If you’re having trouble managing credit card debt, you’re not alone. The total amount of credit card debt among American consumers surpassed 1 trillion dollars last year, according to a study by WalletHub. Now that’s a lot of debt.
Some card issuers have engaged in abusive lending practices to wrack up this debt by imposing surprise fees and penalties. What most credit card users don’t know is that they have a federal right against these types of practices under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.
What is the CARD Act?
The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act was made to prevent bankers from engaging in malicious practices meant to dig card users into deeper debt. A few examples of your rights under this act include:
- Being given notice in advance of rate increases or new fees
- Certain restrictions against increasing interest rates
- Details on the time a due date is passed and when it can be changed
- Penalties that can and can’t be imposed for closing an account
How do I know if my banker treats me fairly?
If you feel that your bank has issued you with unfair due dates, fees or penalties, the banker may be in violation of the CARD Act. Because everyone’s financial situation differs, it’s best to consult a professional you can trust with examining your finances.
A Bankruptcy attorney can offer a second opinion to those who are struggling with their bank or their finances.
But, what if it’s not the bank’s fault?
If it’s not so much a violation of the CARD act you’re struggling with, but just a matter of paying off a large amount of credit card debt, an attorney may still be able to help.
A lawyer can help you investigate whether filing for bankruptcy can help you. Bankruptcy can help debtors stop wage garnishment, creditor efforts and a creditor’s lawsuit. Some types of bankruptcy may even be able to help you keep your car from being repossessed or your house from being foreclosed.
To learn more about your credit card rights as well as the next steps you can take to get out from under debt, consult with a skilled attorney with experience delivering the best outcome for these types of cases.