WASHINGTON (4/20/09)--Congress is back in session this week after a two-week break. Both senators and congressman are expected to take up issues of interest to credit unions. The House Financial Services Committee is expected to consider and vote on Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s (D-N.Y.) bill that aims to curb abusive and deceptive credit card practices. The panel also may mark up legislation on predatory mortgages. Maloney’s bill would require credit card companies to give 45 days’ notice prior to an interest rate change and prohibit credit card companies from increasing rates on existing balances except under certain circumstances. A similar bill has been introduced by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) in the Senate. On the Senate side, the Credit Union National Association has continued to work for modifications in pending legislation that would allow bankruptcy courts to modify, or “cramdown,” terms of existing mortgages. On March 5, the House voted 234-191 in favor of H.R. 1106, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, which contained cramdown provisions. CUNA strongly opposes the House bill and has continued to work in the Senate for changes before that chamber votes on the measure. CUNA believes there is an opportunity to limit the scope, application and duration of the legislation. Though CUNA does not support the cramdown provisions in H.R. 1106, it does support another provision that would make higher share and deposit insurance ceilings permanent. Although H.R. 1106 is highly controversial in the Senate, a vote could be called within the next few weeks.