Credit Card Reforms; Will they work?

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It's about time some commonsense rules got applied to the credit card industry. But will new regulations really stop abusive practices, or will they simply be treated as a minor speed bump on a long road filled with various tricks and traps that consumers stumble into?

Real stories from real people underscore why credit card reform is necessary in order to help stop further harm to consumer credit scores and our economic recovery.

A sampling of recent emails from struggling cardholders include;

"Most of my credit cards (Chase, Citibank, Capital One, etc) have suddenly increased the interest rates. Today, Discover suddenly without warning dropped my credit limit from $6200.00 to $1,800, which is close to the balance I have on the card right now. I have never missed a payment and this will have a domino effect on my other cards because it instantly raises my debt ratio without any act on my part in creating additional debt."

--Robert, CA

"These credit cards are becoming worse than borrowing money from some Loan Shark. And paying off your balances is impossible. Sometimes we think we'd have been better off if we had borrowed from a Loan Shark!"

--Lisa, TN

"AMEX canceled my card 3 days ago and I found out when I went to use it after a meal and they refused to reinstate (I called from the table)."

--Tabatha, FL

"I just got notice that BOA is raising our interest rate from 9.99% to 25.74%. Given our current tight financial situation this is enough to push us over the edge."

--Chrissie, FL

"Chase Bank told me I couldn't modify my equity line unless I skipped a few payments. Once I did as they instructed, they tried to initiate a foreclosure. Luckily I had money in escrow but they tacked on late fees and penalties and reported this to the credit bureaus. My score dropped several hundred points and my credit cards were closed!"

--Mari, FL

For more real stories from real people read Consumers Union recently released 25-page report titled "We're Fed up with Credit Card Rip Offs! For a link; read my SunSentinel Editorial Blog; Credit Card companies show true colors -and consumers see red!

UPDATE 3:pm Wednesday:
The House has passed new credit card reform and sending to the President for signature. See: Washington Post 

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