Thursday, February 28, 2008

Credit Slips Blog Supports Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights

Adam Levitin of the blog site Credit Slips has posted a blog on the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights. Credit Slips is a joint site based at the University of Illinois of academics (the others are from Georgetown, Harvard, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio) who are concerned about credit and bankruptcy issues.

Levitin favors the bill, although he says it has some omissions -
"it doesn’t deal with problems of price structure, rewards programs, antitrust, merchant fees, or identity theft prevention". He also observes that even with the bill, "the card industry might well find other ways to extract rents from unwitting cardholders even if the ways enumerated in the bill are shut down."

With these minor reservations, Credit Slips concludes that the bill is "an important first step to reining in an industry that has run wild in a regulatory no-man’s land of outdated and threadbare federal laws, preempted state laws, and somnolent consumer protection by federal banking regulators."

This is a nice piece of writing as well as being an accessible primer on the ways that consumers have been hoodwinked on a grand scale by the ploys and practices of some credit card issuers.