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The History of Consumer Rights & Improvements

THE HISTORY OF CONSUMER RIGHTS & IMPROVEMENTS Brought to you by: Lexington Law. Before the 1960's, consumer rights were practically nonexistent. Fortunately, the rapid nature of consumerism created a wave of legislation and policy. Below is a timeline of consumer rights and how they have impacted the U.S. marketplace. In 1962, President Kennedy spoke to the U.S. Congress about the need for a new consumer movement, a call to action that resulted in the Consumer Bill of Rights. The bill included four basic points: 1962 Right to Safety – Consumers have the right to protection against products that have caused physical harm (excluding automobiles). Right to Information – Businesses must provide consumers with accurate information, allowing them to make informed decisions about products and services. Right to Choose – Consumers must be given free choice and options when it comes to choosing products and services offered by various companies. Right to Be Heard – Consumers have the right to voice complaints and concerns regarding company practices and products. The U.S. Attorney General, the FTC and the BBB represent only a few of the platforms in which consumers may be heard. By 1985, the United Nations expanded the Consumer Bill of Rights to include four points: 1983 Right to Basic Needs – Access to food, water, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education, sanitary living conditions, etc. Right to Redress – The right to receive a fair settlement over founded claims of faulty good and services. Right to Consumer Education – Consumers must be given enough information to make competent choices about goods and services, with information about their basic consumer rights and how to utilize them. Right to a Healthy Environment – Consumers must be provided with a healthy, non-threatening living and working environment to ensure their well-being and the well-being of their dependents. While this Bill of Rights provided groundbreaking protection, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission continued to establish new laws to protect consumer credit rights. Some of the primary consumer laws have included: 1968 Truth in Lending Act (TILA) – Requires credit companies to disclose their terms, costs, and conditions to customers before entering into a contract. This law is used to protect and promote fair consumer credit practices. 1970 Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) – As an amendment to the Consumer Credit Protection Act; this Act allows consumers to engage in the verification and maintenance of their own credit information - and more importantly – their credit repair. 1973 Fair Credit Billing Act (FBCA) – As an amendment to the Truth in Lending Act, the FCBA was enacted to protect consumers from unfair billing practices. It allows them to investigate and dispute credit billing errors. 1978 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) – As an amendment to the Consumer Credit Protection Act, the FDCPA is designed to eliminate abusive collection methods conducted by companies and collection agencies. This law regulates how and when lenders and collection agencies may contact customers about overdue payments. 1983 Credit Practices Rule (CPR) – Shields borrowers from certain kinds of exploitative lending practices. Requires that cosigners be fully informed regarding their potential liabilities should the primary borrower default. 1989 Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act (FCCCA) – As part of TILA, this law requires creditors to clearly disclose the following information on credit card applications: • APR • Cash advance transaction fees • Penalty fees for late payments • Minimum finance charges • Purchase grace periods • Balance calculation methods and over-the-limit spending without overdraft coverage • Annual fees 1996 Consumer Credit porting Reform Act (CCRA) – Provides rules on reinsertion of deleted information and free credit reports to the following people: • Unemployed • Those on public-assistance • Victims of fraud/identity theft • Those who have been denied credit 1996 Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA) – Enacted to regulate credit repair business and their advertising practices. 2005 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) – Extended the Fair Credit Reporting Act with additional protections related to how credit reports are accessed and used. Medical information was limited upon this law's enactment. This law also required credit bureaus to begin providing at least one credit report annually to all consumers. 2009 Credit Card Act (CARD) – Sweeping reforms were passed with this law related to how consumers are billed for new and existing credit accounts. 2011 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – This new law has created a federal agency called the Bureau Of Consumer Financial Protection which oversees how bankers and other creditors treat consumers. The face of consumerism has undergone aggressive change since 1962, and will likely see additional changes in the future. If you are committed to credit health, learn more about your consumer rights, or work with a consumer advocacy lawyer. Laws are most effective when you understand how to utilize them. WANT TO KNOW YOUR CONSUMER CREDIT RIGHTS? Brought to you by: Lexington Law. CALL 855-255-1297

The History of Consumer Rights & Improvements

shared by LexingtonLawFirm on Mar 07
In honor of National Consumer Protection Week — we give you an infographic timeline on Consumer Rights & Improvements! Before the 1960’s, consumer rights were practically nonexistent. Fortunately,...


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