Senate credit card hearing: Now what?

We need action, not just talk


Contact: Linda Sherry, 202-544-3088

Feb, 12, 2009 - Consumer Action applauds the Senate Banking Committee for holding a hearing today on the need for credit card legislation. We call on the Senate for bold and decisive action. There have been several hearings held by the Senate on this issue since 2005 and yet the Senate has failed to follow the will of the people and pass strong consumer protections for credit card users. Despite the introduction of several excellent and consumer-protective bills in the Senate during the last Congress, none has moved out of the Senate Banking Committee. Consumer Action urges Senate Banking Committee leaders Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) to join leaders in the House to make sure strong consumer protection legislation is moved quickly. "Last year, the House passed strong consumer credit card protections by a wide majority," said Linda Sherry, head of Consumer Action's DC Office. "That legislation died because of the Senate's failure to act on it." "We understand there are many pressing issues vying for the Senate's attention, but we can't allow a call for credit card protection to fall on deaf ears," said Sherry. "Our elected officials in the Senate must be responsive to the will of the people." Since 2005, tens of thousands of consumers have used Consumer Action's Take Action Center to write to their representatives in the House and Senate asking for substantive legislation that will protect them from fine print tricks and traps, rates that shoot up after minor infractions, universal default clauses and excessive and unreasonable fees. "These card terms exist for one reason-to squeeze every last drop of income out of consumers who are already stressed by economic conditions and are drowning under credit card balances," said Sherry. "Credit was extended with one set of terms and then unexpectedly changed, causing the cost of credit to skyrocket and busting family budgets."
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Consumer Action, founded in 1971, is a consumer education and advocacy organization headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, DC.


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