Maloney Celebrates 10th Anniversary of CARD Act with Consumer Groups

May 21, 2019
Press Release
Landmark law is saving cardholders $12 billion per year

WASHINGTON, DC – Ahead of tomorrow’s 10 year anniversary of the signing of the 2009 Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (CARD Act), Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), author of the bill and Chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, marked the occasion with various consumer groups including Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), USPIRG, Center for Responsible Lending, and Consumer Federation of America.

Rep. Maloney’s CARD Act, signed into law by President Obama in a Rose Garden signing ceremony, has saved consumers an estimated $12 billion a year, which translates into total savings of more than $100 billion over the past decade.

“The lesson from 10 years of the CARD Act is simple: strong consumer protections work,” said Rep. Maloney. “Before the CARD Act, banks were ripping off their credit card customers by charging them outrageous fees and jacking up their interest rates without any warning — even on purchases the consumer had already made with the credit card. Because of this, consumers were drowning in credit card debt and I knew we had to do something about it. Now, 10 years later, we have the proof that the CARD Act is working – saving consumers $12 billion a year, which translates into more than $100 billion total over the last decade. I’d call that a win for consumers and we need to keep fighting to put consumers first – my next step is to introduce my Overdraft Protection Act so that no one pays $35 for a $2 cup of coffee.”

“The CARD Act was one of the outstanding successes in cleaning up bad practices that harm consumers. It has made things simpler and easier for consumers and it continues to save them billions of dollars that had been draining out of their pockets,” said Richard Cordray, former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “At the same time, it has not restricted credit, which is available today on better terms that people are finding more dependable and satisfactory. This legislation shows that fair rules for the marketplace are good for consumers and for responsible businesses as well.”

“This legislation has done just what it was supposed to: stopped a set of costly Wall Street tricks, and saved people across the country billions and billions of dollars a year as a result,” said Lisa Donner, Executive Director, Americans for Financial Reform. “Back when it was being debated, the big bank lobbyists claimed that stopping these credit card rip-offs would actually hurt consumers. It is one more reminder to be skeptical of similar arguments against reining in abusive practices now. American families need a vigorous Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that is ready and willing to police the financial industry. Unfortunately, right now the agency seems more focused on rolling back consumer protections than enforcing them.”

"We are proud to have worked with Congresswoman Maloney to pass the CARD Act and are pleased to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its passage," said U.S. PIRG Consumer Campaign Director, Mike Litt. “The CARD Act is a government success story that cleaned up a Wild West credit card marketplace and has saved consumers more than $100 billion.”

“The CARD Act of 2009 was a major achievement for consumer protection. Credit cards are now fairer and more transparent, and consumers have saved billions of dollars,” said Scott Astrada, Director of Federal Advocacy at the Center for Responsible Lending. “The law is proof that upfront pricing and strong consumer protections can work together to give consumers safe choices in a competitive marketplace. Congresswoman Maloney’s tireless work to rein in deceptive fees and unfair tactics by credit card companies have yielded enormous benefit for working families across the country.”

“Thanks to Congresswoman Maloney, the CARD Act has made credit card costs clearer, lowered penalties and saved consumers billions of dollars since its enactment, said Jack Gillis, Executive Director, Consumer Federation of America. “That’s billions in late fees, in over-limit fees, and other penalties that consumers no longer have to pay.”

“Consumer Reports is proud to join Congresswoman Maloney in recognizing the ten-year anniversary of the CARD Act and we thank her for her leadership in Congress to enact these critical credit card protections for all of us,” said Anna Laitin, Director of Financial Policy, Consumer Reports. “The CARD Act brought sweeping reforms that protect us from egregious lending practices like surprise rate hikes, hidden penalty fees, and other tricks and traps that were exploited by credit card companies for years.  Over the past decade, Americans have saved tens of billions of dollars thanks to this landmark consumer protection law passed by Congress.”

"The CARD Act of 2009 is a success story for consumers. Passed with much effort by consumer advocates and our champions in Congress, the measure took unerring aim at many unfair terms and conditions faced by cardholders, such as immediate and drastic hikes from ‘penalty’ interest rates, inconsistent billing practices and skyrocketing late and over-limit fees,” said Linda Sherry, director of priorities for Consumer Action. “Despite industry claims, this successful consumer protection did not decimate the industry and made using credit cards much fairer and more predictable for cardholders in the decade since it was passed. And, even more important, it has saved cardholders billions of dollars in unnecessary and predatory interest and fees!”

"The Credit CARD Act has saved people billions of dollars in hidden fees from tricks and traps, and it is an important example of how strong consumer protection rules improve markets and are a win-win for the public and industry alike," said Lauren Saunders, associate director at the National Consumer Law Center.