Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 17, 2009


Kathy Chu, USA Today - As credit card fee increases squeeze more consumers, lawmakers are stepping up efforts to reform criticized practices.

In the latest round of fees, Capital One, Citibank and HSBC are raising interest rates for millions of credit card borrowers. Chase is tacking on a $120-a-year fee and raising the minimum payment from 2% to 5% of the balance for hundreds of thousands of consumers with low interest rates. The actions come as unemployment rises and more consumers struggle to pay their bills.

In a hearing Thursday, some lawmakers said the moves were angering consumers and Congress alike - and giving reason for an immediate crackdown on credit card practices.

In December, the Federal Reserve and other regulators released a rule reforming some of the most controversial practices, such as raising rates on existing debt. But that doesn't take effect until mid-2010. Advocates say that's too late for struggling consumers. . .

Already, many card issuers have raised interest rates and fees in the past year. The latest: Capital One. Spokeswoman Pam Girardo says it's raising rates on certain credit cards "to reflect the current risk environment." Capital One told some borrowers it was raising the interest rate to 17.9% from 12.9%.


Anonymous Beth Knotts said...

The credit card industry is the next to belly-up. I have 2 "ex"-wamu credit cards now owned by CHASE. So, now I have new charges per year of $240.00 fees for both cards and 5% minimum. I didn't pay minimum anyway, but it was easier to double-up the payment when the minimum was lower, thus hitting more of my principle balance.

The banks have robbed our 401k's. The banks have robbed the taxes we have all contributed to the government for our schools, roads and retirement through social security and medicare. The banks are all guilty of USURY and are not blinking an eye. The banks are not issuing conventional loans, thereby forcing Americans to use these cursed credit card lines for business expenses or personal expenses - sometimes being charged 32.99% !!!

ALL of the bank CEO's should be brought up on criminal charges and jailed.

It is hard to believe our national government is allowing this to happen to the American people.

February 28, 2009 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are SO right. The punitive damages to the banks due to usury ought to be retroactive and the usurious profits given back to the government and ultimately to the consumer by reducing taxes.

March 10, 2009 4:36 PM  

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