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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | May 14, 1998
WASHINGTON -- With the number of personal bankruptcies soaring, the House Judiciary Committee considered a controversial bill yesterday promoted by the banking and credit card industries to make it more difficult for people to declare themselves legally broke.By defeating several changes proposed by Democrats, the Republicans in control of the committee signaled that they would pass the bill, probably today.The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to consider a somewhat less strict version as early as today, and both houses could vote next week.
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BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | April 30, 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has revised rules on the 2009 CARD Act, paving the way for non-working spouses and partners to qualify for credit cards. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act was designed to rein in some of the egregioius practices of card issuers, such as handing out lines of credit to college students who didn't even have jobs. The banks counted on mom and dad to step in if junion got in over his head. One of the provisions of the law, though, was that a card company had to make sure consumers had the ability to pay before issuing them a credit card or raising their credit limit.
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BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,hanah.cho@baltsun.com | January 25, 2009
Credit card issuers are using a host of measures to make sure customers make their payments and fees keep coming in, now that banks are feeling as squeezed as their financially pinched consumers. Some card issuers are clamping down on late payments and grace periods as they near new, stricter credit card regulations that go into effect in July 2010, consumer advocates say. Some lenders also are working out payment plans and, in certain cases, lowering interest rates for delinquent customers who are having a hard time keeping up with their bills.
BUSINESS
By Chris Korman, The Baltimore Sun | February 15, 2013
Ralph Johnson knows they will come. Bring a Ravens player to Man Cave Memorabilia, the store his daughter owns in Glen Burnie, and the fans will turn out. That includes the guy who collects autographs on the hood of his Jeep. And the one who has players sign his skin, then goes directly to a tattoo shop to have the ink forever embedded a few levels deeper. "That's a little nuts," said Johnson, who arranges the signings. "And that was before the Super Bowl . It's at a new level now. " While Ravens players continue sorting through endorsement offers, many of them are taking advantage of their heightened popularity with appearances and signings.
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG NEWS | February 6, 2001
NEW YORK - Visa USA Inc. and MasterCard International Inc., targets of an antitrust suit by some of the nation's largest retailers, asked a federal appeals court yesterday to reverse a class-action certification that would let 4 million U.S. merchants pursue damages. Lawyers for MasterCard and Visa USA, a unit of Visa International Inc., argued that 4 million retailers - including mass merchandisers, department stores, Internet vendors, mail order houses and small retailers - have widely varying interests in the case.
NEWS
November 17, 2008
Americans aren't just struggling to pay their mortgages these days. Many families have accumulated staggering amounts of credit card debt in recent years, and growing numbers are falling short in their efforts to repay. Consumers have accumulated $900 billion in credit card debt, an average of $9,000 for every family with more than one card. The average interest rate on that debt is 14 percent, and the credit default rate is mounting, up 48 percent from a year ago, according to Moody's Investors Service.
NEWS
By Robert A. Erlandson | April 27, 1997
I'm a "deadbeat" - and proud of it. Credit card companies hate people like me. Ironically it isn't because I'm stiffing them on my bill, which is the normal definition of a deadbeat. No, it's only in the perverse credit-card world that someone who pays on time is a "deadbeat."In credit-card philosophy greed is good - it leads to debt. Model customers run up bills and pay in installments, with the high interest that makes the business so lucrative.Too many people have been gulled into believing that plastic somehow represents "free money."
BUSINESS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | June 1, 2003
The toughest diagnosis that Matthew Hajzl made in April was on his credit card statement. A doctor in Batavia, Ill., he discovered that the interest rate on his MasterCard had nearly tripled, to 16.99 percent from 6.2 percent. Hajzl asked the card issuer why, noting that he had always paid on time and kept within his credit limit. Bank One Corp. replied that his creditworthiness had changed and that it reserved the right to raise his rate accordingly. The culprit, he realized, was the mortgage on his new house.
NEWS
December 6, 2007
Janet Hard of Freeland, Mich., couldn't understand why she and her husband were paying more than the minimum balance on their Discover credit card - adding only an $8 Internet fee each month - but the amount they owed did not seem to decrease at all. As Mrs. Hard testified before a congressional subcommittee this week, it turned out that the interest rate they were being charged was a whopping 24.24 percent, based on an arbitrary determination Discover card...
