AABP Award 728x90

Obama to discuss new regulations with credit card execs


President Barack Obama is expected to meet with leaders of the credit card industry today after pushing for legislation that would do more to protect the millions of Americans who rely on plastic, the Associated Press reported.

Obama and some congressional leaders are seeking to curtail what they consider to be abusive and deceptive practices in the industry, such as forcing people to pay much higher fees or interest rates than anticipated. The House and Senate are weighing a bill that would limit the ability of credit card companies to raise interest rates on existing balances and would require greater disclosure.

Lawmakers have been more focused on this issue as the economic downturn has caused many consumers to rely on credit cards as a last option. Nearly 80 percent of Americans have a credit card, and the average outstanding credit card debt for households with cards was $10,679 at the end of 2008, according to CreditCard.com.

The Federal Reserve has already set new consumer protection rules that will take effect next year. But the challenge regulators face is protecting consumers without imposing rules that would restrict banks from offering credit or put credit out of reach for many borrowers.

hy vee web 090123 300x250