Tester: ‘The time to hold credit card companies accountable is now’

Senator joins effort to move up deadline for ending abusive practices

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester has put credit card companies on notice, signing on to a bill to move up the industry’s deadline to end abusive practices.

Earlier this year, Tester helped write the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (Credit CARD Act) as a member of the Senate Banking Committee.  The law to reign in credit card industry practices is scheduled to take effect in February 2010.

Tester, however—citing Montanans who are suffering last-minute abuses from credit card companies in advance of the changes—has signed on to the Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act.  This new bill would move up the deadline to December 2009 for credit card companies to end abusive practices.

The Credit CARD Act will ban unfair fees and deadlines, give cardholders an additional week to pay their bills, require companies to give customers more notice of any changes to their policies and stop credit card companies from exploiting young Americans. 

After overwhelmingly passing Congress, President Obama signed the Credit CARD Act into law in May. 

“The time to hold credit card companies accountable is now,” Tester said.  “It’s unacceptable for companies to think they can get away with last-minute abuse.  I helped write the Credit CARD Act because Montanans expect common sense, honesty and fairness from credit card companies.  Now it’s time to move more quickly to put this industry back on the side of hardworking folks who are tired of getting squeezed.”

Tester’s demands follow reports from Montana and across the country of credit card companies taking advantage of the months before their deadline and raising already high interest rates even higher.

Tester in May strongly urged his colleagues to pass the Credit CARD Act.  During a speech on the Senate floor, he used examples of Montanans who wrote to him with stories about unfair credit card practices.

More information about the Credit CARD Act is available online HERE.

The Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act is S. 1833.