Washington, DC—Democratic Senators Chris Dodd, Carl Levin, Robert Menendez and Jeff Merkley joined Travis Plunkett, Legislative Director of Consumer Federation of America; and Tom Swan, Executive Director of Connecticut Citizen Action Group, at a press conference this morning to discuss the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which will put fairness and common sense back into credit cards. The bipartisan CARD Act is authored by Senator Dodd and cosponsored by Senators Levin, Menendez, Merkley, and 18 other senators. Democrats are working to protect consumers from excessive fees, ever-changing interest rates and complex contracts seemingly designed to keep people in debt, as well as to strengthen oversight of the credit card industry.
“With the passage of this bill, we can put an end the days of taking advantage of financially responsible credit card users and abusing consumers without consequences,” Dodd said. “The time has come to insist on consumer protections that are strong and reliable, rules that are transparent and fair, and statements that are clear and informative. I will continue to fight against any attempt to weaken the consumer protections that this bill contains.”
Said Levin: “Millions of Americans are facing the worst economic crisis of their lifetimes, and their hardship is being compounded by unfair credit card fees and interest charges. It is long past time to stop the abuses. The Senate bill, which offers a host of consumer protections against sky-high interest charges and excessive fees, builds on the groundwork laid in hearings the last few years before my Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that exposed abusive credit card practices.”
“At a time when we’ve seen financial institutions fail — either fail to be profitable or just fail to be honest — it’s clear that restoring trust by ending deceptive practices in the credit card industry is good for everyone,” Menendez said. “People aren’t demanding too much, just that rules are fair, understandable and don’t change in the middle of the game.”
Said Merkley: “Credit cards have become a bait-and-switch game that lures consumers with low-interest promises before trapping them into sky-high interest rates. We need to end the outrageous fees and retroactive interest rate increases that strip wealth from our working families. I thank Chairman Dodd for his continued leadership on this issue and look forward to restoring fairness for consumers.”
“The Credit CARD Act is picking up broad bipartisan support because it will transform a broken and dangerous credit card marketplace,” Plunkett said. “For too long, credit card companies have been allowed to use traps and tricks to unjustifiably increase interest rates charges and fees. These practices are not only unfair, but have destabilized the finances of many families. We applaud Senator Dodd for his leadership in moving this legislation through the Senate.”
Said Swan: “It is great to see Senator Dodd’s tireless fight on behalf of working families to reform abuses by credit card companies become a reality. With so many families struggling to make ends meet, we and President Obama are fortunate to have a leader like Chris Dodd on this issue.”