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Washington
Senators urge card rate freeze
WASHINGTON (4/27/09)—Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) called on federal regulators to implement an emergency freeze on interest rates tied to existing credit cards balances. In a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other regulators, the senators noted that the Fed already has issued a rule to ban the practice of retroactively raising the interest rates on existing credit-card balances. But they urged the Fed not to wait until July 2010 to make it effective, as the rule states. Senators noted that the rule is not scheduled to take effect until July 2010, giving companies more than a year to hike rates on consumers preemptively to get under the deadline. Both Senators said they have heard complaints from constituents who have seen their rates double or even triple almost overnight and without explanation.


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