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News Tips & Updates on Credit Card Law

Are federal regulators up to protecting us?

Monday,20th October, 2014
Have you heard of Carmen Segarra? She was an employee of the New York Federal Reserve until she was fired for doing her job. She had refused to tone down a report that criticized her bosses and colleagues. She had witnessed -- and had the secret recordings to prove it -- timidity and servility on their part when dealing with the major banks they were supposed to regulate. This wasn't just a toothless watchdog: it was one that saw its role as licking the faces of the very people it was supposed to deter. You can see why some who work .......

Correcting credit report errors could get easier

Monday,30th June, 2014
For decades, consumer advocates have accused the Big Three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) of operating unlawfully. The campaigners' main objection has been that these companies have signally failed to meet their obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to maintain accurate information in the credit reports they compile. In particular, it is alleged that these credit bureaus do not respond appropriately when consumers report errors, and that, as a result, many Americans are wrongly having their life-chances stunted through absolutely no fault of their own. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission published the results of a survey that .......

Is CARD Act's fifth birthday worth celebrating?

Monday,02nd June, 2014
May 22 saw the fifth anniversary of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (aka the Credit CARD Act, or just the CARD Act) being signed into law. True, it was implemented in stages over the following 15 months, but this seems as good an opportunity as ever to revisit the act, and to try to assess whether its impact on consumers and the industry has been good or bad. There's a risk such an assessment could be seen as political: Some people take a principled stand against all -- or nearly all -- government regulation in private .......

Credit card rewards face regulator's review

Monday,09th December, 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is planning to examine credit card rewards programs with a view to imposing new rules on them, according to a Nov. 15 Bloomberg.com report. A search of the federal regulator's website was unable to confirm the plans, but the Bloomberg story quotes an email from CFPB Director Richard Cordray. Benefits of regulation debatable "We will be reviewing whether rewards disclosures are being made in a clear and transparent manner, and we will consider whether additional protections are needed," Cordray allegedly said via email. Assuming IndexCreditCards.com's readership is representative of the nation, at this point roughly a third .......

Credit CARD Act a success, say studies

Monday,14th October, 2013
Some people believe government should have no role in life beyond defending the nation through an army and providing protection through a law-enforcement service. Others would be happy to have a civil servant set your bedtime. Most probably want the government to regulate or even criminalize the things they personally dislike (abortion and homosexuality, say, or pollution and predatory lending) while keeping its nose out of the things that don't bother them (pollution and predatory lending, say, or abortion and homosexuality). The prevalence of this sort of thinking was demonstrated last year in a study by the Pew Research Center, which .......

Man bites credit card company

Friday,23rd August, 2013
Some stories are so perfect and so funny you begin to wonder if they're apocryphal. However, a recent news story out of Russia seems to be quite a rare gem -- it's funny, satisfying and true. A credit card company's worst nightmare Back in 2008, 42-year-old Dmitry Argarkov of Vornonezh, Russia, received an unsolicited letter from Tinkoff Credit Systems, inviting him to apply for one of its credit cards, according to a recent Russia Today report. Unusually, he read the terms and conditions in the enclosed contract. Even more unusually, he then changed them to better suit his needs: Out went the bank's .......

Credit card companies' so-called secrets

Monday,24th June, 2013
Has this column gone soft? A few years ago, we regularly savaged credit card companies, the Federal Reserve (which was then the card industry's regulator), and even federal judges when any of them acted against the interests of consumers who hold plastic. Indeed, in Secured credit cards and the Rottweiler tendency, we attacked all three -- and managed to upset at least one fan of Rottweilers, who rightly wrote to protest our slandering of the breed. Nobody wrote in to complain about our rough treatment of the others. Such consumer-advocacy columns are fun to write, and the recent lack of them .......

Are we sleepwalking toward worse credit cards?

Monday,10th June, 2013
There have been many stories in the media over the last several years -- some of them on this website -- about interchange fees. You may have skipped over them because they sound like something that would interest only credit card nerds. But the battle between retailers and credit card companies over those fees could have a very real impact on the plastic in your wallet. And you may not like what happens next. Credit cards and interchange fees Interchange fees, also known as swipe fees, are the cut (anywhere from 1 to 5 percent) of the transaction value that payment networks .......