May 19, 2009
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Nevada Senator Harry Reid today led the Senate in passing consumer credit card protection. The new legislation protects Nevadans by outlawing hidden fees, misleading terms and other credit card company tricks and traps. Reid spoke about one responsible Nevada woman who recently watched her credit card interest rate double -- crippling her finances.
The legislation passed today by the Senate is the CARD Act (Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure).
When the credit card debate began, Senator Reid heard from a Nevadan named Shelley. Since her original letter to Reid, she has chosen to take a lien against her retirement rather than let her credit card company have more of her money. Today, the Senate stood up for Shelley and other consumers, and against abusive credit card companies.
Reid's complete remarks on the passage of the CARD Act follow.
Remarks from Nevada Senator Harry Reid, May 19, 2009
REID : This is a good day for the American people. You could not find a more popular piece of legislation than that that just passed the Senate, and soon will be taken up and finished by the House. When this debate began, I mentioned a story about a woman in Nevada. Her name was Shelley. Her story is all too familiar to the American people.
Like many honest and hard-working American, Shelley and her family played by the rules. She was very responsible. Then one day out of the blue her credit card company almost doubled the amount of interest she would have to pay on her balance. She tried to get out of her credit card. "Let me get out." You couldn't -- the contract said you couldn't. You had to pay off that balance.
So, Shelley, understandably, wanted out of the contract. Company said, "No, you have to pay off the balance at the higher interest rate -- the doubled interest rates."
Last night, Shelley contacted me again. Here's what she said: "My husband has canceled his card and I'll be paying my card off by taking a loan from my 401(k). I felt so helpless and angry. I'd rather take a lien against my retirement then let them have any more of my money." So, she, in effect, borrowed the money and paid it off. They won't get that exorbitant interest.
Today, the Senate stood by Shelley and all those just like her around the country. We stood up for consumers who stood up to abusive credit card companies. We said that big banks could not longer take advantage of Americans who work hard every day. We demanded that when Americans use a credit card -- as almost every person does -- they no longer have to fear that they'll be abused.
This is just the latest example of how Democrats are working for Main Street, not only Wall Street.
In the last few weeks, we've cracked down on corporate and mortgage scams that was taken care of by the House last night. We helped more struggling homeowners keep their homes.
In the coming weeks, we'll continue to protect the people, like Shelley, who keep our economy moving, and we'll restore their confidence in the things that we do here.
RenoBruce R. Thompson
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