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Rate increase and overdraft fees curbed by CARD act, says consumer bureau

[Friday, March 11th, 2011]

The newly formed United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reported that the credit card rules and regulations that came into effect last year have proven to be effective in reducing late fees and retroactive rate increases.

Before the implementation of the CARD Act, nearly 15% of the card holders faced a rate increase every 12 months. However, this figure has dropped to a meager 2% after the implementation of this act. As per one of the studies, the fees that customers were charged for exceeding their limit, the overdraft fees, have practically become redundant now.

Before the implementation of the CARD Act, the late fees, which stood at $901 million in the month of January 2010, dropped by more than 50 percent and fell to just $427 million in the month of November 2010 months after the act was implemented.

The person in charge of setting up this new consumer bureau, Elizabeth Warren, is the administration advisor in the Obama government. Warren has emphasized the fact that mortgages and credit cards are the main priorities of this new bureau which will be functional from the 21st of July, 2011. Speaking at a conference to assess the CARD Act, Warren said that customers find it difficult to understand the true value of the credit card because of various aspects associated with this plastic money.

As a part of her opening remark, Warren also mentioned that the next challenge for the bureau is to clarify the cost of credit cards and make it easier for consumers to compare them.

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