CCH Issues New White Paper: Credit Card Reform: An Analysis of the Credit Card Act

(RIVERWOODS, ILL., May 22, 2009) – CCH has issued a new white paper analyzing the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, known as the Credit CARD Act. Credit Card Reform: An Analysis of the Credit CARD Act, authored by CCH Banking Law Analyst Katalina M. Bianco, JD, examines the Act, which is designed to provide consumers with access to credit on terms that are fair and more easily understood. CCH is part of Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, a leading provider of research information and software solutions in key specialty areas for legal and business professionals (

“Against the backdrop of consumers’ increasing credit card debt, the Act provides protection for consumers and increases supervision of credit card issuers, providing greater transparency for both consumers and regulators,” said Bianco. “While regulators had taken steps beginning in 2008 to provide for greater protections, the Act reflects a desire by Congress to ensure that adequate protections are in place in a more timely way.”

The President is expected to sign the measure into law today. The credit card reforms generally become effective nine months after enactment.

With the U.S. economy in crisis mode, households increasingly have used credit cards for routine expenses. Nearly 75 percent of U.S. households use at least one general-purpose credit card, and revolving consumer credit in the United States has more than quadrupled over the past two decades. As usage of credit cards has grown, so have the variety of fees and practices.

The Act is intended to ban abusive credit card practices, enhance consumer disclosures and protect underage consumers. It contains a number of provisions intended to provide protection to consumers from unreasonable interest rate increases and credit card fees. It also increases supervision of credit card issuers, enhancing transparency of their practices, and includes measures intended to shield consumers from misleading use of terms in credit card statements and solicitations.

The Act bans double-cycle billing and retroactive interest rate hikes on existing balances, unless payment is at least 60 days late, and requires card issuers to provide 45 days advance notice of any impending rate hike. The measure also targets credit card marketing to consumers under the age of 21, prohibiting issuers from making pre-screened credit card solicitations to under-age individuals unless the individual expressly opts into receiving the solicitations.

For More Information

Katalina M. Bianco, JD, is a Banking Law Analyst for CCH. Bianco contributes to the CCH Federal Banking Law Reporter, CCH Mortgage Compliance Guide and Bank Digest. Members of the press interested in speaking with Katalina Bianco should contact: Leslie Bonacum at 847-267-7153,; or Neil Allen at 847-267-2179,

For a copy of the white paper, visit: Credit Card Reform: An Analysis of the Credit CARD Act (or

CCH also offers a wealth of special resources related to the financial crisis at the CCH Financial Crisis News Center, The Center provides the legal community and others with a cohesive and robust selection of breaking news stories, analysis and links to the full text of source documents for regulatory actions and serves as a central entry point for CCH banking and securities law resources related to the crisis. 

About Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

Wolters Kluwer Law & Business is a leading provider of research products and software solutions in key specialty areas for legal and business professionals, as well as casebooks and study aids for law students. Its major product lines include Aspen Publishers, CCH, Kluwer Law International and Loislaw. Its markets include law firms, law schools, corporate counsel and professionals requiring legal and compliance information. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, a unit of Wolters Kluwer, is based in New York City and Riverwoods, Ill.

Wolters Kluwer is a leading global information services and publishing company. The company provides products and services for professionals in the health, tax, accounting, corporate, financial services, legal, and regulatory sectors. Wolters Kluwer had 2008 annual revenues of €3.4 billion, employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide, and maintains operations in over 35 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Its shares are quoted on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Visit for information about our market positions, customers, brands, and organization.

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