House votes on credit-card consumer protections

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House voted this week to expedite credit-card consumer protections, which President Obama signed into law earlier this year, after credit card companies began raising interest rates in advance of the legislation’s start date.

 “Unfortunately, some credit card companies have abused the time that was given them to convert their computer software to meet the requirements of the law, to make last-minute rate hikes to bilk consumers of as much as they can before the law we passed kicks into gear,” Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said in a statement.

The original legislation was slated to take effect in Feb. 2010. The expedited act that passed this week would have those reforms take effect upon signing of the new bill.

Minnesota Democratic Reps. Tim Walz, Collin Peterson, and Jim Oberstar and Minnesota Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen joined Ellison in voting for the measure.

Minnesota Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Kline voted against it.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., was “unavoidably detained when the final vote was taken” but submitted a statement for the record expressing her strong support of the legislation, which she co-sponsored.

“Had I been present, I would have voted in favor of passage,” McCollum said in the statement.

Go here to read more about the bill.


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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Dick Novack on 11/06/2009 - 06:09 pm.

    The gesture of instant effectiveness on signing does nothing for the millions of “bilked” credit card customers who have already been hit with the rate increases or whose, like mine, are scheduled to take effect just days before the law takes effect . . . . That is, unless the bill “rolls back” bad faith actions by credit card companies.

    Card companies testifying they needed all that time to implement software simply lied to congress. An easy programming fix, they had software in place soon after the first bill signing.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 11/09/2009 - 12:50 pm.

    Dick N: I have carried out a one-person boycott of ALL the credit card companies for many years because of their abusive tactics.

    Except for renting a car, it is possible to exist without credit cards. To reserve a room in a out-of-town hotel, for instance, I mail a check ahead of time so it clears before I arrive. To purchase a rail or bus ticket, I pay cash, as I do for day-to-day expenses for which I need no written record.

    No interest-rate “surprises” or mysterious fees. No spending more than I can afford because it’s so easy. No fear of the card number being stolen and used by a thief.

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