Consumers Need More Protection, Not Less

April 25, 2012
New York Times P. A20
consumer financial protection bureau news

Despite valiant efforts by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in its quest to protect Americans from abusive banking and lending practices, consumer advocates have raised concerns that the agency could overturn a rule by the Federal Reserve that limits the fees credit card issuers can charge new customers. A provision of the 2009 Credit Card Act, the rule mandated that firms not charge more than 25 percent of a customer's credit limit in upfront fees. The initiative was later revised to make application and processing fees subject to the same restriction. But in September, a Federal District Court in South Dakota issued a preliminary injunction against the revised regulation, claiming that the original law applied only to fees charged after the credit card account was opened. While the CFPB initially defended the rule, it now has proposed a separate policy that would no longer limit charges assessed prior to the opening of the account. If the rule is approved, low-income consumers will undoubtedly be harmed, warns a New York Times editorial.
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