Research and Statistics

Credit card reform legislation time line


This interactive time line shows how the sweeping credit card reform bill became a law, and when its different provisions take effect.

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This interactive guide shows how the Credit CARD Act of 2009 marched unevenly toward passage, and when its key provisions take effect.

The road to and future of credit card legislation

February 2008
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York City Democrat, introduces the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, which bars or restricts many industry practices, including universal default , double-cycle billing and any-time-any-reason rate increases.

April 2008
The Federal Reserve Board announces it will seek new regulations on the credit card industry, including restrictions on any-time-any-reason interest rate changes, and asks for public comments on its proposed rules.

August 2008
A record 56,000 people comment on the proposed Fed regulations on the credit card industry. Overwhelmingly, they favor imposing more restrictions.

September 2008
The House of Representatives votes 312-112 in favor of Maloney’s Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights. President George W. Bush signals opposition.

October 2008
On the campaign trail, presidential candidate Barack Obama makes credit card reform an issue, and announces his support of a credit card five-star rating system.

Dec. 18, 2008
Federal banking regulators approve a broad array of new restrictions on the credit card industry aimed at barring “unfair and deceptive” practices.

January 2009
The Senate adjourns without taking up the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights.

April 30, 2009
House again passes the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights by a vote of 357-70.

May 19, 2009
Senate passes a similar bill, co-sponsored Sen. Christopher Dodd, but one that has even more restrictions. The vote is 90-5.

May 20, 2009
The House embraces the Senate bill, passing it by a 361-64 vote, sending it to President Obama.

May 22, 2009
President Obama signs the credit card bill into law.

Aug. 20, 2009
Credit card issuers must give 45 days’ advance notice of significant changes in terms and give consumers 21 days to make monthly payments.

Feb. 16, 2010
Deadline for final guidelines on restricting cross-border trafficking of stored value cards.

Feb. 22, 2010
1. Major provisions of credit law take effect.
2. Deadline for Federal Reserve to issue final rules on reducing interest rates on accounts where APRs have increased if consumers have been good.
3. Deadline for federal regulators to issue final rules setting standards for whether fees are reasonable and fit the violation. 4. Deadline for Fed to issue final rules on gift card expiration dates and dormancy fees.
5. Deadline for initial report on marketing of credit cards on college campuses.

May 22, 2010
1. GAO report on the relationship between fluency in English and financial literacy due to the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee.
2. Report due to Congress on the extent that card issuers lowered credit limits or increased interest rates based on where a user shopped, the type of establishment or items purchased between 2006 and 2009.
3. Deadline for the Fed to submit a report to Congress on credit plans for businesses employing less than 50 workers and whether terms are unfair or deceptive.

July 1, 2010
Federal rules on unfair or deceptive credit card practices and disclosure take effect.

Aug. 22, 2010
1. Credit card issuers must begin reducing interest rates to previous levels after six month reviews of payment records on accounts that have been increased.
2. Credit card fees (for paying late, exceeding the credit limit or other violations) must be reasonable and proportional to the violation.
3. Gift cards must be valid for at least five years; dormancy fees banned for 12 months.

Dec. 31, 2010
Deadline for Comptroller General of the United States to submit study on marketing of products such as credit insurance and debt cancellation agreements with credit cards.

May 22, 2011
Deadline for the Fed to produce the first biennial review of the credit card market, including the cost and availability of credit and adequacy of laws.

See related:Credit card reform and you, A comprehensive guide to the new Credit CARD Act, What people are saying about the new credit card law, Will the new credit card law hurt more consumers than it helps?, Law alters cozy relationship between colleges, credit card issuers, House easily passes credit card reform bill, Senate passes tough new credit card bill, How to cope until the new credit card rules take effect, What the new credit card rules mean for you, Feds: Close interest rate loophole in new credit card ruels, New credit card rules don’t cover business, corporate credit cards, House OKs Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, House committee OKs Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights passes first legislative hurdle, Federal banking regulators finalize sweeping rule changes for credit cards, House again weighs Cardholders’ Bill of Rights

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