When Creditors are Predators

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					When Creditors are Predators
Tim Fernholz
The American Prospect; Jul/Aug 2009; 20, 6; Docstoc
pg. A20




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Description: Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel that monitors the bankbailout program, has proposed a very simple way to approach the problem, analogizing financial products with consumer products (and loans are nothing if not products for consumption): A company can't sell a toaster that has a one-infive chance of catching fire and burning down your house, but it's perfectly legal to sell someone a loan with a one-in-five chance of destroying his or her financial independence. Rep. Carolyn Maloney's credit-card legislation passed by Congress in April and signed into law by President Obama will help end some abusive practices, such as late-fee traps, teaser rates, and retroactive interest-rate adjustments; it will also increase consumer notice and require borrowers to consciously opt in to highinterest accounts instead of opting out.\n Otherwise, pro-consumer regulators and law-enforcement officers at the state level could have their hands tied.
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