Is It Working?
The CARD Act required credit card issuers to make their card descriptions less confusing, so that consumers can better understand what they’re actually getting. Our own Gerri Detweiler found that the act may have helped a little in this regard but not by much, findings backed up by a report by the Center for Responsible Lending.
There’s also some confusion over whether the CARD Act is effective at keeping credit card marketers off college campuses. Reporting by Credit.com’s Farnoosh Torabi found that while fewer pitchmen may be on campus this year, some may still be marketing in violation of the law.
Who Should Enforce It?
Finally, the last big fight on the CARD Act’s first birthday is whom should enforce it. Under the Dodd-Frank law, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has the power to enforce the act.
But Republicans and executives at large banks and financial services are trying to change that. They hope to limit the bureau’s power by cutting its budget and forcing the bureau to request its budget from Congress every two years. They also are looking for different ways to rewrite Dodd-Frank to limit the bureau’s enforcement authority.
“Since this new government bureau has virtually unlimited powers over a huge part of our economy, accountability demands that Congress exercise appropriate oversight,” Spencer Bachus (R – Ala), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said recently.
Elizabeth Warren, who’s in charge of setting up the new bureau, fought back in recent comments to Consumers Union.
“Families can and should be proud of their new watchdog, but they would be wrong if they take its future security and independence for granted,” she said.