Turning the page on financial reform
As we begin a new year and a new decade, here’s an overview of what we’ve accomplished recently and the challenges that we’ll face in 2010 and beyond.
This May saw the passage of the Credit CARD Act, the first significant credit card regulation in years. Senator Dodd championed this bill in the Senate, and the final legislation was strong and will combat some of the more abusive and predatory practices used by the industry. Members from AFFIL’s Board of Directors were invited to attend the signing of this landmark legislation, and the final product represents decades of work by dedicated consumers and advocates.
Earlier in December, the House passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009. This bill goes a long way to reform Wall Street, and also allows for the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency, something we have been enthusiastically supporting this year. The votes were close, and we almost didn’t win this fight. To “thank or spank” your Representative for their vote, click here.
Not everything turned out ideally, though. Important mortgage reform and auto loan regulation were removed from H.R. 4173 when it was passed by the House, and many of the regulations laid out by the Credit CARD Act have yet to take affect. This delay has given the big banks and credit card companies ample time to find ways around the new rules and continue to abuse consumers.
We’re optimistic that the year ahead will allow for even more successes in the House and particularly in the Senate, which will take on the CFPA and other financial reform issues when their session resumes. The powerful banking lobby knows that this is their last chance to destroy the potential of the CFPA, so they’re going to pull out all the stops – and the wallets – to get Senators onto their side. To write to your Senators about this issue, click here. To donate to AFFIL and help supply us with the materials to take on this challenge, click here.
February 2010 will see those Credit CARD Act regulations finally put into place, which should help millions of consumers avoid costly fees and abusive loans. Hopefully, we’ll also be able to close some of the other loopholes created in this and other recent regulations. The Washington Post recently published a useful article that highlights upcoming changes; you can read it by clicking here.
Thanks for being part of our team in 2009 – we’ll need you even more in 2010, and we look forward to working with you to create a fair financial system for all Americans.