October 7th, 2009
04:38 PM ET
10 years ago

Betsy Markey urges credit card companies to halt rate hikes

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A Democratic congresswoman is calling on credit card companies to stop hiking interest rates before President Obama's credit card bill goes into effect next year.

Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Colorado, led a group of 18 House members in sending a letter to the country's major credit card companies on Wednesday urging them to avoid "unreasonably raising rates" before Obama's Credit CARD Act goes into effect in February 2010.

"The implementation of these necessary reforms should not be taken as an indication that the industry should take advantage of consumers now before the prohibitions come into effect," Markey said in the letter.

The new bill adds more restrictions on when credit card companies can raise fees and interest rates, and specifically bans them from increasing rates unless a customer is more than 60 days late in paying a bill. But until then, consumers can still face rate hikes - and Markey said constituents told her the practice had picked up speed as the deadline approached.

Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Barney Frank have pushed for the bill to go into effect earlier to prevent credit card companies from increasing their rates. Markey called the companies' actions "troubling."

"What makes this situation particularly troubling is the fact that the effective date for the majority of the provisions in this legislation was set for February of 2010 to give credit card companies time to implement the new federal regulations – not additional time to violate the spirit of the law by changing the terms of agreements, including raising interest rates on consumers," Markey said in the letter.

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    STOP ! Or I'll be forced to say STOP again!

    October 7, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. LacrosseMom

    Hey isn't this what capitalism is all about? Screwing people when they are down?

    October 7, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  3. Wade

    Pay your bills and the credit card companies wouldn't have to raise their rates.
    It's the deadbeats that run up charges and then bail that caused the rates on your cards to be so high.

    Companies are cutting peoples credit limits to protect themselves from more losses.
    Every dollar of credit that is extended is a dollar that can potentially be lost if the person fails to pay it back.

    All they're doing is reducing their risk.

    October 7, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. Chris

    It is unbelievable what the banks have gotton away with over the last decade ... once they were bailed out, I bailed out. They went from 4% to 30% on a loan for being 2 minutes late with an online payment. That was the end of me caring about my credit rating. I have paid on any unsecured debt since January – they may as well write me off now ... but they wont ... they just keep adding fees and surchages ... who ever heard of that on a closed account??? I cant even get a final figure to negotiate with them. They are criminals and need to be treated as such!!!

    October 7, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. Toby

    What good is this credit card bill when companies have already inflicted sky-high rates. America has become the pit of scams. That's all we have here anymore. no morals do we have.

    October 7, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Bugl3t

    You can see what these card companies are doing, given years to "comply"... so... what makes anyone think that a "trigger" for insurance companies will work? I mean... they'll just keep raising rates and make the money NOW... because NOW is all that matters to corporate libertarians.

    For all of you citing how the USSR "failed", keep in mind that they had COMMUNISM, not socialism. And frankly, it was overspending in a futile attempt to win the cold war stand-off that caused their demise, not some speech given by Ronald Raygunz...

    Most of those complaining that socialism will hurt this country have no real idea of how it works OR of countries who practice social medicine... they are just mouthing what Fox News or their right-wing(nut) pastor told them....

    With limited resources and a growing demand for those resources throughout this globe, Americans need to wake up and smell the decay of constant consumerism... it's the true downfall of our country and this world.

    October 7, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  7. Marina

    Not only are B of A and Chase banks raising rates, they are also cutting back your limits to what your balance is. This makes it look like you have maxed out your credit cards when you really have not. Both BofA and Chase reduced my limits from $20,000 to $1,000.

    October 7, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  8. JES

    Why would they stop you gave them the time to get everything they can.

    October 7, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
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