Commentary: It's time for real reform of credit card industry

This editorial appeared in The Anchorage Daily News.

It's time for the U.S. Senate to do what the U.S. House did two weeks ago — rein in credit card issuers who have been taking American consumers for a debilitating ride. An amended version of the bill passed by the House is up for Senate action this week. Alaska Sen. Mark Begich was a co-sponsor of the original Senate bill and backs the current version; Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is a likely yes vote, depending on amendments, according to spokesman Michael Brumas.

The bill would:

• Prohibit retroactive interest rate and fee increases on existing balances.

• Prohibit any increase in interest rates during the first year after a customer opens an account.

• Require promotional rates to last at least 6 months.

• Require card issuers to mail statements at least 21 days before the due date, rather than the current 14 – and require any payment made at a local bank branch to be credited that day.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.

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