ANNAPOLIS, Md. (4/7/09)--The Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA) testified in opposition to a state bill that would prohibit card companies from placing clauses in consumer contracts that would allow the companies to retroactively change credit card interest rates. House Bill 1048 would create an unlevel playing field between state and federally chartered credit unions because federal credit unions would be pre-empted by federal law, said MDDCCUA (Focus Newsletter April 6). House Bill 1048, as drafted, would place state-chartered credit unions at a disadvantage because federal credit unions would be pre-empted, said Brian Tate, vice president of legislative affairs at MDDCCUA, testifying Thursday before the Maryland State Senate Finance Committee. However, he told the committee that the association does not support universal default. In addition, the bill would go beyond the intent of the bill's sponsor, Del. William Frick (D-Montgomery County), and impact consumer contracts in general, including areas such as default provisions in promissory notes, which can be triggered by events unrelated to a borrower's activity such as the borrower's death, the association said. Credit union representative Jim Brown also testified against the bill, pointing out that 10 years ago state law regarding credit union regulation was amended to mirror federal law. Joining MDDCCUA in opposing the bill were a number of associations, including the Maryland Bankers Association. They testified that the bill's reach exceeds its intent.