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2010 – the Year of Consumer Power?

January 5, 2010

We sure hope so!  That’s what Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary has dubbed the coming year in her latest article about credit card and consumer lending reform.

Her article, which you can read by clicking here, outlines some of the most important changes coming in 2010 and includes dates when the new rules will become active.  (Note: when clicking the link, make sure you’re done reading the first page before you move on to the next, as you’ll be asked to register if you try to click back to page 1.)

The key dates to watch are as follows:

Feb. 16: Regulations regarding stored value cards go into effect.
Feb. 22: Regulations regarding interest rate increases, marketing credit cards to college students, and over-limit transactions become effective.  Also, important changes regarding credit card payment due dates become more consumer friendly on this date. By this date, the FTC must come up with new rules regarding the deceptive marketing of credit reports, penalty fees, and more.
July 1: Banks are required to get customers to opt-in to overdraft protection rather than offering it automatically.
July: Starting in July, interest rate increases related to late payments must revert back to original rates after six months of timely payments.
Aug. 22: The rest of the Credit CARD Act becomes law, including gift card protections and reasonable and proportional penalty fees.

Information from this timeline comes from our archives, the Washington Post article mentioned above, and Defend Your Dollars.

(Photo: Optical illusion)

One Comment
  1. January 5, 2010 5:25 pm

    We certainly need more “Consumer Power” in 2010. Right now, senators are debating whether to sacrifice the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency to pass a watered down regulatory reform bill. While we have made some progress with credit cards, consumers still struggle with many systemic problems in the financial system. We need to continue to let Congress know that we deserve better:

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