The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may not get its full authority until the summer of 2011, but one consumer watchdog group wants to use the agency's warm-up period to help set its agenda for future credit card regulations. According to a statement from Consumers Union, Americans can still submit suggestions to the CFPB website for potential future investigation and enforcement actions.
According to Pamela Banks at CU, the provisions of the 2010 Credit CARD Act have already helped many Americans avoid "gotchas" such as retroactive interest rate hikes and ill-defined penalty periods. Banks told reporters that her organization urges consumers to suggest even more industry reforms to the CFPB, including:
- Reducing late and overlimit fees to a maximum of $10.
- Capping the difference between a cardholder's base interest rate and a penalty rate.
- Eliminating penalty rates after six consecutive on-time payments.
- Reducing credit card terms and conditions to two printed pages.
- Eliminating loopholes from the original Credit CARD Act.
Banks added that consumers must ultimately watch out for unfair practices when reviewing credit card applications and statements. The CFPB continues to accept consumer suggestions through its website, www.consumerfinance.gov.