Congress Seeks To Move Up Credit Card Act Implementation To December 1st

Today, Reps. Barney Frank and Carolyn Maloney are going to request that the implementation date for the rest of the Credit Card Act‘s rules be moved to December 1st of this year instead of February 2010, after seeing companies “jacking up their rates and doing other things to their customers in advance of the effective date” all summer, reports Mary Pilon at The Wall Street Journal.

The goal seems to be to counter the last-gasp bad behavior of credit card companies, but it may be too late, notes the Wall Street Journal:

The changes come after major card issuers have been pushing through a slew of recent interest-rate increases and fees. In recent months, for example, American Express Co., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s Chase Card Services and Bank of America Corp. have raised interest rates by several percentage points, converting customers’ fixed rates to variable ones, and pushing through higher rates and fees for cash advances and late payments. Discover Financial Services, for example, recently started notifying cardholders that it will increase its balance-transfer fees to 5% from 3%.

If Congress does move up the implementation date, they say it should help shoppers feel better about holiday spending because they’ll know exactly what the terms of their credit cards will be come January 1st. On the other hand, if this happens you can probably expect a new flurry of last-minute rate hikes and term modifications between now and Thanksgiving.

“Congress Seeks Faster Implementation of New Credit-Card Rules” [Wall Street Journal]
(Photo: zoutedrop)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.