Are Dems going after credit card companies?

As a volunteer consumer mediator, I handle a lot of credit card complaints and I have little sympathy for some of the practices of the credit card issuers. Interest rates that would make the mafia blush, constantly changing rules (in tiny type), excessive fees, and poor customer service.

The Wall Street Journal reports that some key Democratic Congressmen are thinking about using laws to change some of these practices.

Only 30% of credit card holders pay off their balances every month so interest rates are a big problem, and the government accountability office says more and more credit card holders are paying rates in excess of 25%!!

Some of the ideas under consideration include forcing card companies to make it clear how long it would take to pay off balances using the minimum amount, making it easier for consumers to opt out of interest rate increases, forcing companies to apply payments to higher interest balances first, elimination of restrictions on legal suits by consumsers, making it harder for companies to market credit cards to college students, and the use of “retroactive” rate increases.

I have one more suggestion: Apply a reasonable monetary penalty (maybe the amount of money in question or $500, whichever is less) on any card company that did not answer a written complaint within thirty days.

For more information about credit cards, click here.

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