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Consumers look to CUs on CARD Act counseling
SILVER SPRINGS, Md., and WASHINGTON (1/29/10)--Credit unions have teamed up with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), which has enhanced its National Locator Line (NLL) to support new requirements, effective Feb. 22, of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009. As of Feb. 22, credit unions and other card issuers will be required to prominently display on their statements a toll-free number providing cardholders information about accessing credit counseling with nonprofit credit counseling agencies, said NFCC in a press release Tuesday. "Not only will this information help make consumers aware that help is available, but it will add a layer of protection by directing them to government-approved nonprofit counseling agencies for assistance," NFCC said. The Silver Springs, Md.-based organization said more than 200 lenders--many of them credit unions--had signed up with its network to assist consumers in need of financial counseling and education. Others signing up included representatives of the top 10 creditors accounting for tens of millions of monthly statements, said NFCC. The NLL line is up now, and credit partners began issuing statements with the NFCC's NLL this week. On Tuesday, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) will conduct an audio conference call on the recent final rule implementing the CARD Act provisions effective on Feb. 22. The audio conference will be 1 p.m. -2:30 p.m. CT (2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET, 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m. MT, 11a.m.-12:30 p.m. PT). Among the issues it will address are:
* Minimum payment warnings on credit card statements; * Prohibition of an increase in interest rates during the first year an account is opened; * Requirement of co-signers for consumers who are under the age of 21; * Requirement that payments above the minimum be applied to balances with the highest interest rate; and * The restrictions on increasing the annual percentage rate on credit cards.
For more information about the audio conference, use the link.
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