Thursday, April 23, 2009

Obama pledges protections for credit-card users

President Barack Obama is throwing his support behind proposed legislation that would place restrictions on fees credit card companies charge consumers. Obama is demanding that credit-card issuers “eliminate some of the abuse” in the industry, citing sudden rate increases.

The president is pressing for consumer protections that go beyond proposals being considered in Congress and rules issued last year by the Federal Reserve. Both the House and the Senate are pursuing bills to give consumers greater protections. Obama said his economic advisers will examine the various proposals and work with Congress and the industry, but he made clear he intends to sign a law.

As unemployment and unpaid credit-card bills rise, card issuers are under fire for policies that impose large late fees and boost interest rates on delinquent customers. Banks, reeling from the recession and credit crunch, say proposed restrictions will raise consumer costs, limit credit availability, and ultimately hurt more borrowers than they help.

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