October 9th, 2009
03:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Some credit card companies rush to act before new law

 Chuck and Jeanne Lane of Ohio have excellent credit, but their monthly credit card bill more than doubled.
Chuck and Jeanne Lane of Ohio have excellent credit, but their monthly credit card bill more than doubled.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – If you hold a Discover credit card, you're in luck - the company has decided to freeze interest-rate hikes until a new credit card consumer protection bill takes effect in February.

Bank of America was the first company to freeze its rates. Both moves come after outrage over credit card companies jacking up rates, increasing minimum payments and raising penalty fees before the new consumer protection law - which would bar sudden increases - is phased in.

Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Colorado, and 17 other lawmakers sent letters to credit card banks asking them voluntarily to freeze their rates while Congress decides whether to move up the phase-in date for the new law to December.

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Filed under: Congress
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. swdassoc@msn.com

    Everyone can line up and thank Barney Frank for this, since he became the ranking democrat and then promoted chairman of the House Financial Services Committee this has been slowly creeping into the Legislative circles.

    Rep Frank lobbied for a "hands off" approach to all credit institutions starting as far back as the early 1990's Legislative sessions so that those individuals with bad credit and low income would have access/means to establish credit.

    Your increased rates are paying for the defaults of those that were granted credit and likely shouldn't have.

    Keep pointing fingers politicians it all you do well.

    October 9, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. m jeff

    The credit card companies are run by loan sharks, they will do anything to continue to rob America.

    October 9, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. TJSBURB2, FL

    Bank of America tripled my interest rate on my card which I had a good payment history with. They said that my debt ratio was not what they liked so the were raising my rate. So I opted out of using my card.

    Last month we were having a problem with BOA'S web site that we pay my wife's BOA card that she had before we were married. We finely got the site to accept payment on the due date but payment posted one day after the payment due date. Our next billing came in October and our payment doubled. Don't know how long we will be able to make the extra payment before we tell them to stick it where the sun doesn't shine.

    I'm quite irritated with BOA we had a mortgage with Countrywide for the Condo that we provide my mother in-law. After BOA got the bailout money they bought Countrywide. I have my checking, equity line, 2 credit cards and now a mortgage with the GREEDY BLOOD SUCKERS.

    I have never been happier to hear that their CEO is stepping down this year. There will be a corporate revolt if these kinds of practices continue. It's my opinion now more than ever that Credit Card Companies want their Credit Card holders to fail so they can ask for another hand out from the Tax payers.

    JUST SAY NO!

    October 9, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. tm

    We received a notice yesterday from Bank of America that they are now going to impose an annual fee on a credit card which is paid in full each month. We are one of those customers that Bank of America apparently does not want – a customer who pays their bills in a timely manner. We have since canceled the card.

    October 9, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Dave

    Our country lacks personal responsibility. If you don't like what the credit card companies are doing, stop using their cards and stop whining about the "evil" corporations. Consumers have the ultimate power.

    October 9, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. ccc

    ya like we already pay hogher price anyways

    October 9, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Ellie

    Credit CardCompanies have become legalized loan sharks. Sad day for America.

    October 9, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. MATT

    These credit card companies are the same companies that took all our bailout money. Maybe we should raise the rates on them?! Or better yet, let them sink!!!

    October 9, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. M in NO

    This legislation comes a day late and a dollar short. My credit cards raised my interest rates earlier this year. Then WAMU/Chase had nerve to raise the interest from like 9% all the way to 26% over a matter of months. And then in July, Chase cancel the card...leaving me with the ridiculous rate. And I never paid late or went over the limit.

    October 9, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Tom

    Legalized loan sharks.

    October 9, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Bob in Pa

    Congress enacted that law on purpose. It had all kinds wiggle room upfront to enable Bank Card companies to do what they have done.

    I have a card with a 2.9% promo APR, they couldn't change that rate but in order to get it off their books they jacked up the minimum payment. Sure they will change the minimum back, only after I allow them to change the promo APR to a much higher rate.

    I lay the majority of the blame at the feet of Congress. Medling where they don't belong. Oh what am I worried about, soon the US Govt will own my debt.

    October 9, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. shmeckel

    It would be pretty neat if discovery or boa would come out with a card with a low interest rate and approved people getting taken advantage of and allowed them to transfer their chase or Wells Fargo balances. Then advertise it as such. See how well those other companies do without costumers.

    October 9, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    All companies in America should be abandoned, they care nothing for the American people and they do everything they can to drain the lifes blood from all of us. Let these companies dies a quick death!

    October 9, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Only 23% of the country approve of Republican'ts in Congress

    It's time to break the strangle-hold that the credit card companies & the health insurance companies have on this country! They are getting mega-richer and the American people are getting mega-poorer. Of course this will be another fight the progressives will have to fight on their own against big corporation and, even worse, against the party of NO, the Republicant's! But fight we will and we WILL win!

    October 9, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. C.K.

    My credit card company closed my account without telling me, then jacked up my APR to 19%, and they didn't tell me that either. My monthly payments were all going to interest, and I was going broke. I'm just now starting to pay it off now that my money is finally going to principal. Nice, huh?

    October 9, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Butch/Good Newz, VA

    Think your credit card rate is too high? Do you think you are getting screwed? Try not getting yourself into credit card debt in the first place! What a novel idea!

    October 9, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. Joe Terrogano

    Chase did the same thing to my wife. When she asked how they could do that, the rep responded "It's our money". No it's not. It's the borrower's money until the payments that were agreed upon are due. Otherwise, give back the money you got from the Feds Chase, because it's our money. Please folks, if you have an account with Chase, BOA, or Capital one, go to a small local bank and transfer your funds. Or join a credit union. your money stays local and these banks get what they deserve, nothing.

    October 9, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. E. J. Williams

    Please check your facts regarding Discover freezing rates until February. I have a Discover card and received a letter just under 2 weeks ago notifying me that my rate was being raised from 8.9% to over 16% because of the upcoming changes in credit card laws. They were careful to point out that this was not in response to anything I had done, but because of the law changes.

    October 9, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. credit card companies are scum

    My credit card company pulled this garbage on me too. I stopped using the card & plan to cancel it.

    The irony is that it's one of those charity card that kicks money back to the Democratic Party.

    Congress needs to rein in this legalized thieving.

    October 9, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Island girl

    This is message not only to credit card companies but all banks: STOP WITH THE JUNK MAIL trying to entice people like me to come on board to do business with you. If I wish to use your services I will simply come in and sit down with your representatives when I am good and ready – it is that simple. If you bombard me with the same bait every month and I fail to respond after a year, it stands to reason that I am not interested, so save your manpower and stamps! Also, FIOS and other cable companies might want to do the same. Please advertise your services on TV and stop the mailing! I am tired of using my paper shredder.

    October 9, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Bill, MI

    Where's the personal responsibilty in this country, did it exit when the Obama entered?

    October 9, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. J.C. - Independent

    Perhaps it's time to limit our credit card spending. Let's use cash again.

    October 9, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. NC

    Credit card companies have been protected by Republicans. How does it feel to support republicans now?

    October 9, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. Jake

    Legal lone sharks.

    October 9, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. Wesley in the West

    These credit card companies are the same companies that we all had to bail out with millions and millions of $$$. I'd say it's time to up the antee on them for a change. This is robbery!!!!!

    October 9, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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