
- Prevent cardholders who pay on time from being unfairly penalized;
- Prevent companies from using misleading terms and damaging consumers’ credit ratings;
- Empower cardholders to set limits on their credit;
- Require card companies to fairly credit and allocate payments;
- Prohibit card companies from imposing excessive fees on cardholders;
- Protect vulnerable consumers from high-fee subprime credit cards, and
- Bar issuing credit cards to vulnerable minors.