While most residents of Tallahassee either have and use or at least are familiar with how credit cards work, some might not know about federal laws which are designed to protect Floridians and people throughout the country unfair or unscrupulous practice at the hands of credit card companies.

One of these laws is the CARD Act. Enacted by Congress in 2009, this new law aimed to curb certain abuses that were common within the credit card industry at the time.

The Act also expanded the already existing Truth in Lending Act, and it even legally constituted a new regulatory agency at the federal level, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB. The CFPB is responsible for making sure credit card companies follow the rules set out in the CARD Act.

One big part of the CARD Act were rules sharply limiting a credit card company’s ability to market cards to students who had a tendency to spend a lot but did not have the means to pay back their debts, at least not without getting help from their parents or other loved ones.

The law also restricts credit card companies’ ability to raise interest rates with little or no warning. Before the Act, it was common for credit card holders not to even realize that their interest rate went up until it was essentially too late to do anything about it. On a related point, the CARD Act also required companies to be more transparent, particularly when it came to their many fees and charges.

The CARD Act offers protections to Floridians who might otherwise wind up unwittingly in significant credit card debt from which they would struggle to recover. Specific questions about the Act and the rights people have under it are best answered by an attorney with expertise in helping people manage their debt.