Pols: Credit card companies bilking customers

Enough of the fishy credit card fees.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney(D-NY) Sunday blasted credit card companies for imposing sky-high interest rates and new fees on accounts, practices that have become rampant after legislation tightening card penalties was signed into law earlier this year.

Banks have been making changes to their credit card policies to beat the February start of the new rules, which prohibit hiking interest rates or changing the minimum monthly payments on existing balances.

A recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that credit card interest rates rose 20 percent in the first six months of this year. Examples of banks that have jacked up their rates were highlighted in amNewYork last week.

“These sneaky fees and tricks are ripping off consumers across the country,” Schumer said.

Legislation authored by Maloney and backed by Schumer would move up the deadline for enforcing new regulations to Dec. 1.

The lawmakers also support legislation that would crack down on overdraft fees, which have yielded billions of dollars for the banks. Overdraft fees average $34, but the average transaction it is imposed on is $20, according to the Center for Responsible Lending.

hhaddon@am-ny.com

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