Obama Says He Will Crack Down on Credit Card Companies Preying on Middle Class Families

Senator Unveils a Credit Card Bill of Rights for Consumers

MANCHESTER, NH— U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) said yesterday that as President, he will implement a Credit Card Bill of Rights to crack down on predatory credit card companies using deceptive practices to make big profits while driving families deeper into debt.

“Our middle class families are not going to be secure so long as they can’t get out of debt,” Obama said. “If we’re serious about stopping Americans from falling deeper into debt, we’ve got to crack down on the predatory credit card companies that are pushing them over the edge. Many credit card companies today are tricking Americans into agreements they can’t afford because that’s how they make big profits. Well, no company’s bottom line should come before what’s right for the American people. And we’ve got to stop these kinds of deceptive practices to help strengthen our middle class families and make sure that credit cards don’t become the next subprime crisis.”

A recent report said that the average middle class family has more than $8,000 in personal debt. To help those families, Obama said he will propose a Credit Card Bill of Rights to protect consumers. The plan will prevent credit card companies from raising interest rates without giving consumers the option to opt out of the agreement. It will ban rate changes to past debt so that rate increases only apply to future debt. Finally, Obama will prevent credit card companies from charging interest on transaction fees.

“Every American has a responsibilityto pay what they owe, but we need to make sure that what they’re paying is fair,” Obama said. “And we’ve got to do more for those Americans who aren’t able to climb out of debt and actually have to declare bankruptcy. That’s why I voted against a bankruptcy bill in 2005 that protects credit card companies and banks, while preventing middle class Americans from getting back on their feet after a crisis – even if they’ve suffered an illness. And that’s why as President, I’ll reform our bankruptcy laws so we can make sure Washington works for working Americans.”

Previously, Obama proposed a middle class tax cut, which would give every working family a tax cut worth up to $1,000. Obama said we can make retirement more secure for America’s seniors by eliminating income taxes for any retiree making less than $50,000 per year. Obama made his remarks at a round table meeting with local residents in Des Moines.

For more information on Barack Obama’s plan to crack down on credit card companies, click here.