How Helfpul Is the New Credit-Card Legislation?

November 5 2009, 9:59 AM

Udall, Mark_With FlagAs the U.S. House voted for a measure yesterday that might prevent credit card companies from unjustifiably raising interest rates and fees earlier than expected, it became clear the effort arrives too late for many consumers, including Abigail Whetstone, who pays her bills on time, electronically, every month. Yet the rates on her cards, which she uses for her Arvada business, have changed in confusing and unpredictable ways, writes 9News. Now, she's struggling. "I would like to think that enough people complaining and trying to do the right thing would get the companies to change, but I'm not finding much change happening." Nothing in the legislation passed yesterday will help people like Whetstone. But the measure will freeze interest rates and fees for nine months, and immediately impose new rules signed into law by President Barack Obama in May, which are set to take effect in February (via The Wall Street Journal). Dozens of Republicans joined with Democrats in the 331-92 vote. U.S. Senator Mark Udall (pictured), a Colorado Democrat who has introduced legislation to enact the credit card law two months earlier, praised the House vote in a press statement: "There's still time for the Senate to follow the House's actions, pass this bill and send it to the president for his signature---before the holiday season starts. Consumers need relief, and I urge my colleagues to join me in this fight. This is the classic story of David vs. Goliath---and I'm happy to take on Goliath."