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.