It’s a good week for consumer protection against abusive credit card practices. Yesterday, the House Financial Services Committee approved the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, and this afternoon President Obama is meeting with officials from 14 credit card companies to tell them “that greater consumer protections are coming for their customers, with or without their cooperation.”
From ABC News:
An industry source tells ABC News that the executives expect to hear from the White House that “the industry is unpopular right now.” The source forecasts that the meeting will be “a carrot-and-stick” deal — the administration will tell the executives that they need their help in dealing with problems such as high interest rates, but they will emphasize the threat of legislation.
“It will be a come-to-Jesus type of meeting,” the source said.
Lenders are saying that any crackdown on current practices will lead to two Very Bad Things: a restriction in the number of credit offers, and an overall bump back up to higher interest rates. Somehow we think threatening to reduce the level of credit card debt in the nation won’t exactly strike fear in hearts of consumers. As for higher interest rates, it’s all the more reason to not carry a balance, right?