Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights: Victory in Leveling the Playing Field
On May 22, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law landmark credit card reform legislation that I authored. This legislation, Public Law 111-24, will end the most abusive practices of the credit card industry and level the playing field between cardholders and credit card companies.
My work on the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights started in 2007, when I convened the major credit card companies and consumer groups for a roundtable discussion on how to provide better consumer protections. Following this roundtable, I released a series of gold-standard principles that formed the foundation for this legislation. Over the next two years, seven hearings were held in the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee that I chaired in the 110th Congress.
The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights first passed the House of Representatives in September of 2008, but was not considered in the Senate before the close of the 110th Congress. In 2009, at the beginning of the 111th Congress, I reintroduced this legislation along with Chairman Barney Frank and the new Chairman of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee, Luis Gutierrez.
On April 30, 2009, the House passed this legislation on an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 357-70. The Senate took up my bill and passed it, with amendments by a vote of 90-5 on May 19, 2009. The following day, the House of Representatives agreed with the amendments added by the Senate and sent the bill to the President.
- Podcast: Floor Statement on Credit Cardholders' Bill of Right (U.S. House of Representatives - May 20, 2009)
- Text of H.R. 627, the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2009 (Signed into Law, May 22, 2009)
- One Page Summary of H.R. 627, the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009
The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights (H.R. 627), a comprehensive credit card reform bill, takes a balanced approach to reforming major industry abuses and improving consumer protections for cardholders. Among the bill’s protections, it:
- Protects cardholders against retroactive interest rate increases on existing balances
- Protects cardholders from due date gimmicks
- Shields cardholders from misleading terms
- Empowers cardholders to set limits on their credit
- Protects vulnerable consumers from fee-heavy subprime cards
- Requires Congress to provide better oversight of the credit card industry