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The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act

There are several consumer protections in the Credit CARD Act that can help you protect yourself. If you're in over your head with credit card debt, there are some things you can do to mitigate this. While you have options like bankruptcy or debt repayment plans, your attorney may also help you protect yourself against unfair treatment from a credit card company.

In 2009, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act was created. It does several things. It provides you the ability to reject or opt out of changes on your accounts. If you opt out, you may have to close your account or pay off your balance, but that will happen under the old terms of your card. If you do this, you'll also have five years to repay the balance of your card under the old terms of your plan.

The act also makes it important that you have clear due dates and times. You need to be given a reasonable amount of time to pay your monthly bills; it's required by law that you receive at least 21 days to pay a bill. On payment dates, you can't face a 5 p.m. payment cut off; this was made illegal. If you have to make a late payment because of holidays or weekends, you won't be charged a late fee under the Act.

Another interesting fact is that if you pay more than you owe, the extra money must go to balances with higher interest rates first. This helps limit your overall payments over time and saves you money.

Source: CreditCards.com, "12 consumer protections in the Credit CARD Act," Connie Prater, accessed April 15, 2016

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