If you are like me, you’re sick of seeing excessive credit card fees, costly overdraft loans, mortgage prepayment penalties or adjustable rate mortgages with exploding interest rates. As consumers we face lots of fine print, disclosures that are impossible to understand and way too much legalese. These practices are greatly inhibiting our ability to get out of the economic crisis we are in.
I’m happy to have read recently about a solution to this – H.R. 3126, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009. This bill would create an agency whose sole job would be to look out for consumers as they take out a mortgage, accept an offer for a new credit card, or pay off a loan from a bank or check cashing company. The agency would be empowered to ensure that credit and payment products do not include features that harm consumers like pre-payment penalties, unjustified fees or hair-trigger interest rate increases. Had this agency been in place a year ago, our financial institutions and our economy in general might not be in the sorry shape they are today.
Senator Bennet is on the committee that can get this bill moving so I hope he takes the lead in passing this strong consumer protection and help get at some of the root problems within our financial system right now.