House passes "Credit Card Holders' Bill of Rights"

By
Real Estate Agent with CENTURY 21 All Islands

Alright, something is happening on the Hill! The House approved legislation that would institute a consumer's "Bill of Rights" regarding the credit card industry's unfair practices. The credit card companies are finally being reined in!  (If you believe that, I have a wonderful bridge for sale. Interested?)Bill of Rights

House bill: H.R.627

Senate bill: S.235

The House, by a vote of 357/70, adopted a series of amendments, some of which were pushed by the White House, that increases restrictions on industry practices. The bill, dubbed the "Credit Card Holders' Bill of Rights," wouldn't take effect until a year after enactment. For sure, there are some much needed reforms addressed by this bill, such as prohibiting retroactive rate hikes and double cycle billing (Double-cycle billing eliminates the interest-free period for consumers who move from paying the full balance monthly to carrying a balance). Also, companies would be prohibited from giving cards to people under 18 years of age. Good rules, but what I don't understand, is why these rules, if the bill passes the Senate, would not take effect for a full year, July 2010.

If it were left to some legislators, the bill would never even become law. Opponents tried to weaken the bill with amendments that would have given credit card issuers some openings to raise rates within the new proposed restraints.

"We shouldn't take credit opportunities away," insisted Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. "I just want consumers to have choices. I want there to be a competitive marketplace." (Trust me, this bridge is a deal!!) 

Last week President Barack Obama met with executives of the credit card industry and made clear he wants to sign a bill into law. He reaffirmed it as a priority that legislation was a must to protect consumers from "abusive fees and penalties." Earlier Wednesday, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the bill's chief sponsor, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met with representatives of consumer and civil rights groups to discuss the credit card overhaul.

At least something appears to be happening. Still, the fact remains, the credit card companies have powerful lobbyists. The Senate still has to work on their version of the bill, and pass that. In the meantime, we need to take the driver's seat, and do what we can to free ourselves from the tyrranical influence of credit card abuse.

During this next year, the credit card companies will be able to wreak as much havoc as they please! The only exception in the House bill, is that customers receive 45 days notice before their interest rates are increased; this provision will take effect in 90 days.

 

Comments (9)

Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Yeah...they need to do something...but why not now???  I sit and wonder....what the ulterior motive is to delaying those parts of the bill.

Apr 30, 2009 11:55 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I don't understand why they need to wait if they're going to pass the law.  Perhaps, it's just the powerful lobby.

May 01, 2009 03:01 PM
Michael S. Mackey
CENTURY 21 All Islands - Mililani, HI
REALTOR ABR, CRS, GRI, RSPS

Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman HAWAII Relocations & Real Estate (Century 21 Liberty Homes)

Christine Donovan Costa Mesa Real Estate (Broker/Attorney) 800-610-7253 (Donovan Blatt Team - Donovan Group Realty)

Sally, Christine - I can only surmise that the lobbyists are still wielding their influence, and getting their way. I can't imagine how much more damage they will be able to accomplish during this next year in their reign of terror.

May 03, 2009 04:24 AM
Trey Thurmond
BCR Realtors - College Station, TX
College Station , Texas Homes

Credit Cards are the scourge of modern society. The current rates are usurious and it is time to put the regulations in place. Even though I get angry thinking about the deep  hole so many have gotten themselves in to with credit cards...ultimately it is still up  each of us to use them responsibly.

May 09, 2009 04:07 PM
Michael S. Mackey
CENTURY 21 All Islands - Mililani, HI
REALTOR ABR, CRS, GRI, RSPS

Trey Thurmond, College Station , Texas Homes (Classic Realty Inc./GMAC Real Estate) The sad fact is, even those who use the cards responsibly can be blindsided by having their limits reduced, retroactive rate increases, increased minimum payments imposed, etc., etc. The results can be lowered credit scores, triggering a cascade effect by other credit card issuers. Like you said, the credit cards are the scourge of modern society, and the demon behind them are the card issuers.

May 12, 2009 05:46 AM
Matt Listro
National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro - Vernon, CT
Your Credit Repair Expert

Hi Mike: I can't agree more - consumers need help now - not in July 2010 - this doesn't make sense to me either.  I understand companies may need time to implement software changes and policy changes but a year plus - toooooooooooooo looooooooooong!

:)

May 13, 2009 02:20 AM
Randy L. Prothero
eXp Realty - Hollister, MO
Missouri REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

They can spend a $Trillion in 5 minutes, but it takes more than a year to protect the public.  That sounds like government.

Jul 19, 2009 07:32 AM
Diane Rice
Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - Lansing, IL
SFR, SRES, CNC

Hi Mike!  Hope all is well with you.  Haven't seen you around in the Rain....  Be encouraged!

Aug 30, 2009 01:52 PM
Anonymous
Mike Mackey

Hi Diane!

Thanks for dropping me a line. I've been taking a break from the Rain while I'm getting up to speed on a new venture.  Take Care!

Sep 02, 2009 05:57 AM
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