This summer the new Consumer Credit Card Protection ACT went into full effect. This ACT was conceived to help protect consumers from some of the practices of the major banks and credit card issuers, who were taking advantage of both the consumer and the merchant. Congress passed this ACT to stop these practices.
One of the main aims of this new law was to stop all of these changes in terms and conditions and new fees that were being generated by the lenders, in language that meant nothing to the consumer, where the primary changes were hidden in fine print in a document only an attorney could comprehend. Financial Institutions were forced to spell out changes in black and white and to give consumers the ability to accept or opt out, without losing their accounts and their credit and without punishment. It also meant that the card companies could not just send out a notice about a new fee, and simply assume since they mailed out a change in terms, that it could be instituted.
Consumers now had to respond in some fashion.
This caused the banks to become even more aggressive, they begin sending out notices and emails telling you that you had to respond by a certain date or take a specific action of one of the tools that you relied on could possibly stop.
One bank told their customers if they did not respond by a certain date their debit card/ ATM card would cease to work, and regardless of the reason they would not be allowed to use the card. Another bank intimated that if they did not receive a response by a specified date that the customer's accounts would be placed on hold.
All these tactics were designed to force a customer to Opt-In to the new terms and conditions imposed by the bank.
Banks began to put pressure and make threats, even though they were idle but they became abusive toward their customers.
Chase Bank actually sent letter out to their customers stating in big bold red letters
"Your debit card may not work the same way anymore, even if you just made a deposit. Unless we hear from you," "If you don't contact us, your everyday debit card transactions that overdraw your account will not be authorized after August 15, 2010 — even in an emergency"
This was all part of a massive campaign launched by all of the banks to push through new terms and conditions that would allow them to charge you more fees, interest and penalties now or in the future.
Consumers be ware, be careful... compare credit cards, compare their terms and conditions and be a smart consumer. Use a website such as FirstCredit.net to find the best card program available to you and if you are looking to make a change, FirstCredit.net can assist you to find the best deals.
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Barry Norman is a contributor to and blogger at firstcredit.net. For over ten years FirstCredit.net has provided consumers free information helping them make sense of credit cards and the financial industry. Whether you are a longtime cardholder or looking for your first credit card, FirstCredit.net can help you make informed decisions.
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