Friday, January 26, 2007
(deuddersun and damagster, back in the "day")
Lawmakers Target Rising Credit Penalties
By MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writer
WASHINGTON - Democratic lawmakers challenged credit card executives Thursday over rising late fees and other penalties and marketing practices they portrayed as predatory.
The credit card industry and its practices came under scrutiny at a session of the Senate Banking Committee. Several Democratic members of the panel are proposing legislation to require companies to provide more details to consumers on how long it will take them to pay off their debts if they make minimum monthly payments, and to rein in solicitations of college students.
...A study by congressional investigators released in October found that fees for paying credit card bills late averaged $34, up from $13 in 1995, while some card issuers impose penalty interest rates of more than 30 percent on consumers who pay late or exceed the credit limit.
Folks, I have been both a "loan shark" and a "bookie". I never charged 30% interest for anything! I have never made threatening phone calls or tried to hang someone's debt on a family member. In fact, the only "threat" I have ever had to make is, "Look, if you screw me, where are you going to go the next time you need something?" Face it, if you're coming to me for a loan you're in trouble and you can't get it anywhere else, so why screw it up? No-one ever beat me for a dime and many folks were forgiven their loans because they had paid enough interest to cover the principle and more. Good customer relations. I never loaned to junkies or compulsive gamblers. Most of my clients were hard working folks who didn't make much and couldn't qualify for conventional loans. Their families weren't much better off, so they couldn't go there either. They were caught in a jam because the transmission on their 1962 Piece-o-shit crapped out or their water heater broke or they were in the midst of some other family calamity - health care was a big one! (What's that tell ya?) Had I employed some of the techniques currently being used by the Cedit Card Companies and their attack dogs, the Collection Agencies, I would have been jailed long ago.
So you tell me, who's the criminal here?
Lawmakers Target Rising Credit Penalties - NEWS - POLITICAL - Comcast.net