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Washington
CUNA Card reforms a high priority in 08
WASHINGTON (2/11/08)—Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who chairs the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions, last week introduced a package of credit card reforms that is being billed as the Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights (H.R. 5244). The bill was introduced with 40 co-sponsors and is intended to curb abusive credit card practices, such as some interest-rate increases and late fees. In part, the bill would require card issuers to provide a 45-day notice period for consumers before an interest rate could be executed. Cardholders would then have the right to cancel their card and pay off their existing balance at the existing rate and repayment schedule. H.R. 5244 would also prohibit a practice known as “double-cycle billing,” in which card companies charge interest on payments made on time during a grace period. It would also ban arbitrary changes in the credit card contract. Ryan Donovan, vice president of legislative affairs for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), said Friday that he would expect credit card reforms to be a top priority of the Financial Services Committee this year. Noting that both that panel and the Senate Banking Committee held hearings on the issues in 2007, Donovan said, “There will be a real push in 2008 to get this bill through the legislative process.” CUNA’s legislative affairs department is studying all aspects of the legislation.
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