BUSINESS
By Liz Pulliam and Liz Pulliam,LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 14, 1999
I have a platinum MasterCard. I went over my credit limit because the card issuer said it did not receive my last payment in time to be posted. I use a postage meter, and the payment was sent to the company two weeks before the due date, for an amount that was triple the minimum payment.The company claims it did not receive my payment until a week after the due date. It slapped me with an "over credit limit fee" of $125, plus a late fee. When I called, the phone representative said that the company does not consider postmarks on envelopes, even if registered, as the date payments were received.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | October 18, 2012
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing a change to the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act so that stay-at-home spouses and partners can get a credit card. The 2009 requires banks to determine whether applicants have the ability to pay bills before issuing them plastic under their name. This was created so that banks wouldn't allow people without means of repaying from opening up credit card accounts and getting in over their heads. But some critics complained that it could prevent stay-at-home spouses, often women, from getting credit in their name.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | June 19, 2012
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been accepting consumer complaints about credit cards for close to a year. Today, the agency made a database of those complaints available online. You can see the names of the card issuers griped about, the gist of the complaint and company's response and the consumer's zip code. The CFPB says it has received 16,840 credit card complaints, with the most common complaint involving billing disputes. The agency sent 84 percent of those complaints to the card issuers, while the rest went to other regulators or were incomplete.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Erik Maza and The Baltimore Sun | January 18, 2012
A couple of controversial, Internet piracy bills in Congress have pit the tech industry against the music business, even independents. In a statement sent out early Wednesday afternoon, A2IM, the largest trade organization of independent musicians and labels, was the latest to support the Stop Online Piracy and the Protect Intellectual Property acts, despite that some high-profile indie musicians, like Baltimore's Wye Oak , are protesting the...
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | November 30, 2011
Update Kenneth Clayton, chief counsel of the American Bankers Association responds to CFPB's report: “There are more than 383 million credit card accounts in the U.S., and less than one-tenth of one percent of those have submitted a complaint to the Bureau. This is a strong record, and one the industry will work to build upon. "   The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today released its first report on credit card complaints. The federal agency began accepting credit card complaints on July 21 - when it officially opened for business - and received 5,074 complaints in the first three months.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | November 13, 2011
Don't automatically shred those credit card offers arriving in your mailbox. They just might contain an attractive rewards program. Card issuers grew stingy with rewards during the credit crunch and while they waited to see how much federal card reforms would hurt their bottom line, card experts say. But now that those matters are behind them, banks have been reviving rewards to make their cards stand out. "They are back, and they are back with...
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose Personal finance | February 21, 2010
C redit card issuers are going to have to play by a whole new set of rules that take effect Monday and are considered consumer-friendly - but will also cut into some of their traditional sources of revenue. Don't expect those companies to take that lying down. Card issuers are expected to spend the next year experimenting with new products and fees - as well as higher interest rates - testing just how much consumers are willing to shell out. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, signed into law last May, is a sweeping overhaul of the card industry and includes provisions to help reduce the amount of interest consumers pay. The bulk of reforms take effect Feb. 22. As card issuers prepared for the new rules in recent months, many have raised interest rates on customers - to the dismay of consumer advocates.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | April 30, 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has revised rules on the 2009 CARD Act, paving the way for non-working spouses and partners to qualify for credit cards. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act was designed to rein in some of the egregioius practices of card issuers, such as handing out lines of credit to college students who didn't even have jobs. The banks counted on mom and dad to step in if junion got in over his head. One of the provisions of the law, though, was that a card company had to make sure consumers had the ability to pay before issuing them a credit card or raising their credit limit.
NEWS
By Jim Sollisch | April 5, 2001
CLEVELAND -- The week the Senate voted 85-13 in favor of tightening the bankruptcy laws, I received nine solicitations in the mail offering me credit lines totaling more than I make in a year. Several were pre-approved. The bill is being pushed hard by banks and credit card companies, including MBNA, the largest donor to the Republican Party this past election year. Credit card companies believe consumers should take more personal responsibility for their debts. A noble aim. And a perfect time to pose the question: Why not make banks and credit card companies take more responsibility for their lending practices?
BUSINESS
By Andrea K. Walker and Andrea K. Walker,andrea.walker@baltsun.com | November 25, 2009
With consumers leery of piling up credit card debt, more and more retailers are reviving a service that had been given up for dead: layaway. Kmart began offering Internet layaway this year, and sister company Sears expanded its service to the Internet this year. Online site eLayaway.com has seen its business grow. Toys "R" Us announced last month it would bring back layaway on more expensive items such as bikes and cribs, though not yet in Maryland. Promotions for layaway - which allows consumers to pay for merchandise in installments - have picked up as stores prepare for a challenging holiday season.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose and Eileen Ambrose,eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com | November 8, 2009
On his way home from work recently, Rick Niles of Laurel stopped at a gas station to fill up and as usual pulled out his Shell credit card to pay. But this time, the card didn't work. "I thought it was a probably just a problem with the gas station," said Niles, 40, an aerospace engineer with Mitre Corp. in Northern Virginia. Days later he learned the truth. Citi, the card's issuer, had canceled his two-year-old account without advance notice, even though Niles says he pays the $200 or $300 balance each month and has a high credit rating.
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