About 41,000 consumer complaints out of nowhere

On July 23, the Consumer Federation of America issued a press release announcing that over 30,000 consumer complaints concerning "abusive" credit card practices had...

On July 23, the Consumer Federation of America issued a press release announcing that over 30,000 consumer complaints concerning "abusive" credit card practices had been sent to the Federal Reserve Board. About 19,000 of the complaints, the release said, were form letters. However, another 12,000 or so were personal letters from consumers, typed with their own fingers.

"[They] raised my rate from 6.99% to 15.99% in August 07 for no apparent reason other than they could. In my opinion that's legalized loan sharking," writes Pryor from Roswell, GA.

The proposed rule would put a cap on interest rate increases, would require that payments more fairly apply to balances (not just to the low-interest balances that consumers get for balance transfers and other special offers), and would put an end to "double cycle billing," which requires cardholders to pay interest on debt they've already paid off.

"The very unique thing about this response is that people have heard what this obscure group is doing and sent their complaints," said Travis Plunkett, legislative director for the Consumer Federation of America. He said his organization had no PR initiative in place to prompt the complaint letters, calling the outpouring "spontaneous." As of July 30, he said the number of complaints had reached 41,000.

"This is a unique situation in politics where concern is bubbling up from the bottom," he added.

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