Research & Analysis
New National Survey: Credit CARD Act A Success, But Plastic Safety Net Persists
A new national survey by the nonprofit research and advocacy group Demos finds that new credit card rules have succeeded as intended, but that many financially strapped Americans continue to rely on credit cards to buy food, prescriptions and other basic necessities. This is fresh evidence that confirms earlier CRL research, which showed that a majority of low- and middle-income families depend on credit cards to pay for basic living expenses or to deal with unexpected financial emergencies like a doctor’s visit. Scroll down to see CRL’s lastest research that shows new credit card rules have made pricing more transparent and curbed many of the industry’s worst practices—those that used tricks and traps to ensnare cardholders in high-cost interest rates and penalty fees—and that predatory credit card pricing was bad for consumers and for credit card companies.
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- Dodging Reform: As Some Credit Card Abuses Are Outlawed, New Ones Proliferate
December 10, 2009
New CRL credit card research identifies hidden and deceptive credit card issuer tricks and traps continue, even after the passage of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 and pending Federal reserve rules. The Dodging Reform report explains why American borrowers continue to experience arbitrary, unfair interest rate hikes and fees through examining issuer practices. These practices manipulate interest rates, pad miscellaneous fees, and include deceptive policies on penalty late payment fees. The federal legislation stopped some of the worst abuses in the industry, but a strong consumer-focused regulator like the CFPA would provide common-sense rules on credit cards and could respond to abuses as they surface.
- Stacked Deck: A Statistical Analysis of Forced Arbitration
May 31, 2009
Mandatory arbitration study. CRL's analysis shows consumers lack rights in forced arbitration (binding mandatory arbitration). Almost all credit card contracts with major issuers contain a hidden “forced arbitration” clause. Other loan contracts, such as auto loans, often require forced arbitration as well. Settling legal disputes through arbitration is presented as an alternative that can save time and money, however, in many cases it does neither.
- Congressional Research Service Memo re H.R. 627
May 12, 2009
This memorandum provides a comparative analysis of H.R. 627 (the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009), as passed by the House on April 30, 2009, and the amendment in the nature of a substitute prepared by the Senate Banking Committee.
- Testimony of Kathleen Keest In Regards To HR 2309
May 12, 2009
Testimony of Kathleen E. Keest on behalf of the Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Federation of America, and the National Consumer Law Center before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Committee on Energy and Commerce in regards to H.R. 2309: The Consumer Credit and Debt Protection Act.
- Selective Interpretation? Top Credit Card Issuers Appear to Follow Own Rules.
May 8, 2009
A quick sampling of credit card issuers’ recent activities in response to the Federal Reserve rule changes that were announced in December 2008 found the top eight issuers--Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, HSBC, Discover, American Express, and Wells Fargo-- are raising interest rates on a larger portion of customers than usual and increasing the number of fees they impose.