Cut Up Your Credit Cards

Hat tip to Armando for this: GOP Protects Credit Card Companies, at your expense of course…

From Digby, 11/18/2009 3:30PM

If Democrats can’t make something out of this they deserve to lose their majority and be sued for political malpractice.

Moments ago, Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic proposal to freeze credit card rates on existing balances through the holiday season. The bill, sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), would prevent credit card companies from hiking rates and fees on existing balances until the industry reforms passed by Congress earlier this year take effect. Although a few provisions of that law took hold in August, most don’t launch until February or August of 2010. In the meantime, many card companies are hiking rates and fees to beat the law.

“The industry has tried to make one last grab at their customers’ pocketbooks,” Dodd said, just before asking for the consent of Republicans to pass the bill unanimously.

No dice. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) objected “on behalf of several senators on this side of the aisle.” There’s no word yet which other lawmakers he was referring to.


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    • Edger on November 19, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Of course…

    • Heather on November 19, 2009 at 2:35 am

    how all these experts in financial matters in congress didn’t fix it so the CC companies couldn’t jack up rates or switch everyone to variable rates before February.

    The outrage from them is phony as far as I’m concerned.

    I canceled BoA’s when they sent me the notice about my new variable rate. I still have one from Wells which also switched to variable….just in case. I haven’t carried a balance in a few years.

    Also I don’t do Christmas. I canceled THAT 3 years ago. My kids had a difficult time with it so I caved a little and now we do a New Years thing. With a tree that we go out on Christmas eve and find, it’s always a close call but two years in a row we’ve gotten a free one, and gifts. I don’t feel shitty about that though.

    I always felt like an idiot shopping around Christmas.

    • icosa on November 19, 2009 at 2:39 am

    Do they expect us to believe this would not be done.  Of course the banks were given a window, of course.  This is just another act of the circus.  Will this be the act that brings out the Rage that We the People need to say “we’re mad as hell as we are not going to take it anymore!”  I doubt it, we aren’t at the bottom yet imo.  We must remember this is a faux government.  Corrupt to the core.

  1. Friggin’ amazing!  Every bank is right now, after our “bailout” doing everything to us, with a variable and outrageously increased interest rate. I spoke of that the other night:

    do believe we’ve been “snookered.”  Obama had corporate backing from the get-go and, thus, I never thought that he would be able to do all that he envisioned that he “wanted” to do — CHANGE for that reason.  And, of course, any candidate who doesn’t have major corporate backing doesn’t make it first base.

    Obama came out fairly strong in the beginning — “I’m going to cut the CEO’s salaries to $500,000” and other like spoken words, such as nabbing all out of country banking and corporations on their taxes, etc., all of which we have seen him shy away from over time.  No matter what the issue is, it becomes diluted and gradually washed away.

    Disappointing is the understatement of the year for all that continues on at his behest and those mapping out his chartered waters.  We’re simply victims of the outcomes of the charting and heard, but ignored.

    These wonderful banks that were bailed out have found new found strength and power and now are screwing their customers across the country.  Yep, Chase, for example, has been sending out “Important Notice Regarding Changes to Your Account and Your Right to Reject Changes”  So what are these changes?  For each credit card that you may have, the language is as follows:

    I am in receipt of your Notification to me, received September 22, 2009, pertaining to the above account number, indicating that the following changes “will be effective for billing cycles that begin November 1, 2009, and thereafter. . . . . .

    (C)  We are changing the minimum finance charge to $1.50 if any periodic finance charge is payable for a billing cycle.

    (D)  A Variable Rates section is added to your account, if not already in effect.

    (E) The standard APR for purchases will change to a variable rate:  the Prime Rate plus 15.99%, which as of August 15, 2009 would be 19.24% (minimum 21.99%).  

    The APRs in this section will apply to current and future balances  on your account unless you choose not to accept them. . . . .

    . . . .  The changes will take effect with your December 2009 Statement.

    If you reject the changes, your card will no longer be available for use for new activity, including purchases, the account will be closed (if it is not already closed).

    Please note that if you choose not to accept the changes;

    — You’ll still be responsible for any outstanding balances of your account.

    [This, of course, would include the newly inflated interest rate.]

    — Any rewards points or miles you have earned will be forfeited unless you call us to redeem before your account is closed.

    — If you have overdraft protection linked to your Chase checking account, you will no longer have coverage once your credit card account is closed.

    ADV7136   003B023862 09/09″

    and the variable interest rate is different for any credit card(s) you may have with them.  

    Fortunately, I do not keep balances, as I pay on a card or two each month and pay the balances, but this arbitrary decision to hold credit card holders’ hostage to these new decisions pertaining to interest and a variable rate that BLEW ME AWAY.  And I wrote on each such Important Notice, spelling out the terms and then, at the end telling them what I thought of these moves of theirs at a time when Americans are losing, jobs, etc. and how despicable it was on their part and that I was closing the account on principle.  I’m sure it’s not just Chase using every means to gouge people and take advantage of the plight of so many.

    I have maintained an Amoco (now BP) Motor Club card (handled by Chase) since 1983, and, maybe, actually used it in all those years eight times or so.  I just received a billing charging me $16.50, representing a late charge and a finance fee. Why, because my last bill that I paid arrived one day late and I had paid off the balance, as well.  I called to see if those charges could be reversed in view of my payment history and long-standing customer relation and was told, “I’m sorry, I can’t do that, it’s too late.”  I said “I just received this what do you mean it’s too late?”  She just repeated herself.  I waited a few days and tried again, but to no avail.  Now, I have written a letter to see what can be done.  

    So the point of all this is that while it is we who helped them out, they now turn around and screw us in any way they can.  And there’s nothing stopping them — that’s empowerment.


    More sad news!  The Supreme Court ruled again Don Siegleman, in his appeal.  What a dreadful thing — this poor man has been struggling for so long to get it straight, and still, he’s screwed, and all Rove’s filthy deeds still go “untouched.”  

    (Sorry if this seems a bit rambly — a little tired right now.)

    Hit ’em when they’re down — this country is REAL good at that!  Witness here, Iraq, Afghanistan, and on and on!

  2. …has gone nuclear.

    Duck and cover everyone.

    • Zwoof on November 20, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    and cut the damned things up in 1990.

    Now, I have actual money in the bank.  I can take it out of the bank, spread it on my bed, and make love to a very small woman on it.

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