House Passes Credit Card Bill Of Rights… But Senate Is Too Busy With The Bailout

The House of Representatives passed legislation that’s commonly known as the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights today, but the bill is expected to be ignored by the Senate while they work on that whole $700 billion bailout thing.

Reuters says:

The House passed the bill, 312 to 112, but it was not expected to advance in the Senate as Congress tackles the Bush administration’s $700 billion Wall Street bailout plan before adjourning as soon as Friday.

Credit-card issuers like Bank of America and Citigroup could still face restrictions from the Federal Reserve, which is expected to finalize similar rules by the end of this year.

The bill would prevent banks from retroactively increasing interest rates until the card holder is over 30 days late, and would require banks to mail statements 25 days before the due date.

House passes credit-card reform bill [Reuters]
(Photo: balmes )

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  1. Jonbo298 says:

    So the house actually did something to help the average American while the senate stalls on basically a blank check? AND senate isn’t likely to vote on it if I read the article correct? Wow, we sure know where priorities lie. God forbid both the House and Senate help real people.

    Though the Republican’s response(s) in the article is disgusting and despicable. It’s pretty obvious who is lining their pockets.

    • Jonbo298 says:

      @Jonbo298: Oh and I should add, this comment is worst of them all. “House Republicans called the bill a distraction from the bailout effort that could lead to higher interest rates and restricted credit for consumers.”

      Didn’t companies wildly giving away credit (aka mortgages) get us into this mess in the first place?! Didn’t subprime interest rates get us into this mess in the first place?! If tighter credit requirements were in place to begin with, there wouldn’t be a financial crisis.

      • JustThatGuy3 says:

        @Jonbo298:

        “Didn’t companies wildly giving away credit (aka mortgages) get us into this mess in the first place?! Didn’t subprime interest rates get us into this mess in the first place?! If tighter credit requirements were in place to begin with, there wouldn’t be a financial crisis.”

        I fully agree – problem is, this bill would limit the credit card companies’ ability to be appropriately punitive to bad risks, hence creating insufficient incentive for those people to figure out a way to pay off their debts. The market needs to have effective pricing mechanisms if we’re going to clear out the people who shouldn’t be borrowing money.

  2. everfade says:

    Republicans (with a capital R) are disgusting and despicable.

    • dakotad555 says:

      @everfade:
      So are Democrats. All politicians are more interested in gettign re-ellected and lining their pockets than helping people. I like to call them Demublicans and Republicrats becuase they all do the same things, few of which are good for you or me.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        @dakotad555: Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.

      • Jonbo298 says:

        @dakotad555: Democrats aren’t that much better either, I agree. But its what the Republicans said about this that I am displeased about.

        • campredeye says:

          @Jonbo298: People need to stop associating political party’s with cause and effects. Look to the individuals, or group of individuals in the case. Sure, they may all happen to be Republican, or Democrat, or Independent, or Green, but what does it matter? Their wrong doing effects us all, and until we develop the authority to DO something about it rather than spend countless hours labeling people Liberals and Neocons, NOTHING will get done.

          Please go out and vote this year. ALL of our lives directly reflect the outcome.

  3. notme93 says:

    The whole government needs to start passing laws that HELP the country. We need to start enacting policies that start fixing our problems instead of putting bandages on them. I believe this law is a small step in the right direction.

  4. KRayGolf says:

    As if this bill is really going to do anything? How is this a “Bill of Rights” for us? Wow, so I get another 11 days to see how much I’m getting screwed on a ridiculously high interest rate? Oh, even better, I get to be informed earlier now when they are raising it even more?

    Wouldn’t a bill of rights be aimed more at CAPPING the interest rate a little lower than half a paycheck? How about eliminating the ridiculous fees that end up adding more fees on to more fees, etc.

    And you say the House “helped us”… Typical Democrat… love your own party for doing nothing, hate the other party for being the other party.

    • stacye says:

      @KRayGolf: We have to start somewhere. We shouldn’t let perfection get in the way of progress.

    • Jonbo298 says:

      @KRayGolf: If your “Typical Democrat” response was directed at me, say so. I despise of our entire political process so don’t generalize me as a Democrat. I lean Democrat but I am more in the middle and actually use a brain instead of what a party says for my opinions/thoughts.

      At least this is something instead of doing nothing at all. It’s a start but not a finish.

    • MyTQuinn says:

      @KRayGolf: I hate to sound like I’m defending the credit card companies, but while there are plenty of people who’ve gotten into a credit mess due to circumstances beyond their control (job loss, etc), and that mess has been exacerbated by unscrupulous practices by the credit card companies, there are plenty more people who have gotten into a credit mess entirely due to a lack of self control, purchasing things they don’t need with money they don’t have.

      This bill of rights will do a lot to help the former, but as for the latter, they are their own worst enemy, and no bill of rights will protect them from themselves.

