$12 Billion a Year for Consumers
Rep. Maloney at the signing ceremony for the CARD Act with President Obama on May 22, 2009.
We should be passing more bills that protect consumers, not rolling back Dodd-Frank protections like the Republicans are trying to do today.These were strategies used by the credit card companies to rip people off and trap them in vicious cycles of credit card debt. We banned all of these practices, and more, in the CARD Act and it immediately put money back into people’s wallets.Before the CARD Act, credit card companies could raise your interest rates after you made purchases, so people couldn’t know how much something was really going to cost them. They could hit you with finance charges based not only on your current balance, but on last month’s balance too; and they could raise your interest rates if you were late making a payment on a different card.Today marks the 9th Anniversary of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, officially known as the CARD Act. It’s a law I authored that puts consumers first by banning unfair credit card practices that is now saving people $12 billion a year. The big banks fought us every step of the way, but we wouldn’t quit. It’s the type of consumer-first law that can make a real difference in people’s lives and an example of what we need more of today.
And that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. I’ve introduced the Overdraft Protection Act to put in place similar types of protections against unfair and outrageous overdraft fees on people’s checking accounts. Overdraft fees hit the consumers who can afford them the least – cash-strapped hardworking Americans who are struggling to pay their bills. These fees are unfair, deceptive, and outrageously high and are costing consumers $15 billion a year! The Overdraft Protection Act would ban these outrageously high fees and other practices that banks use to hit you with charges you never saw coming.
The CARD Act is an example of the real impact that laws can make on people’s lives and I’m incredibly proud of it but I know we can’t stop there. I intend to keep fighting for consumers and doing everything possible so that working families can keep more of their hard-earned money. Because we all deserve a better deal.
Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress