Credit card finance regulation (stay awake!) is an intricate web of federal and state laws complicated by issues of federal preemption. I recommend the treatise, The Cost of Credit, to any lawyer, banker, or consumer credit professional who needs to wade through this maze of regulations to adequately advise his or her client.
The truth is we are a nation of debtors. In 2009, the outstanding consumer installment debt in this country was valued at $1.6 trillion up from $162 billion in 1975. This nation's credit cycle allowed the pendulum to swing way too far into deregulation that caused the 21st century credit meltdown. Now we see the pendulum swinging in the other direction with the Dodd-Frank Act that makes significant government improvements in banking law designed to protect America's consumers and their economy.
But I am in the trenches of the debt war that exists between credit issuing banks, debt buyers and their consumers. I see the worst of failed consumer credit relationships. I see consumer collection efforts that occur years after any alleged default. I defeat credit card lawsuits on legal grounds of lack of standing and/or lack of jurisdiction. My adversaries can rarely factually prove when my client defaulted, let alone establish the bases for principal, interest, and or fees.
Banking credit regulations is dense and extremely prolific. Th Cost of Credit is over 1,200 pages with the text of every federal Act that pertains to loans and credit arrangements. I look forward to incorporating its virtues into useable defenses and claims on behalf of my clients.
The extension of credit is an extreme commercial enterprise that can be unconscionably unfavorable to the consumer. The intense marketing of credit cards is characterized by teaser rates, bait-and-switch offers, false promises of fixed rates among others. Some credit card lenders increase their income through high late fees, manipulation of due dates and posting dates, over-limit fees, transaction fees, inactivity fees, penalty interest rates. Credit card issuers have also imposed universal default clauses, whereby a penalty rate is imposed for late payments to any of the consumer's other creditors. The entire industry seems unfair and deceptive. Who is protecting the consumer?! Up to forty percent (40%) of New York City consumers' income are consumed with credit card debt. The banks love it! The steady worsening of the credit card consumer's condition has been accompanied by credit card earnings that have been consistently higher than returns on all commercial bank activities.