Tuesday, August 26, 2008

WHAT is and where is The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008?



By l.t. Dravis

WASHINGTON – Tuesday, July 29, 2008 – What is the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008 and what would it do for you?

This bill (House Resolution 5244) is a rare piece of legislation . . . rare in the sense that it will actually save you money and make your life better.

I should tell you up front that because banks appreciate greed more than they appreciate your business, it’s not likely this bill will ever see the President’s desk . . . unless you and millions of other credit cardholders contact your representatives and senators to demand they listen to you, ignore lobbyists and special interests, and vote this bill into law . . . and, if that happens, here’s what H.R. 5244 will do for you:

  • Credit card companies (banks) would have to give you 45 days notice before increasing interest rates
  • Credit card companies would no longer be able to charge interest on any charges you pay during the grace period
  • As long as your account is current, credit card companies would no longer be able to retroactively bump interest rates
  • Credit card companies would no longer be able to arbitrarily ‘re-price’ rates and fees without notifying you in advance
  • Credit card companies wouldn’t be able to add fees on an ‘interest-only’ balance as long as you make your payments on time
  • Credit card companies would no longer be able to mislead you with terms like ‘fixed-rate’ or ‘prime-rate’ - they’d actually have to define those terms in plain English in all printed materials and on websites
  • When a credit card company decides to nail you with a higher interest rate, you’d be able to cancel the card and pay off the balance at the current interest rate and term . . . plus, you’d have 3 billing cycles to say no to the higher interest rate
  • Credit card companies would have to mail your statement at least 25 days ahead of the payment due date
  • If you make a payment on the due date before 5:00 PM, Eastern Time, credit card companies would have to record your payment as made on time
  • Credit card companies would have to give you a phone number and an internet address so you can determine a payoff balance at any time
  • If you can prove you mailed a payment at least 7 days before the due date, credit card companies would no longer be able to charge you a late fee
  • You’d have the right to reject any pre-approved credit card before you activate it without taking a hit on your credit rating
  • Credit card companies would have to give you the option of choosing a fixed credit limit that can’t be exceeded
  • And, if you have a fixed-credit limit, credit card companies would no longer be able to charge ‘Over-Limit’ fees
  • For the first time ever, credit card companies would have to reveal profits, card fees, and rates to Congress at least once a year

Think about it . . . for the first time ever, banks couldn’t rip you off at will.

But what can you do to make H.R. 5244 become a reality?

Go to Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney’s website (http://maloney.house.gov/) and you’ll learn everything you need to know about the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008. Carolyn Maloney is a Democrat from New York and Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit. She’s also the great lady who introduced H.R. 5244 in March of this year.

So, where is House Resolution 5244 today?

Because Congress owes too much to lobbyists like the Consumer Bankers Association, a group that strongly opposes this legislation, H.R. 5244 is stuck in the House Financial Services Committee and is not likely to come up for a floor vote in 2008 . . . if ever.

Including Chairman Barney Frank, there are seventy Democrats and Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee and if you’re serious about taking back your government, if you’re tired of being pushed around by credit card companies, here’s your chance to create a ‘change you can believe in’.

Click on the House Financial Services Committee website (http://financialservices.house.gov/), call (202) 225-4247, send a FAX to (202) 225-6952, or send a letter to the House Financial Services Committee, 2129 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 and ask Chairman Frank and his committee to explain to you why H.R. 5244 hasn’t moved on to the floor for a vote by the entire House of Representatives.

Wouldn’t you like to know?

I know I would.

Copyright © 2008 by l.t. Dravis. All rights reserved.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, Email me at LTDAssociates@msn.com (goes right to my desk) and since I personally answer every Email, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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