October 9th, 2009
03:12 PM ET
11 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. Djak

    I was forced into bankruptcy last year so I am now officially credit card free. In the wake of these greedy practices by credit card companies, it is an amazing sense of freedom to not have to worry about credit card bills anymore. I made it through my first Christmas last year on a "cash only" policy and it was the first time in my adult life that I wasn't choked by bills after the holidays. For everyone that possibly can, I would suggest a credit strike. Cancel your cards and let them know you won't be taken advantage of anymore. Taxpayer money bailed them out of financial ruin, and now rather than being appreciative, they just squeeze more out of the people that saved them. To hell with that!

    October 9, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Tom R

    Congress should inact this policy today.

    October 9, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    I would like to see the credit card compqnies executives go to jail for loan sharking ..when did loan sharking become legal ?

    get all of them rounded up and put in a big freezer box and thrown off a brige...lol

    October 9, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  4. Vets4Obama

    I would fully endorse a full court press on a law that indicated EXACTLY how much higher then prime a bank could charge in interest. If the 'private' market refuses to regulate itself and uses such dishonest and scumbag tactics as this then they should have no RIGHT to operate in a free market.

    It's up to them, don't act like dirt bags (like they are) or FORCE us to take them over. Some times people have to be FORCED to do the right thing, it's why we build prisons and have government regulations!

    They keep it up, and we'll have the government start issuing credit cards. They won't be able to complain if they use tactis like they are.

    October 9, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. WhoCares?

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

    I'll pray for you Bill that you will sometime see through your hate for this man and see who is really hurting America.

    October 9, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Brian

    I just don't get it, why are people mad at the credit card companies? You have a choice to use them don't you? This has nothing to do with Republicans, it's about repaying your promises. If you use a credit card, and don't pay your bill.... you should go to jail because you STOLE from that store.

    People expect companies to loan out money for free, and out of the kindness of their hearts? And not get mad that you don't pay them back?

    If you don't like a companies rules... don't do business with them. I much prefer this method then the goverment running my life!!

    October 9, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Dofofun Florida

    The credit card company say that congress should wait until Feb. for the new law instead of Dec. They say they can't get their computer system transferred over by Dec. I can see where they have to worry about getting the new system by Feb. when they have to work now on changing their system to go up on your % rate.

    October 9, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  8. Raphael

    Well, since I still buy airline tickets, rental cars, gas, ect. with
    credit cards, I still need a credit card. My local credit union has not changed rate or payment on me, But they did send me a notice that they would double my rate if I missed or had a late payment. I stopped using that card, no problem, for now, But I wonder whats next?

    October 9, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Carramea

    Despite paying my credit cards on time and making OVER minimum payments two companies raised my rates in the past month. What scum getting their last licks in before the law goes into effect. I wont cancel them ( makes your credit score go down) but I did wrote the retail store and say Im done with you and I am

    Congress needs to retro this law and make the credit cards roll back the increases

    October 9, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  10. Karen

    B of A froze them AFTER they raised them. They hiked mine to 19.99%. I dumped them immediately. They are the devil.

    October 9, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  11. Karen

    Worth repeating, from 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 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. Kent in CA

    I pulled every penny I had out of Citi because of their predatory business practices. It was a bundle; the branch manager tried desparately to get me to change my mind and was actually in tears!

    Take your money out of these greedy banks. Cancel your credit cards and switch to a bank that treats their customers as if they care about them. Good banks do exist. Find them and give them your business.

    October 9, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. Zap

    Hey! What's the problem here! All the republican news is telling me that commerce is the American way and good for the country! Deregulation in the Bush era was supposed to open this up for competition. It seems to be working, the competition for what bank can make the most profits is humming along just fine. Just because you don't own a bank doesn't give you a right to admonish those that do. You people are just jealous because the stock market is at a 2009 high; with insurance companies and banks at the top.

    October 9, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  14. Gene in Dallas

    I love how those commercials come on and say "we're here to help you and hold your hand every step of the way. We want to work with you...." I don't even care about credit and know how to get around it. You can have bad credit but if you have the cash, well anyone will take your business.

    October 9, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  15. Gerry

    That's funny I did not see anything in the article that said that these banks were friends of the GOP. I do remember the Community Reinvestment Act of 1999 out of B Franks committee and signed into law by B Clintion in 2000 did help the finacial institutions. Funny

    October 9, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  16. Joe

    Quit living on credit and cut up your cards ! FOOLS ! I can't help all these credit card companies chose to be headquartered in my home state. I mean, whats a good "dim" to do ? Not take their money, let those nasty repubs get the money, I mean, I worked hard for all those kickbacks !

