Why the CARD Act Should Apply to Business Cards

Posted by administrator | 07/09/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Why the CARD Act Should Apply to Business Cards
News from American Banker:

Ladies and gentleman, prepare your red pens. It’s time to revise the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.

Sooner or later, we’re going to get to that point, and it’s not because this personal finance reform law is ineffective. It’s actually the opposite. The CARD Act, which went into effect in February of 2010, has done a remarkable job  of increasing transparency in the credit card industry and eradicating many of the anti-consumer practices that helped lead us into the Great Recession. The problem is the law discriminates against small-business owners – 80% of whom rely on credit cards. That simply has to change.

Just look at what the law does and tell me why we wouldnt want to confer the same benefits on small-business owners.

It eliminated double cycle billing (basing interest charges on one’s average balance over the past two billing cycles, rather than only the most recent universal default), applying penalty annual percentage rates to a person’s credit card just because they missed a payment on a completely separate loan or…………… continues on American Banker

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Sacramento staff’s credit card travel charges at their highest since ’08
News from Sacramento Bee:

Sacramento city employees are hitting the road again – staying in hotels, flying across the country, and attending conferences at levels not seen since the recession slammed the city budget.

Travel-related purchases made by city workers on their government credit cards so far this year are at their highest level since 2008. Through July 2012, they totaled $ 119,367, nearly double what employees spent in the first seven months of 2011, according to a Bee analysis of data obtained through the Public Records Act.

Those travel purchases helped drive an overall increase in credit card use by city workers in 2012, records show. Charges for a range of purchases from office supplies to meals are on pace to hit nearly $ 1.5 million, their highest level since 2009.

The jump in spending comes as the city continues to grapple with ongoing deficits. This summer, the City Council voted to lay off more than a dozen police officers to help fill a $ 15.7 million budget gap.

City officials said they are confident employees are not abusing their cards by making charges for non-work purposes. Still, with more than 200 accounts and roughly 48,000 purchases made by employees over the past five years, City Manager John Shirey said last week he plans to scale back use of the cards.

He also defended the increased travel spending. The trips aren’…………… continues on Sacramento Bee

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Susan Tompor: Debt protection plans not necessary

Posted by administrator | 07/09/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Susan Tompor: Debt protection plans not necessary
News from Detroit Free Press:

Credit card holders could soon be saying good-bye to some costly add-on products that promised peace-of-mind during a disaster, such as a job loss.

And many consumer groups say good riddance.

Several consumer advocates lump credit-protection plans in the category of an expensive type of insurance that most consumers don’t really need.

All such offers are not dead, though, so consumers on the financial edge should move cautiously when it comes to promotions for debt-protection products and consumer insurance.

Credit card-protection plans are under fire for deceptive marketing practices, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has put all institutions on notice.

One concern is that the third-party outfits that often pitch these products do not mislead consumers.

Under a settlement with regulators, Capital One Bank will refund about $ 150 million to 2.5 million customers and pay $ 60 million in penalties.

Capital One said it believes the average refund will be less than $ 100.

Consumers are to receive checks, if they no longer have Capital One accounts, or credits to their Capital One cards this year.

Federal regulators charged that Capital One engaged in deceptive marketing tactics to pressure or mislead some consumers into buying payment-protection plans and credit-monitoring services when they activated t…………… continues on Detroit Free Press

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Ask the Expert: Delaying debt collection
News from Newsday:

Other Columnists

A debt collector pressured my 25-year-old son into accepting a repayment schedule for $ 3,500 of old credit card debt. He can’t pay it. He’s unemployed, has medical expenses, no income or assets, and lives with me. He hasn’t signed a repayment agreement. What should he do?

Your son has two options. One is to come up with enough money to negotiate a settlement for less than the amount he owes. The other is to send the collection agency a certified letter (return receipt requested), stating that he currently has no income or assets and therefore can’t yet repay the debt.

From what you say, the letter may be the better option. People in your son’s situation often are scared into accepting an unrealistic repayment schedule, says Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education at Credit .c…………… continues on Newsday

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