Provisions in Law Take Effect This Week
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter released the following statement regarding provisions of the Credit Card Holders’ Bill of Rights taking effect this week:
“I was an original cosponsor of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, and I am pleased that its provisions are taking effect this week. This law provides new protections that will help guard consumers from unfair credit card agreements, abusive practices, and deceptive gimmicks. New Hampshire families have been getting hit with exorbitant fees caused by tricky lending practices for far too long. This is a powerful step that Congress took to protect consumers.”
The new law bans most interest rate increases on existing balances. Consumers will get an increased notice of interest rate hikes. The new law requires that bills be sent 21 days before the due date. It also prohibits charging fees just to pay a bill by phone, bans over-the-limit fees unless a consumer opts-in in advance, bans due-date tricks, and requires payments to be applied fairly to the highest interest rate balance first. It also protects young people under the age of 21 from getting into debt by preventing companies from giving them credit cards unless someone co-signs or they can prove steady income.