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Congress to speed up credit-card rules: Sept 28, 2009.

When the U.S. Congress approved its landmark credit-card reform legislation in May, it granted the credit-card industry nine months to implement most--certain disclosure rules became effective Aug. 20, 2009--of the new rules. NSBA and other advocates for reform opposed this timeline, arguing that it was improper to allow issuers to continue to perpetuate practices recognized as "unfair" and "deceptive" against cardholders for such a lengthy period of time.

Since President Obama signed the legislation into law, card issuers have used their allotted time to increase interest rates, cut credit limits, and close inactive accounts--and Congress finally appears on the verge of responding. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D - Mass.) and Joint Economic Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Congress' foremast champion for credit-card reform, have introduced legislation that would move up the implementation date of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 to from February 22, 2010 to Dec. 1, 2009.

At an NSBA-attended press conference, announcing the introduction of the Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009 (H.R. 3639), Maloney stated, "Since the signing of my bill by the President on May 22, too many credit card companies have used the period to raise rates and fees in a way that would be banned come February ... I believe they're taking advantage and using the time before the effective date badly. Changing the effective date to December 1 is both warranted and wise."

NSBA supports H.R. 3639 and thanks Maloney and Frank for their continued leadership on this critical small-business issue.
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Publication:The Weekly Advocate e-Newsletter
Date:Sep 30, 2009
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