Bank of America last week zapped millions of credit card customers with big interest rate hikes. Banks say if they can’t randomly change the deal you agreed to, it will ‘harm consumers and the economy.’
Just a one-vote margin got the credit card reform bill out of the Senate banking committee. And the powerful banking lobby is licking its chops at the thought of weakening the bill or outright killing it when it comes up soon before the bitterly divided Senate.
We’re too close to victory to let the banks have their way again. Getting you the credit card deal you signed up for isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue, it’s simply putting fairness back into laws that for too long have been skewed in favor of the banks.
The bank and credit card lobbyists are swarming Washington to gut the bills, claming they will “harm consumers and the economy at the very time our country can least afford it.” Say what?
This is the same industry that wrote the contracts that allow them to jack up your card’s interest rate at any time, for any reason, even when you pay your bill on time -- just as Bank of America did last week. Or charge you a 27 percent ‘penalty’ interest rate for as long as they want for the most minor infraction, such as paying your bill three days late.
The legislation would make the banks treat you fairly: Charge interest rates that you agreed to pay, apply your payments more fairly to higher-interest balances, and impose reasonable fees. It’s not a free ride for consumers or the banks.
Abusive credit card tactics affect each of us, and we think our economy will have trouble recovering unless we stop them. We have a very real opportunity right now -- let’s get the bill across the finish line!
Times are tough, which is why we’re asking for a little help from a lot of folks. Your support today will help us make your family's finances, health and safety a top priority in Washington in the coming months.
And even if you can’t give, please forward this on to friends and family so they can join the effort to give everyone a fair deal.
Sincerely, Kathy Mitchell Consumers Union Action Fund, Inc.