Skip to comments.Congress takes interest in credit cards (to save us from ourselves)
Posted on 03/07/2007 5:18:13 PM PST by Rakkasan1
Executives from some of the biggest credit card companies found themselves on the defensive on Capitol Hill today over their fees and interest rates. John Dimsdale reports.
(Excerpt) Read more at marketplace.publicradio.org ...
More big-government socialism coming your way. Hallmark of the socialists.
Chase has a particularly nasty way of getting into their customers' wallets.
I had a cash withdrawal with a 'guaranteed' interest rate for the life of the loan as long as I wasn't late. I put it on automatic withdrawal to take care of that evenuality and forgot about it.
Some time later I looked at the loan--and it was considerably more than my original debt. Seems Chase has a 're-evaluation clause' in their fine print that says they can give your credit a negative rating, even if you are paying them on time, and kick the interest rate up from 7.5% (in my case) to 30%.
You'd think they'd have to at least notify you with a certified letter or something noticeable since they are changing a contract, right? But all they did was send one of those little fine print notices hidden among the ads stuffers for $4.99 sunglasses and such.
Yes, Chase did that to me as well. I called them and they said something along the same line. THAT is what congress should address: the option to change the agreement based on such clauses. I have 1 CC now, in case of an emergency with the car or need to fly someplace.
Some of the credit card company tactics are really sleazy. Realllllly bad, i mean. Thank God I have all mine the ex whacked so hard all paid off now.
Eventually, Chase bought out several other credit card companies where I had accounts. I could see that I was about to be victimized again, even though I've never been late, much less missed a payment.
It occured to me that two could play the game of abrogating contracts. I declared bankruptcy and left Chase with no money other than that which they had gouged from me on the increased interest rate.
It was very satisfying to stick it to them for a change.
When I started I had debt equal to about 3.5 months take-home pay.
Admittedly some outfits like Chase are really out to screw their cardholders and my credit-union is not.
But all other things being equal one can get out of debt without recourse to government intervention.
Oh, I didn't cut up the card I paid off and won't with the other. I am keeping them for things like gasoline, real emergencies and the like. But non-necessary stuff is no longer in the equation.
No, in this case something has to be done with the loanshark-like tactics that some credit card companies employ.
There needs to be a return of usury laws.
This isn't about acquired debt; this is induced debt; a scam perpetrated by the banking industry.
The RICO statutes should apply.
Class action suit.
I posted my story on another thread, here it is.
I had a card with about 6.9% interest that I paid off every month until I bought my home, then I accepted the 2.99% cash offer and maxed out the card for a down payment.
After a few months of $1000.00 a month payments, I used the card for about $3,000.00 worth of household stuff like a refrigerator and shed.
When my statement arrived I saw that the $3000.00 portion was collecting interest at about 19%, and I learned that it was hidden behind the huge amount of the initial total, meaning that nothing I paid on the initial amount would go to that smaller part that was burning up the 19% interest.
I threw everything I could into paying off the card quickly, so my mistake and the Citibank mafia tactics only cost me a few hundred dollars, but it was one of the shadiest business dealings I've ever seen, and I know many people would have been wiped out by that immoral act by the credit card company.
The reason given for my interest jump from 6.9% to 19% was that by accepting the promotional offer for almost the card limit, I reached the high interest red zone.
A side note is how soulless the employees were at the other end in our conversations, I was reminded that you need to look at what you do for a living when you ponder what a high quality, wonderful, moral person you are away from your work.
In this case, I have to agree that the credit card companies need a visit from the Sopranos. You don't do this to family. Ever. Sayonara, dirtbags.
Considering it was the credit card lobbyists who LITERALLY rewrote the bankrupcy laws the make the goverment a collection agency, they brought this scrutiny upon themselves.
We also have to remember the consumer has zero barganing power with the card agencies. It literally is an adhesion contract.
I find it unconscionable that a credit card company can use problems with one card for whatever reason to breach a client in other contracts even if the debt is current and good.
There is also the problem of wrong information. If a person has erronous information on their report a collection agency can and does try to legitimize the claim by papering the innocent person to death. Then even if they go to court, the demand summary judgment because some paper was not refuted.
I once knew an accountant who used to work for a credit card company. He said the business strategy meetings were intended to target those who had bad credit and lots of debt.
BTW, the credit card companies have a derogatory term for customers who pay their bills on time and don't run up interest: "Deadbeats".
nah,nothing can be done about anything anymore without gubmint intervention.
reminds me of the dram shop laws. 'I crashed my car because you made me drink.'
I love my Citi Dividend card.
Implicit discount (thanks to paying for purchases up to a month later) and $50 cashback every quarter.
obviously you won't be called to testify on crapitol hill.
That is but one of many reasons my wife and I pay off our credit cards every month and keep no balance. We only use them for regular expenses and only for points. In fact I just cancelled my discover card. Sam Club now takes mastercard so I am down to just 2 cards, a visa with great airline points and the MC which gives me point I redeem for home depot gift cards.
Mine got kicked up to 30%, but it was Visa. Once it's paid off, I'll not use it again.
Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges (the more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws)-Tacitus