    • Alex Chasick says:

      @KRayGolf: Wow, when I read the bill, I couldn’t believe it had so many positive reforms. Eliminating double cycle billing and universal default, requiring that payments be pro rated to go to higher APR balances too, allowing opt outs of over limit charges-these are all really good things. As for “eliminating the ridiculous fees that end up adding more fees on to more fees, etc,” I’d suggest you reread the bill, as it does limit a lot of fees.

  5. Invective says:

    PAC money insures bills like this will fail, regardless the effort installed. (Who was it that thought of PAC money…) Neither the Administration, or Congress, nor any of the so called experts really knows how much is needed for something like this, since all the bank betting was done *off* the books. So this is best guess by an Administration with a guessing agenda. I’m guessing if these morons do pass a bill, it will be _at least_ double, if not more, so they can pilfer funds from this cash cow. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig! (NO reference to whatshername.)
    Let the bastards pay for their greed. No bailout, no drilling and no subsidies.If you don’t want the government redistributing the people’s money among the people, then they can’t redistribute the people’s money for these criminals. Really their CEOs, CFOs and the like should be in jail, no Dubai and certainly handing them a bundle of America’s Christmas money is only to protect the butts of the politicians who installed this deregulation to begin with.
    I do want to point fingers. I do want them to pay and I do want to know their names. (Actually I want America to know their names, I know most of the players.)Preferably on some nice survivor reality show, so I can watch them suffer, before prison time. Of course that’s just me…
    By the way, that Peter G. Peterson foundation is a pretty powerful lot huh. Nixon would be proud! ;)

    • RStewie says:

      @Invective: I agree with you. I know the bailout is going to happen…to “save” the economy, but I’d rather ride it out and start again than give a blank check to an industry that has already shown such an utter lack of restraint.

  6. dakotad555 says:

    This bill is largely a non-starter. How about a bill that actually limits the interest rate that credit cards charge to something south of 20%? How about a restriction on offering credit cards to people with no ability to pay?

  7. Ghede says:

    Talk about closing the barn door after the livestock has escaped.

  8. mac-phisto says:

    don’t change A THING! – i like the rules how they are now.

    =============
    dear banks,

    based on your proven inability to manage your exposure to the marketplace, we would like to congratulate you on being pre-approved for a “credit-builder” USTreas charge card! check out these great benefits:
    1) low interest rate!†
    2) no annual fee!
    3) accepted worldwide!
    4)$700 billion credit line!‡

    IMPORTANT TERMS:
    ======================
    your bill is always due on the first. except when we decide to move it to the 2nd. or the 5th. or the 1st monday after a full moon. in any case, we’ll notify you at least 24 hours in advance by mailing your neighbor a notice of the change. whether or not you receive such notice is not our problem.

    if you miss your payment – even if it is due to an error on our behalf, we will automatically place you in default status. this means we’ll call you at home to berate you for being an idiot & we’ll tell all your friends that you are a deadbeat. oh yeah, & we’ll triple your finance charge.

    please note that these terms are less like actual rules & more like guidelines. if we feel like changing ANYTHING, we will & if you don’t like it, you can find someone else to pay off your $700 billion credit line (except you won’t, because we’ll call them first to tell them what a whiny bitch & piss-poor customer you are).
    =======================
    †“low rate” is for an introductory period of 3 months, after which we plan on making the rate so freaking high you’ll be selling sperm just to pay the finance charges. to determine the new rate, we pull a random number out of our ass & add a margin of 0.8473958737219 to it, but don’t worry about it too much – we’ll be changing the way we calculate the rate just about every other day.

    ‡your ability to do your f-ing job may negatively impact your actual approval amount. if you’re a complete dunce, expect to be approved for the full amount.

    • TheSpatulaOfLove says:

      @mac-phisto:

      I applaud this post.

      Too bad you didn’t add into the terms about arbitration for disputes and the one sided result it creates. Oh, and the financial devastation laid out for the next decade when a payment is missed where the only people that lend to you base their decisions on a voo-doo number that no one knows how it is determined and subsequently charge ten times the interest as the previous lender and further burying you in financial hell.

      Oh, let’s not forget that the voo-doo number is also tied to your ability to be employed and your ability to get insured (home, auto, life), thus making it even harder to pay back the original loan.

      Whoops! Did you fall in the hole? Let’s change the laws so it’s impossible to even give in as well. Even bankruptcy is no longer an option for you, Mr. Joe Average. We made sure of that by paying off the politicians you voted for.

  9. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    Is there any way we can recall the executive and the legislative brances of the Federal Government?

  10. Ben Popken says:

    Too bad because it would actually help solve some of the problems contributing to the crisis in the first place.

  11. gliscameria says:

    They’re going to pass it now that it’s useless?

    Everyone knows their credit score is about to mean nothing, considering the entire system built around credit scores was corrupt and the creditors are broke, so what leverage do the credit card companies have over us?

    If you don’t like your rate, don’t pay it. They will negotiate within a month of non-payment.