PRESS RELEASE

Capuano Joins Patrick Kennedy and Jim Langevin in Calling For Credit Card Reform

Calls for cap to interest rates

December 1, 2009

Today, Congressman Mike Capuano (D-MA) joined Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) to call for more credit card reforms and highlight their support for the Restoring America's Commitment to Consumers Act, a bill being filed by Congressman John Tierney (D-MA). Congressmen Capuano and Kennedy are original co-sponsors of this bill.

"Credit card issuers have been hiking their rates to usurious levels," said Congressman Capuano. "They have also been arbitrarily raising interest rates on all sorts of account holders — including those with good credit who typically pay off their entire balance each month."

"Earlier this year Congress passed a Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights in response to the abusive practices of credit card companies. Yet, the arbitrary and exorbitant rate increases in the months since have demonstrated just how far these companies are willing to go to exploit consumers when left unregulated," said Congressman Kennedy. "Between the CARD Act already signed into law, the forthcoming regulations for the financial sector, and this legislation to cap credit card interest rates, Congress is providing real protections to consumers and taking steps to avert a repeat of the recent financial crises."

The Restoring America's Commitment to Consumers Act has three key components. First, it would cap credit card interest rates at 16%, which would include the initial fees disclosed at the onset of a contractual agreement. Second, it would limit all fees charged by credit card issuers not included in the 16% cap. Lastly, it would not supersede state laws that cap at a lower rate.

"I have heard from many Rhode Islanders asking that we put an end to the outrageous interest rates, hidden fees, and other deceptive practices by credit card companies that have gone on for far too long," said Congressman Langevin. "We must continue our work to put an end to the tricks and traps used by credit card companies to undermine a competitive market."

"For too long, average Americans have been asked to shoulder debt under conditions they can do little to control," said Congressman Capuano. "This bill will offer protection to consumers by ensuring access to affordable credit."

Contact Jon Lenicheck (Capuano) 617-621-6208
Contact Kerrie Bennett (Kennedy) 401-729-5600
Contact Joy Fox (Langevin) 401-732-9400