Federal Reserve proposes changes to credit card laws

Federal regulators are looking to add additional protections to recently passed credit card legislation.

The Federal Reserve Board is proposing a rule amending Regulation Z, in an effort to enhance consumer protection and clarify uncertainties left by the CARD Act.

The proposal would apply to promotional programs that offer reduced or lowered interest rates for specific time periods. The changes could mean credit companies may no longer be able to raise interest rates for customers that are less than 60 days behind on a payment. It would also prohibit credit card companies that waive interest charges for six months from revoking the agreement or charging interest during that time.

The proposed amendment would also require credit card issuers to consider a consumer’s independent, not household, income when opening a new credit card account. It would also limit fees customers may be asked to pay prior to an account opening.

The last of the rules from 2009’s CARD Act went into effect in August of this year.