The Oklahoma State Senate approved a resolution Tuesday recognizing the need to provide protections for credit cardholders and urges Congress to support the “Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008.”
Senate Resolution 67 is authored by Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah. Copies of the resolution will be distributed to Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation and to the chair and members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“In the past few years, credit cardholders across the country have been subject to some abusive practices at the hands of some credit card companies with little or no recourse to protect themselves,” Wilson said.
Wilson said some of these abusive practices against cardholders, include, but aren’t
limited to, arbitrary interest rate increases, retroactive interest rate increases for reasons unrelated to the cardholder’s behavior with that card, deceptive due date practices, and misleading use of terms, such as “fixed rate” and “prime rate” in the contract.
In response to these issues, the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit has been holding hearings on a bill, H.R. 5244, authored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D- New York, to help level the playing field between banks and credit cardholders.
Rep. Maloney, who serves as the chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee, said H.R. 5244 is a balanced approach to reforming major credit card industry abuses and improving consumer protections without resorting to price controls, rate caps or fee-setting.
Sen. Wilson said because state law, such as usury laws, affecting banks chartered in other states, are trumped by federal law, any meaningful action must be taken by Congress in response to these issues.
“It’s time we hold these credit card companies accountable,” Wilson said. “Legislators have a moral duty to protect the American consumer. This federal legislation is a step in the right direction.”