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Reid trying to speed Udall bill to expedite credit card reforms

Senate leaders are trying to “hotline” a bill that would expedite previously passed credit card reforms to prevent companies from hiking rates and fees...

Reining in the subprime scoundrels

President Barack Obama is scheduled to unveil his agenda for revamping financial regulation later this week. As the economy struggles though a recession created by the banking industry, it's crucial that Obama and his advisers craft a set of rules ensuring that the financial sector strengthens our economy instead of destroying it.

Road to ruin: Online payday lenders fight regulation

Consumer protection shortfalls are not limited to messy subprime mortgages. Lagan Sebert and David Murdoch detail the payday loan industry's continued assault on U.S. consumers for the American News Project. By offering small loans, typically in amounts ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, payday lenders target consumers who need money for basic necessities, then charge them outrageous interest rates (as in, above 700%).

Bennet, Udall back guns-in-parks rider to credit card reform bill

A poison pill amendment to simultaneously weaken a consumer-friendly credit card reform bill and reverse a hold on a controversial Bush Administration rule to allow concealed guns in national parks won U.S. Senate approval late Tuesday. Colorado Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall backed the measure introduced today by ultra-conservative Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., following a weekend compromise by Senate Banking Committee members that further watered down some consumer protections but still not to the liking of the lobbyist-heavy financial industry.

Calculate your eternal indebtedness to the credit card industry

Here’s a good game for a rainy Sunday. Several credit card companies have launched a new Web site designed to help struggling card users manage their debts amid the economic downturn. The site includes tips to avoid penalties and links to access counseling services. But the fan favorite has to be an interactive tool allowing consumers to calculate the minimum installment required to pay off balances within a given time frame. It’s worth a whirl.

Obama enters banking fray while lobbyists rope-a-dope Congress

President Barack Obama's sheer popularity will make it harder for members of Congress to water down banking and finance regulations, but his willingness to play legislative hardball has already score a major victory over another key bank lobby priority: student loan subsidies.

Banks 1, People Zip. Congress delays credit card reform

If Capitol Hill lawmakers were playing a high stakes game of chicken with the banking industry over your credit score, guess who just blinked? Mike Lillis, congressional reporter for our sister site The Washington Independent, examines the winners and losers in the latest setback on credit card reform to rein in outrageous rate hikes and hidden fees.

Credit card industry lobbyists swarm Congress to defeat reform bills

Hidden penalties, sudden interest rate hikes, and deceptive language are just a few of the questionable tactics used by credit card companies to extract money from increasingly stressed consumers. Now, some on Capitol Hill are trying to regulate the more abusive practices. With bills actually moving through both houses of Congress, the credit card lobby is finding itself on the defensive, and turning out in force to oppose the legislation.

Udall to introduce Senate version of ‘Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights’

Newly-minted Sen. Mark Udall (D-Col.), has scheduled a press call this afternoon to announce his plans to introduce legislation to end the abusive practices of credit card issuers. This isn’t enormous news — as a member of the House, Udall had strongly supported the lower chamber’s version of the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), and he has vowed since the election to introduce the same bill in the Senate. But his push in the Senate is interesting for several reasons.

U.S. economic decline, Obama recovery plan get progressive scrutiny

After a full year of woefully inadequate government responses to dire economic conditions, President-elect Barack Obama will inherit an economy that faces challenges on just about every front. Progressive media has been keeping a spotlight on low wages, abusive credit card policies and weak student loan programs of late, while maintaining a focus on Obama's pending economic recovery package.