The average American family now carries over $8,000 in credit card debt.
That figure is likely to increase given the present state of the economy.
In many cases, it has been the unfair practices of the credit card companies
that have contributed to the debt of the average American family. For
several years now, credit card companies have hit consumers with unfair
fees, unwarranted hikes in interest rates, and other unfair practices.
What is the Bill of Rights Act of 2008?
The Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights Act of 2008 seeks to change those
unfair practices and provide families with additional protection. In other
words, the Act works to provide a balanced approach to reforming major
industry abuses and improving consumer protections for cardholders. It
will put an end to many of the tricks and traps that make cardholders
incur interest rate hikes and pricey fees, including arbitrary interest
rate hikes, hidden fees, due date gimmicks, and misleading account terms.
The Act seeks to amend the Truth in Lending Act. It prohibits creditors
from using certain information, including information in a consumer report
or any change in a consumer's credit score, as the basis for increasing
any annual percentage rate (APR) of interest on the consumer's outstanding
balance under an open end consumer credit plan, except for actions or
omissions of the consumer directly related to such account. Under this
Act, a creditor cannot change any term of the contract or agreement of
an open end consumer credit plan until contract renewal, except for specific
material reasons already contained in the contract or agreement.
The credit card company must give advance notice of credit card account
rate increases. A consumer who receives such as notice can cancel the
credit card without penalty or the imposition of any fee. Additionally,
they may pay any outstanding balance that accrued before the effective
date of the increase at the APR and in the repayment period in effect
before notice was received.
Creditors cannot impose interest on credit repaid within the interest-free
repayment time period and fees on any outstanding balance on a credit
card account attributable only to accrued interest on previously repaid credit.
The Act mandates that each periodic statement of account should provide
specified information on obtaining the payoff balance. Creditors cannot
furnish information to a consumer reporting agency concerning a newly
opened credit card account until the consumer has used or activated the
credit card. A consumer can now opt-out of creditor authorization of over-the-limit
transactions if fees are imposed. The Act also restricts the frequency
of over-the-limit fees.
It encourages fair competition and sets no price controls, rate caps, or
fees. It gives American credit card holders a fair deal. If you believe
that your rights have been violated and you have unfairly suffered from
unfair practices, contact Allmand Law Firm, PLLC today!