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Delegation urges credit card companies to end unfair hikes

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Representatives send a letter to the country's major credit card companies

By Special to the Monitor

Wednesday, Reps. Harry Teague, Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján joined 15 of their colleagues in the House in sending a letter to the country’s major credit card companies, calling on them to pledge to not change the terms on consumer credit card accounts ahead of federal credit card reform legislation slated to go into effect early next year. 

“Families across southern New Mexico are struggling to make ends meet as it is without credit card companies drastically increasing their interest rates before the Credit CARD Act goes in to effect,” Teague said.  “Rather than taking the time to responsibly implement the provisions required by February 2010, credit card companies are taking advantage of both their customers and the intention of our legislation. We can no longer allow America’s credit card companies free reign – today, my colleagues and I join together to call on these companies to halt their unfair interest rate hikes.”

“Unfair and deceptive tactics by credit card companies need to stop,” Heinrich said. “During these tough economic times, working families are keeping a close eye on their finances. New Mexicans can find solace in the fact that Congress is keeping a close eye on credit card companies and demanding an end to unwarranted rate hikes.  

The Credit CARD Act was built on trans-parency, accountability and mutual responsibility. These are values New Mexicans want and deserve from their financial institutions.”

“Earlier this year Congress and the Administration took action to prevent credit card companies from taking advantage of hardworking families with the Credit CARD Act, a bill I cosponsored,” said Congressman Ben Ray Luján. “Unfortunately credit card companies are attempting to circumvent this law by rapidly hiking up interest rates before the law takes effect. I urge these companies to stop these rate increases that are hurting families across the country.”

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (Credit CARD Act) is a tough new consumer protection law that provides American consumers with increased protections against unfair, deceptive and anti-competitive credit card practices. The Credit CARD Act was signed into law by the President on May 22nd, 2009. It is slated to go into effect in February of 2010.