Congress Moves To Level The Playing Field Between Banks And Consumers

27 Aug Congress Moves To Level The Playing Field Between Banks And Consumers

Credit card company raise your interest rate without notice, pulling the rug out from under you?  If so, you may be in luck.

Boston.com reports on a bill currently pending in Congress would stop credit card companies from just deciding it’s time for them to get more money by raising your interest rates and fees. The terms that you were told when you first signed the contract for the card (perhaps minus some exceptionally fine and vague print, or a flat-out “any time, any reason” policy) would be enforced and maintained if the bill passes.

Most are beyond enraged when they find that their debt will soon be significantly increasing as they notice their interest rate has suddenly jumped. With only about 40% (according to Ben Woosley, director of research at CreditCards.com) of consumers paying their balances in full every month, chances are good that you’re in the angry majority.

If the bill passes, it will also make credit card companies mail statements 25 days before payment due dates, as opposed to the current minimum of 14 days.

Credit card debt is almost twice what it was in 1996, nearing one trillion dollars. If it passes, this bill would likely reduce the pace of increase in debt levels, which would lighten the burden on your wallet.

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Jay S. Fleischman is a bankruptcy lawyer with offices in Los Angeles and New York. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.
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