News Release

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Steve Blackledge,
U.S. PIRG

Two Years After Passing the Credit CARD Act, Congress Steps Up Attacks on Consumer Cop Designed to Enforce It

For Immediate Release:

“The Credit CARD Act of 2009 has eliminated numerous credit card tricks and traps without causing skyrocketing interest rates or any of the other horrible side-effects that the banks once warned about.  In spite of that success, the banks and their Congressional allies are now seeking to eliminate the CFPB, the new consumer cop created to enforce the CARD Act and protect consumers from other tricks of the trade, like deceptive mortgage practices and unfair overdraft fees.

“The Credit CARD Act banned the worst credit card practices, such as raising interest rates on existing balances when a consumer was as little as one day late, raising interest rates on consumers who’d never been delinquent to the bank and tricking other consumers into paying late by making their bills due on a Sunday or a holiday.  And while the CARD Act is working today, the new CFPB will ensure that consumers stay ahead of the banks and their newest credit card tricks.  Which is why the banks are trying to stop the CFPB before it starts on July 21.

“On Friday the 13th of May, an unlucky day for consumers, the House Financial Services Committee sent three bills to the floor to gut the CFPB like a fish. The committee approved HR 1315 (Duffy-WI), to give greater control over the CFPB to existing bank regulators, HR 1121 (Bachus-AL) to eliminate its yet unnamed director and replace him or her with a weak 5-member commission, and HR 1667 (Capito-WV), to delay its start date from July 21, indefinitely, until it has a confirmed director.  In the Senate, 44 of 46 Republican Senators sent the president a letter threatening to block the confirmation of a director unless all of these changes, and others, including eliminating the bureau’s independent funding, were made.

“These attacks on the CFPB may be good for Wall Street, but they are certainly bad for consumers. And they have proven to be even more senseless by the success of the CARD Act, which shows that consumer protection works when it’s not diluted or defanged by the banks.”

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