The Credit CARD Act
Most of the country uses credit cards for even the most basic purchases. It’s important to understand the laws that govern them, so you know when you’re being taken advantage of. The law that helps attorneys in Pinellas protect consumers from dishonest credit practices is the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (“CARD”) Act of 2009.
Attorneys in Pinellas Know How the Credit CARD Act Can Protect You
Despite how they affect everyone, laws like this are not always easy to comprehend. They’re filled with jargon that might appeal to representatives, but not so much to the people they’re representing. Here is what you need to know about the Credit CARD Act.
This law was created to ensure optimal fairness and transparency to credit card users. It requires credit card companies to be more open to clients about the rates and fees that they’re paying, so they’re able to better grasp the payments they’re making, why they are being charged the amount, and how those rates compare to other cards.
The Credit Card Act also exposes and penalizes more unfair practices. These include over limit charges when no prior warning was given that the card limit had been reached and increasing rates without the knowledge of the client. The clauses are specific to the needs of credit card users, and the law was created as a response to previous issues that clients had.
How it Protects Users
Because the goal is to make the charging experience more efficient and transparent for the users, most of the law is dedicated to protecting you from unfair scenarios that were common prior the bill. Some of them include the following:
- Increasing rates retroactively is no longer permitted.
- Interest rates are now reassessed every 6 months. If your rate was increased because of your credit score 6 months prior, credit card companies are now required to check if those same reasons that lowered your score before are still applicable. If not, they have to reduce your rate.
- Bills cannot be delivered less than 21 days prior the payment due date. That gives the user ample time to read the letter and secure the payment.
- Certain fees that were usually added to your bill, like two cycle billing and overcharge fees for over the limit purchases, are now prohibited. They also cannot charge you with an inactivity fee, neither can they charge steeply for late payments.
- Credit card companies have the responsibility to inform you if they’re planning to increase their rates.
If you feel these rights have been violated, contact one of our financial attorneys in Pinellas to find out the next course of action.