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Credit card bills back on Hill agenda
WASHINGTON (1/21/09)--Sweeping credit card reforms are back in the sights of some federal lawmakers. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced a such a bill last week and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) is expected to do so in the House, if she has not already. Last year, lawmakers in both the House and Senate sponsored bills that would have, in part, required credit card companies to give 45-days notice prior to an interest rate change and prohibited card companies from increasing rates on existing balances except under certain circumstances. Since those bills were first introduced, the Federal Reserve Board has imposed stricter rules on credit cards, but similar action by the U.S. Congress would give those prohibitions the weight of law. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) supports federal lawmakers’ intentions to end discriminatory, predatory, deceptive and abusive lending practices, said Ryan Donovan, the group’s vice president of legislation affairs. However, he emphasized that CUNA continues its work to ensure that unintended consequences do not restrict the range of products and services that credit card issuers currently offer, thereby cutting off credit to some and raising the price of credit for all.

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