Democrats set to take on credit card industry


Democratic lawmakers in Washington are looking to crackdown on predatory and abusive tactics employed by credit card issuers.

According (subscription required) to the Wall Street Journal, "Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) could introduce a bill as soon as today that would require card companies to notify customers at least 45 days before increasing rates and prohibit companies from "arbitrarily" changing contract terms. It would require companies to mail credit-card statements at least 25 days before payments are due, giving customers more room to avoid late fees."

Some would argue that this bill doesn't go far enough but of course the credit card industry is arguing that it's unfair.

But this bill sounds like it is exactly the right thing for Congress to do. Artificial price controls and rate caps would make it difficult for a lot of borrowers to access credit but this bill does nothing of the sort. Requiring credit card companies to mail statements 25 days before payments are due is just common sense -- Issuers shouldn't be able to profit by giving customers too little time to send payment.

This bill isn't that radical at all, and the voting on it should be a good chance to see where their elected officials stand: in the pockets of the banking industry or supporting the interests of voters.