Credit Card Victims must waive rights before sharing their stories in support of Credit Card Bill of Rights...

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Consumerist reports: Credit Card Victims Muzzled, Ordered To Release Financial Histories Before Sharing Their Experiences

Four credit card victims were ordered to sign waivers allowing their creditors to release their private financial records to the public before they could testify before the House Financial Services Committee.

The consumers had flown in from across the country to share their stories at a hearing on the Credit Card Bill of Rights, but credit card companies insisted--and Republicans and Democrats agreed--that it would only be fair to release documents like credit scores and a list of recent purchases in order to rebut the consumer's claims.

"Fair is fair," Congressman Spencer Bauchus (R-AL) barked, as he defended the absurd request. Ultimately, the consumers didn't testify, but one invitee, Steven Autrey, released his prepared statement, which slams creditors for their abusive and predatory business practices.

...The Credit Card Bill of Rights is an excellent pro-consumer piece of legislation that would:

* Ban arbitrary rate increases
* Force creditors to provide 45 days notice of any rate increase
* Ban double-cycle billing
* Empower cardholders to set limits on their cards and ban over-the-limit fees once that ceiling is reached
* Ban excessive fees
* Ban lending to subprime borrowers
* Require creditors to mail bills at least 25 days before the due date, instead of 14 days as currently required
* Require creditors to apply payments first towards high interest items

You can see why the credit card companies were pulling out all the stops to harm this bill in any way possible. What is more surprising and disappointing is that members of the Financial Service Committee would help muzzle consumers whose only desire was to share their personal experiences. Congresswoman Maloney has vowed that "regular people" will testify at a future date.

Source: Consumerist

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