76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

REFORM OF THE CREDIT CARD INDUSTRY

WHEREAS, over 1.22 billion credit card accounts are in the U.S. representing about $850 billion credit card debt; and

WHEREAS, the average credit card debit per household is $7,430 and the average credit card debt per card-holding Household is$8, 568; and

WHEREAS, the average credit card debt per card-holding household that carries a balance is $17, 103; and

WHEREAS, the credit card industry mailed 5.2 billion solicitations in 2007, representing an average of 36 per household; and

WHEREAS, 35 percent of all credit card accounts (242 million cards) paid a late fee in 2005; and

WHEREAS, in 2005 the six largest credit card issuers had $7.4 billion of income from penalty fees; and

WHEREAS, credit card issuers aggressively solicit young adults and college students; and

WHEREAS, many consumers are unaware of the conditions or powers credit card issuers have over their accounts to set interest rates, impose fees, and make other changes governing their accounts; and

WHEREAS, U.S. households now have a negative savings rate for the first time in our nation’s history,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon Congress to pass legislation to reform and more closely regulate the credit card industry to protect the consumer from deceptive and unjust terms, interest rates and fees, by banning retroactive rate increases, ending unilateral adverse changes in terms for no reason, banning universal default in all forms, stopping late fees for payments mailed on time, and ending roll-over or repeat late and over-limit fees, among other reforms that protect the consumer, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that such reforms include a requirement that credit card issuers provide the consumer a more simplified disclosure of the terms and rates of credit card accounts and offers, and that deceptive credit card offers be banned; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the credit card industry be required to use sound underwriting principles based on the ability of consumers to pay.