Cheers for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs investigative subcommittee, which heard testimony Wednesday from consumers and major credit card issuers. Consumers are feeling gouged by the perfectly legal practices of late fees, over-credit-limit penalties and the nightmarish “universal default” — in which credit card issuers raise the interest rate if a consumer fails to pay other creditors on time.
Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., is dangling the threat of legislative action to force voluntary changes in the practices of credit card companies.
The companies pass out credit cards like they are free candy, regardless of credit history, then stick users with huge fees. And since they got Congress to change bankruptcy laws, there are few options for consumers to dig their way out of debt.
Posted by Patrice Hein
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