On March 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it is seeking public comment on how the credit card market is functioning and the impact of credit card protections on consumers and issuers.  This public inquiry will focus on issues including credit card terms, the use of consumer disclosures, credit card debt collection practices, and rewards programs, among others.

“With today’s inquiry, the Bureau is seeking to further understand how the credit card market is working in practice and how credit card protections affect consumers and credit card issuers,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.  “As we undertake this review, the Bureau wants to ensure it understands the information that consumers, industry, advocates, and other stakeholders believe is most relevant.”

The CFPB is required under the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act to conduct a review of the consumer credit market every two years.  Some of the specific areas on which the CFPB is requesting information include:

  • The terms of credit card agreements and practices of credit card issuers;
  • The effectiveness of disclosure of terms, fees, and other expenses of credit card plans;
  • Collection of past due amounts on credit card accounts as well as debt collection practices within the credit card industry, and how often card issuers use third-party collection agencies and how those relationships are managed; and
  • How credit card issuers determine that their disclosures for rewards products are being made in a clear and transparent manner.

A copy of the Request for Information, as submitted to the Federal Register, can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201503_cfpb_card-act-report-rfi.pdf