TAILIEUCHUNG - Attorney General Martha Coakley’s - Guide to Consumer Credit

Similarly, most credit cards do not charge interest on any purchases if a borrower pays the entire balance due within a short one-month grace period, but do charge interest on all purchases if she revolves even $1. To protect borrowers, new regulations restrict these and other practices involving large penalties: in July 2008 the Federal Reserve Board severely limited the use of prepayment penalties, and the Credit CARD Act of 2009 prohibits the use of interest charges for partial balances the consumer has paid off, and restricts fees in other ways. Opponents have argued that these regulations will decrease the amount of credit available to borrowers and. | Attorney General Martha Coakley s r May 2010 Table of Contents A Note from Attorney General Martha Coakley 3 Truth In Lending 4 Billing Rights 7 Costs of Credit 9 Fair Credit Reporting 12 Fair Debt Collection 14 If You Have Debt Problems 17 Resources 18 Sample Bank Statement 20 2 I Guide to Consumer Credit A Note from Attorney General Martha Coakley Dear Consumer Credit whether in the form of a credit card or a loan can be a valuable tool that permits consumers to obtain goods and services that they might not otherwise be able to afford such as a home or new car. Unforeseen circumstances poor choices by debtors and unfair practices by some creditors can cause financial difficulties and emotional stress. There are many laws protecting consumers in the area of credit including those that govern truth in lending billing rights fair credit reporting and debt collection. The information in this booklet addresses these credit concerns as well as what is often referred to as the hidden price of plastic. I hope that you find this material helpful in understanding the laws surrounding credit. Our office cannot offer legal advice to individuals however if you believe that a creditor is violating one or more provisions of these laws or if you have additional questions please contact our Public Inquiry Assistance Center Hotline at 617 727-8400. Cordially Coakley Massachusetts Attorney General ago I

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