The Consumer Protection Bureau (CFPB) is seeking consumer input in seven areas regarding credit card company practices since the enactment of the 2009 CARD act.  The act was designed to curtail some of the questionable practices of credit card companies, by reducing the amount of fees they could charge, as well as other changes.  Here’s what the CFPB is looking for.

1.    Credit card terms and practices.  How have issuers improved their marketing (reduction in misleading practices) and pricing? 
2.    Disclosure of terms, fees and other expenses.  Do consumers better understand the terms and conditions of credit card accounts?  Are there improvements that can be made to the system?
3.    Unfair and Deceptive Practices.  Are they still around, and if so, what forms are they taking? 
4.    Has the CARD Act affected the cost and availability of credit, particularly with “non-prime borrowers?”  Are there segments of the population that have been impacted by the law more than others?
5.    Has the CARD Act impacted the “safety and soundness” of any credit card issuers? 
6.    Has the CARD Act affected the use of “risk-based” pricing?  This is the practice of charging different interest rates or other fees to different groups of people.  This is prohibited in cases of gender, religion, race, etc. but still legal for credit scores and other kinds of benchmarks.
7.    Has the CARD Act hampered credit card innovation?

Here’s a review of what the 2009 CARD Act was designed to address:
A.    Interest Rate Increases.  Issuers must give consumers 45 days written notice of an interest rate change and those can for the most part, NOT happen in the first year.  Also, a consumer in most cases must miss two payments before a rate can be increased.
B.    Penalty or Late Fees.  Restricted to “reasonable and proportionate” fees of approximately $25 to $35.
C.    Overlimit Fee Opt-in.  This limited the practice of issuers who allowed charges to an account that was over the limit, and then charged the consumer for going over the limit. 
D.    More clearly defined the rules about payment timings.
E.    Customer payments.  Payments must be applied to higher interest rate items first.
F.    Monthly statements.  They must now show how long it will take to pay off the balance if the customer only pays the minimum amount.
G.    Ability to Repay.  Issues cannot raise a customer’s limit unless they have fully assessed the consumer’s ability to do so.
H.    Limits on college student marketing.

If information is gathered by the CFPB is information that helps consumers while aiding lenders by easing regulations, that would be the perfect scenario.