Rep. Markey battling latest credit card abuses

News of Rep. Betsy Markey’s move to battle abusive credit card company practices has already received a lot of media coverage. Bob Moore at the Fort Collins Coloradoan reported on 4th District constituents who wrote Markey alarmed to see their monthly rates skyrocket in advance of coming regulations. CNN reported the story as well and Colorado Pols picked up on it minutes ago.

The new stricter regulations on card companies are scheduled to take effect February 1. Far from chastened, the companies are jacking up fees while they can. In response, Markey yesterday drafted a letter asking them to halt any rate and fee increases. She also was one of members of the House to co-sponsor the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which aims to prevent rate hikes.

Video after the jump.

The Coloradoan:

“What makes this situation particularly troubling is the fact that the effective date for the majority of the provisions in this legislation was set for February 2010 to give credit card companies time to implement the new federal regulations – not additional time to violate the spirit of the law by changing the terms of agreements, including raising interest rates on consumers,” Markey said in a statement Wednesday.

“Today, we are calling on America’s credit card companies to do the right thing and pledge to halt unfair interest rate hikes on our families.”

Markey wrote a letter, signed by 17 other House members, urging credit card companies to follow the lead of Bank of America, which on Tuesday announced that it wouldn’t re-price existing credit card agreements in advance of the February implementation of the new law.

Colorado Democratic Reps. Ed Perlmutter and John Salazar also signed the letter.

A blogger at Colorado Pols contrasted Markey inlight of this story with Marilyn Musgrave who Markey defeated in 2008 and who was famously focused on divisive social issues.

[Musgrave] focused on issues that most people didn’t really care about. Everybody has an opinion on gay marriage, but most people don’t think about it very often. But how many people worry about their credit card balances and interest rates on a regular basis? That’s why this… is such a good example of how Markey got elected, and why she is in the driver’s seat for re-election. It’s not rocket science — focus on the issues that voters care about, and you’ll be rewarded.

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