Banks begin simplifying credit card contract language

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 was passed in an effort to balance the playing field between consumers and card issuers.

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 was passed in an effort to balance the playing field between consumers and card issuers. Essentially, it included a number of disclosure provisions and fee regulations designed to protect individuals from predatory rate hikes and credit practices.

Although vague in its extent, one of the areas the CARD Act addressed was the fine print that's often plastered across the bottom of credit card statement and contracts. It called for issuers to simplify the language and make it more clear.

Lately, it appears that a number of card issuers are beginning to adopt these fine print reduction measures, as Chase, HSBC, Discover and Citi have all announced or initiated plans to simplify their contract language.

"Why rewrite now?" asks Connie Prater for Fox Business. "Some banks may see the handwriting on the wall as the new consumer financial watchdog ramps up to police credit cards and other confusing financial services."

Also, the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has made clear its intention to target such confusing terms and bring their complexity down to an average reading level.