Credit Clarity, the Newest Misunderstood Legislation

Having been MIA from most online access lately, I was unaware that a new bill is set to pass swiftly into law. The bill regulating the credit industry. In fact, I only just found out today, and had to actually boot up, log in, and google it. Of course, from my conservative informant, what I heard was that new laws were put into place to protect poor people with bad credit, while allowing credit card companies to unfairly take money from the wealthy good credit customers to pay for the poor people's irresponsible incompetence. And it's all the government's fault.

And that would be unfair, if it were true.

The truth of the matter is that the bill forbids credit card companies from arbitrarily changing the terms and conditions of your agreement. That means that they cannot raise your interest rates, lower your credit limits, or otherwise change anything without written warnings, and due cause. The legislation doesn't say it can't raise rates or change terms, only that they can't do it without a good reason (being 2 months delinquent, for example), and they can't spring it on you last minute.

The bill also requires credit card companies to mail out your bill 21 days before the due date, and they can't charge you a late fee if the bill was sent on time, processed late. Anyone who has done business with a predatory credit agency knows that the trick du jour is to mail out the bill late enough to make the borrower late on their payment, because it is impossible to make the mail move faster than is physically possible. The other trick is to hold the payments, and process them after the due date or grace period, and then whacking the borrow not only with late fees, but also a rate hike to match. That's called predatory business practices, and should be illegal. Do not punish consumers because the company can't get it's bills out on time, or process the payment in a timely manner. Their incompetence is not our problem.

And yet, we hear howls and screams about how we are protecting the poor, and how the government is costing the rich hard earned money by excessive regulations.

Let's get one thing straight.

The legislation protects everyone who has a line of credit, not just the poor. The legislation does not require the credit card companies to gouge anyone. The government is not putting forth any restrictions that would undermine the success of any viable company. So who then, is raising the rates or otherwise "punishing" the wealthy? The credit card companies. Not the government.

Listen, if a company cannot make a profit legitimately, they have no business being a company. If they cannot survive without using predatory tactics, they are not a successful business. They are hack-jobs. They are failures.

This is White Collar Criminal behavior. If the same people complaining about regulations against predatory business practices saw a working class person selling pot, they'd be the first ones to toss a rock at them, and lecture them about how they need to work harder, about how wrong it is to break the law to make ends meet, about how they are criminals who can't get by and be successful like everyone else. And yet, when the criminal behavior is done by a large corporation, it's not that they aren't a viable business, it's not that they need to work harder, make a better product, or change their tactics...the problem is 'unfair legislation".

At one time in our history the thought of abolishing slave labor, child labor, and indentured servitude was also thought of as an "unfair regulation". The implementation of a minimum wage or wage standard to prevent companies from working people to death for pennies a day was an "unfair regulation".

At what point will people realize that if a company can't successfully operate ethically, and be on the up-and-up then they are nothing more than thugs in suits? When will people realize that the company's number one priority is the profit margin, and if they can legally kill people to make it happen, they will?

Wake up, people. Corporations are not your friends. They do not like you, nor do they care about you. If they can screw you, they will.

And for God's sake, stop blaming poor people for everything. This system is designed in a manner that perpetuates poverty. They can't operate without poor people remaining poor. Think about that.


Jan 4 Insight said...

Good post, Anok! And I still think you're more of a progressive than an anarchist, teasing you of course :-)

Fred said...

The “conservative” view point (protecting bad debtors and punishing good ones) is straight from the banker’s mouth.

"Basically, riskier borrowers will be subsidized by people who manage their credit well," says Nessa Feddis, vice president and senior counsel for the American Bankers Association.

Conservatives are out regurgitating the banker rhetoric and complaining that Obama is creating a nanny state to protect and promote irresponsible credit use.

I don’t understand what the hell is wrong with these people. Are they corporate drones being radio controlled or is brain damage just a pre-requisite to be conservative?

Firstly, the regulations were put on the table before Obama became President, as reported here on Dec 18, 2008.

Secondly it is just pathetic and disgusting that banks are crying foul over being denied the right to operate criminally.

The video – the Secret History of Credit Cards, reveals banking practises such as penalising card holders for Universal Default, which means if your credit card company finds that you have been late in repayments for any credit (home mortgages, anything), anywhere (not just with card company), anytime (including years in the past), they will increase card interest rates without prior notice, the rate can as much double.

PS; America, land of the Indefinite Prison Sentence – revealing, great post. Wish I had seen it a month ago, think it’s a bit late now to leave comment; my only criticism is that you were far too polite in describing those sick, sick assholes we know as authorities.

along2481 said...

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Intel Journal said...

I understand you.....

It's too hard to make money using good ethics these days. When you wanna make mass profits, most likely you have to make unethical decisions. The government is trying to cover up these legal loopholes. Do you think Reagan left these legal loopholes open on purpose?

roentarre said...

Your view is always something provokative to read

The phrase is well said. A white collar crime in running credit card companies and a unsuccessful company without predator approach to customers. I aggree!

Anonymous said...

At least we got our carry privileges back! (I cannot stand banks...)

Kevin Goodman said...

Been a while - thought I would stop in

You know - I believe business could benefit, grow, and profit from a truly principled nature. In fact I have wagered that business could have greater success with morality. Unfortunately I think business developed a culture that confused swindle with ethic and ability with how much could be taken – my latest post on Machiavellian leadership demonstrate that point in broad and generalized terms.

Hope all is well

SINAI BLOG said...

i hope u are well

Mark said...

Unfortunately, the bill does nothing to help those people who became delinquent because of the arbitrary behavior of credit card companies in the first place. Maybe that wouldn't have been realistic or legal anyway. I'm glad some changes are going to occur as we move forward.

But I wonder how many people will opt out of this bizarre credit system completely. The credit card companies sure seem to be encouraging people to walk.

~Static~ said...

Hey, I thought you went somewhere..did the Feds catch up to ya and take you to Gitmo?

I've been to MIA before..that's a clever abbr the Man created which means: Momma I'm A - (scared, hungry, dirty, cold, tired, need my tushy wiped, little whiny baby, etc.) insert any adverb or modifier of your choice. That's the beauty of it!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post. Why isn't it so obvious to the rest of the world?

My blog, Queers Against Obama, had to vanish from the blogosphere due to receiving some unexpected attention from the corporate media recently. Just google the blog's name (and "Denver") & you'll see why. Anyhow, now that the shitstorm has passed, it is back up ( minus a few posts for now ).

Adding you to my blogroll. Hope you'll let me rejoin the group on blogcatalog!! Stop by sometime and say hello!

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