WebXtra:Leveling the playing field, a credit cardholder's bill of rights

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's a game millions of Americans fight on a not so level playing field. New numbers estimate 80 percent of U.S. Families have credit card debt, but legislation explained by President Obama looks to keep cardholders out of the red.

Called the credit cardholders bill of rights the proposal, it was overwhelmingly approved by the house financial services committee today with a 48 to 19 vote.

Helping to level the playing field between cardholders and companies, the proposed bill of rights would eliminate due date gimmicks, requiring card companies to mail billing statements 25 calendar days before the due date. Also, to increase accessibility, a phone number and internet address to check payoff balances would be printed on all bills, but the biggest consumer benefit would be stopping arbitrary interest rate boosts, doing away with any time, any reason re-pricing.

The house is expected to approve the changes next week, but the Senate's action on similar legislation is more uncertain. If passed under the house proposal, cardholders wouldn't see any changes until July of next year.

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