Key Vote Letter Supporting H.R. 4008, the "Credit and Debit Card Receipt Clarification Act"
May 12, 2008
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, urges you to support H.R. 4008, the "Credit and Debit Card Receipt Clarification Act."
H.R. 4008 makes a technical correction to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act ("FACTA") to free hundreds of businesses from potential exposure to massive statutory damages solely because of their past harmless failure to eliminate the expiration date from an otherwise FACTA compliant receipt.
Unlike the state laws after which this provision was modeled, FACTA incorporated a statutory damages clause that has resulted in the filing of more than 500 hundred class actions against companies that produced FACTA compliant receipts except for deleting the expiration date, an inadvertent omission that does not result in consumer harm.
Under FACTA, statutory damages between $100 and $1000 per transaction can be awarded. Businesses named in these class actions face potential liability of billions of dollars due to this clause despite the fact that none of these lawsuits has contained any allegation of consumer harm.
Importantly, H.R. 4008 preserves a consumer's right to sue in the event of actual harm or account fraud and does not eliminate a business' obligation to properly truncate the account number or to eliminate the expiration date from its receipts. The legislation also would not protect merchants who printed more than the account number permitted by FACTA.
The Chamber strongly urges you to protect companies of all sizes from being sued out of business by lawsuits that do not claim any consumer harm. Because of the importance of this legislation to the business community, the Chamber may consider votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten