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Highlights of the Credit Card Bill of RIghts

President Barack Obama signed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 legislation meant to protect consumers from financial industry practices which critics contend trap card users under mountains of debt.

Here are highlights of the bill:

* Requires issuers to disclose the period of time and total interest it will take to pay off the card balance if only minimum monthly payments are made.

* If the interest rate increases because the minimum payment is not received within 60 days after the due date, the rate must go back to the original lower rate if the consumer makes on time minimum payments for 6 months.

* No over-the-limit fees may be charged unless the consumer has asked for the account to be set up to allow transactions which will exceed the credit limit.

* Prohibits credit card issuers from setting early deadlines for payments. Payments must be received by 5:00pm at a location set by the issuer.

* Due dates will be on the same day each month.

* The rule prohibits card issuers from treating a payment as late unless the bill is mailed or delivered at least 21 days before the due date.


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