Financial Crisis Reform: What Does that Mean for You?

Zach Luck

Most people never owned a subprime mortgage, many never owned a mortgage, and very few will ever buy a mortgage backed security.  But, look in your wallet and you will nevertheless likely find a complicated credit product:  Your credit card.

In 2009, in the wake of the financial crisis, Congress passed significant new limitations on credit card issuer billing and marketing practices in the easy-to-abbreviate Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (The Credit CARD Act). In the same law, Congress acted to limit access to credit cards by 18-to-21-year olds.  Some have argued that the law might be too little too late for some groups, like the elderly, who are a higher-risk of being taken advantage of by predatory issuer practices.

HLRP just published an article whose author, me, argues that the Credit CARD Act turned the tide on decades of disclosure-only credit card regulation.  Since the passage of the Truth in Lending Act in 1968 and the 1978 Supreme Court decision in Marquette National Bank, which preempted substantive state consumer protection regulation of credit cards, the legislative and judicial branches have largely limited regulation of credit cards to disclosure rules.  The Credit CARD Act pushed back on that history by, in addition to adding some new disclosure rules, creating substantive regulation of credit card products focused on consumer protection.  What are those new rules?  Which ones might be good ideas and which ones probably aren’t?  What’s next for credit cards?  Find out here.

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