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Calif. CUs card terms havent changed in years media told
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (11/6/09)--Many banks and credit card issuers are hiking their fees and rates to beat the clock before all provisions of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 take effect. An article about that trend points out that one California credit union hasn't changed the terms of its credit card rates in years. The proposed acceleration of the act's implementation date from Feb. 22 to Dec. 1 has prompted a hike in complaints and inquiries about credit card companies increasing their rates, says the California Attorney General's office (Bakersfield Californian Nov. 4). The acceleration was absolutely necessary, Donna Severs, CEO of Bakersfield (Calif.) City Employees FCU, told the newspaper. Some lenders, including predatory lenders, "were rushing to circumvent the intent of the law by putting in place exactly the kinds of changes that the law would make illegal," Severs said. She noted that the credit union hasn't changed the terms on its Visa cards in years. Kern Central CU CEO Carl Trejo told the newspaper Kern Central increased rates on some cards in October but the timing wasn't related to the new law or delinquencies. Trejo said the credit union performs quarterly surveys and it found it was below market. The article noted that Chase Bank has recently converted some of its fixed-rate cards to adjustable rates. Wells Fargo notified cardholders in October that most would see interest rates climb up to 3% beginning Nov. 30. Bank of America wouldn't boost its rates again before February unless the borrower misses two or more payments in 12 months. Analysts said that consumers will see more initially low promotional offers that increase their interest rates significantly after several months and that consumers will need to stay on top of when the promotional rates end because some banks charge interest retroactively if the balance isn't paid off by the expiration date.
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