    October 9, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. Jack

    Let them jack them up all they want, people who cannot afford them just won't pay their balance and those of us who can ,pay the balance every month in FULL.

    October 9, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. Sandra Skelton

    Bank of America may have frozen it's rate hikes NOW but that's because they already raised them almost immediately after the upcoming legislation was announced!

    October 9, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  19. Don

    Yeah this would be good to see. After many years with Providian (Washington Mutual), Chase got ahold of us, supposedly they sent us a letter saying our interest rates would go up.

    When i asked them to prove it, they sent me a PDF copy of a monthly statement, on the back side of it there was a note about the interest rate hike saying we could opt out in 2 months . Knowing full well that everything was done on the internet, they neither sent an email, account message, or a letter in the mail seperate from the montly bill. Seriously who would expect a message to you about a rate increase on the back side of a normal monthly bill. They took my 7.89 fix and made it 10.24.

    Theres part of the reason they paid back the TARP money so fast, they just ripped off everyone they got in the takeover. Never late, ever, always more than minimum, 750+ credit score and this is how Chase starts there relationship with its takeover customers. I canceled the card immediately, Chase can go to hell for all i care.

    October 9, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. Victim of Liberal stupidity

    You are right GI JOE, Americans do need to take a stand, if you don't pay your taxes, your Federal Government can't abuse and give away your money anymore! Wish we could cancel the Presidential term as easy as we can cancel a credit card.

    October 9, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. MCD, SF, CA

    Don't think this should be a surprise... all during the healthcare reform debates that have raged for months... the health insurance companies have been quietly petitioning states to raise rates. Big business knows no shame.... they just keep grubbing after the $$.... and you know what?... they keep getting the $$.

    What will it take to tame the greed that runs this country? Shame doesn't seem to work.

    October 9, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. Al

    ...and to all you saints out there with no credit card debt and no sympathy for those who do have credit card debt...you fail to connect the same corruption that allows credit card companies (banks) to do this, has also filtered into your little happy debt-free life when your taxes go up to pay for the bank bailouts, and the bank-caused recession causes your debt-free self to get laid off and/or foreclosed on. I understand your lack of compassion for your fellow human beings, I fail to understand your ignorance of the things that are affecting you.

    October 9, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  23. Randy

    Credit card users easily outnumber the card issuers. They couldn't begin to handle an en mass consumer revolt.

    If Congress can't get their act together to craft and promptly enact some legislation with some real bite to protect consumers from credit card issuers then it's time for an all-out consumer revolt.

    October 9, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. Randy

    All the card issuers are doing is penalizing consumers for their foolish business decisions.

    Should you as a credit card user be penalized in any way, shape, or form because banks made bad loan decisions – bad loan decision that were made in nothing but the name of corporate greed? Nearly all of the bad loans AREN’T credit card related, BUT card issuers aren’t telling you that. A vast majority of the bad loans are commercial real estate, residential, corporate America, BUT GUESS WHAT? It’s credit card user’s getting shafted with rate increases and monthly payments being senselessly jacked up. All the while the banks are doling out 100s of MILLIONS, and in some cases over a BILLION dollars in bonuses and pay increases. Don’t take my word for it. Look it up for yourself. It’s info that’s readily available.

    That is what all the rate increases amounts to. And now the card issuers want to give card users the shaft. Don’t let them manipulate you into believing you are part of the problem when a vast majority of you aren’t. Don’t be complacent. Stand up and say NO!

    Get on Congress’ back. Get on the banks back. Keep it up.

    October 9, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  25. Reg

    You know there was a time when banks couldn't charge more
    than 8% interest on credit cards and yes you had to have a
    good debt ratio and a job!

    Glass / Steigal Act 1934 til 1987 (Savings n Loans) debacle
    400 Billion to taxpayers and the Gramm / Leach / Bixley Bill
    Commodities Act of 1999 repelled Glass / Steigal (Firewall)
    between all financial institutions that protected us from
    greedy white privilege corporate racist cowards!

    Reaganomics / Thatcherism (UK) deregulation of oversight
    is criminal and that has brought this theft of taxpayers (OUR)
    money! GOP who side are you on? We know corporate!

    October 9, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
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