Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Avoiding the Hazards of Credit Card Debt

Wednesday, February 04, 2009 — 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Keynote Speaker: Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D – NY)

Featured Speakers: John Carey, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, Citi Cards Beth Kobliner, author, Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties Travis Plunkett, Legislative Director, Consumer Federation of America

Moderated by: Sarah Rosen Wartell, Executive Vice-President, Center for American Progress Action Fund

WASHINGTON, DC—As unemployment climbs to new highs, and with prices of every day necessities on the rise, American families have taken on a near-record amount of credit card debt to cope with their bills. While no one can doubt the convenience of credit cards—they have replaced cash and checks for every day transactions at the supermarket and pharmacy—cardholder agreements are written in a way that may obscure, rather than clarify, important terms and conditions. These problems could be avoided with a two-pronged solution: first, legislation that would eliminate some of the abuses in the credit card market, and second, orienting cardholders toward making better decisions with their credit cards.

We invite you to join us as Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) speaks about her bill that will eliminate many common credit card abuses. This will be followed by a panel discussion of a new paper to be released by the Center for American Progress. The paper proposes that in addition to eliminating the worst of these abuses, Congress should require that card issuers implement a new system that would lead to better credit card outcomes through electronic reminders at "teachable moments" when needed—by sending a text message several days before a due date with a warning of the penalty for being late, for example.

Admission is free.

A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.

Center for American Progress Action Fund 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor Washington, DC 20005 Map & Directions

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

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