Commentary: Credit card debt-relief still far off

This editorial appeared in The (Tacoma) News Tribune.

Americans drowning in debt compounded by predatory credit card practices could finally get some relief – provided they can hang on for another 18 months.

Last week, federal regulators adopted the first set of wholesale changes to credit card rules since 1981.

The new rules will force basic consumer protections on a credit card industry that's been allowed to operate unfettered for too long. One of the rules would prohibit banks from charging interest on a balance that's already been paid. Another would require that they give customers sufficient time to make their payments.

But apparently fairness can wait. The new rules won't take effect until July 2010 – a concession to banks that unabashedly admit their business models rely on deceptive schemes.

The feds' message to families battered by the economy: Good luck. We'll see you after the recession.

To read the complete editorial, visit The (Tacoma) News Tribune. Real credit card relief still too far off

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