10/29/2009 - Chuck and Jeanne Lane got some good news earlier this week: After more than doubling the Lanes' monthly minimum payment, their credit card company is now slashing their payment.
The Ohio couple was featured in a CNN story about credit card companies jacking up rates in advance of a law going into effect that would prevent them from doing that. Because of the story, the couple says their bank agreed to give them relief.
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According to a new study by the nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts, 12 of the nation's largest banks are adding fees and rate changes that will be illegal when the new law goes into effect. All of the banks in Pew's survey have raised interest rates, and 90 percent have jacked up late fees or made other changes that, in the words of the study's authors, are "likely to cause substantial monetary injury to consumers."
Nick Bourke of the Pew Credit Card Project offers this advice for consumers who see their card payments increase:
First, call the card company; then call your member of Congress because, Bourke says, "Congress could act right now" to stop those practices. And finally, he said, "You should also ask your congressman to ask what the Federal Reserve is doing because they have a lot of responsibility under this bill to protect people, and they should use that responsibility. "
Read the full article After Credit Card Outrage, Ohio Couple Gets Relief on CNN.com.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Credit Cards Project on PewHealth.org.