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Press Releases

May 19, 2009
"We commend the leadership of Senator Dodd and Senator Shelby, the Senate Banking Committee and the Senators whose votes ensured passage of H.R. 627, the Credit CARD Act. This bill, which received overwhelming bipartisan support, will provide consumers with significant protections from industry practices that extract billions of dollars in unfair fees and interest from cardholders every year. "We applaud the Committee for crafting safeguards for millions of American families at a time when our country is experiencing the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Consumers are the...
May 14, 2009
We applaud President Obama for his leadership in pushing for reforms of credit card industry practices that unfairly strip billions of dollars from America's families each year. As organizations representing consumers, civil rights groups, small businesses and labor, we urge swift passage of the Credit CARD Act, a bill championed by Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Richard Shelby that enjoys broad, bipartisan support. At today's town hall meeting in New Mexico, the president underscored his belief that strong consumer protections are essential to a sound economy, a lesson we've all learned the...
May 8, 2009
We took a quick sampling of credit card issuers' recent activities to see how they have responded to the Federal Reserve rule changes that were announced in December 2008 but won't take effect until July 2010. We found the top eight issuers, who account for 80 percent of credit card balances, are raising interest rates on a larger portion of customers than usual and increasing the number of fees they impose. The new Fed rule will ban some but not all of these activities. Perhaps most notable is what these issuers—Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, HSBC, Discover,...
April 30, 2009
We commend the U.S. House of Representatives for taking this important step toward ending credit card industry practices that Americans across the board find unfair. Interest rates and fees should be transparent, reasonably related to risk and presented to cardholders up-front. And credit card companies should not be allowed to arbitrarily change them, especially retroactively. Today's bipartisan vote is encouraging, and we hope the Senate will act quickly to pass similar legislation now before it. Reforming credit card lending practices is long overdue. Making those reforms effective as...
December 19, 2008
Federal regulators issued credit card rules today that take a significant and welcome step to curb some of the industry's most unfair and abusive practices. Unfortunately, implementation of the rules won't take effect for 18 months and, in several key respects, don't go far enough to protect consumers. "Protecting consumers from the costly credit card practices that drain their wallets should always be a priority," said Center for Responsible Lending president Michael Calhoun. "But with a faltering economy showing no sign of improvement, consumers need to be able to hold on to hard-earned...
December 16, 2008
Credit card companies make credit more costly than necessary by manipulating payments to keep the highest-cost balances from being paid off and by imposing hidden, hard-to-understand penalty interest rates, two new studies released today by Center for Responsible Lending show. The reports, entitled "Priceless or Just Expensive? The Use of Penalty Rates in the Credit Card Industry" and "What's Draining Your Wallet? The Real Cost of Credit Card Cash Advances", detail widespread practices that deceive and abuse consumers. These include the use of penalty repricing--raising a cardholder's APR...
December 1, 2008
The Honorable Barack ObamaPresident-Elect of the United Statesc/o Presidential Transition TeamWashington, DC[Via electronic delivery to John Podesta, Larry Summers, Tim Geithner] Dear President-Elect Obama, We, the undersigned leaders of the nation's foremost consumer, community, civil rights and legal services organizations, write to you to state our urgent concerns regarding the need to guarantee consumer and marketplace protections as a fundamental principle guiding both your nominee selections and policy proposals for agencies that deal with housing and credit policy. Collectively,...
September 23, 2008
The Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights passage today in the House signals a return to real consumer protections and a welcome change to credit card company business as usual. The Center for Responsible Lending commends Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank who championed the legislation, which will restore some balance and fairness to a regulatory system that has been too one-sided for far too long. We call on the Senate Leadership to follow the actions of the House in moving a companion bill toward the same outcome. For more information: Kathleen Day at (202)...
May 2, 2008
Rules Take Positive First Step to Rein in Unjust Interest Rate Hikes and Billing Practices; Groups Call on Congress to Provide Additional Consumer Protections Representatives of national consumer organizations today applauded federal banking regulators for proposing initial rules to curb some abusive credit card lending practices. The groups also called on Congress to provide additional consumer protections not proposed by the regulators. The proposal was offered today by the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration. Among...
February 7, 2008
New legislation introduced today by House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) curbs some of the most abusive credit card lending practices, consumer groups said. "This legislation is an important step forward in eliminating the worst credit card tricks and traps that sap billions of dollars from Americans' wallets every year and illegitimately pump up issuers' profits," said Travis B. Plunkett, legislative director of the Consumer Federation of America. "We commend...

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