Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights passes House

Folks, I just left the House floor and couldn’t wait to report the good news that the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights (HR 627) just passed in the House.

A special ‘thank you’ is particularly in order for Congresswoman Maloney of New York, who championed the legislation, and our own Representatives Brad Miller and Mel Watt who supported the measure through the Financial Services Committee.

The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights will provide crucial protections against a number of unfair credit card practices, such as the arbitrary interest rate increases that have become all too common in these times of economic uncertainty.

Furthermore, I’m very grateful for all the support of our successful amendment protecting Deployed Military and Disabled Veterans in the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights. The Teague-Nye-Kissell-Boccieri Amendment to H.R. 627 passed today as well, ensuring the credit worthiness and economic security of our nation’s first line defenders.

This important part of the legislation additionally restricts credit card issuers from making adverse reports to credit rating agencies regarding deployed military service members and disabled veterans during the first two years of their disability.

Our servicemen and women deployed around the world in places like Iraq and Afghanistan fight and work tirelessly to complete their dangerous missions and keep our nation safe – with the everyday stress of personal finance out of sight and out of mind. When they re-enter civilian life as veterans, all that many want is the opportunity to purchase a home, buy a car to get around in, find a job, and/or start a business. They fight and serve with the faith that basic economic opportunity awaits their return.

Additionally, veterans returning home with injuries and new disabilities often struggle to find their economic footing as disability payments begin to arrive and they adjust to their new lives. Credit cards are often the only way to pay expenses, and it can be hard to make payments and manage debt while struggling with a new disability.

Our amendment ensures that if you miss a payment while serving in a combat zone or recovering from a grievous service-connected injury, a poor credit rating would not prevent you from starting a business or purchasing a home. Our veterans have given us so much. When they are risking their lives in combat and beginning long and difficult recoveries from injury, they should have the confidence that economic opportunity is waiting.

We’ve taken a great step forward today in protecting those that protect us, and I hope to continue doing just this kind of work in Congress on behalf of all Americans. I'll be checking in with you on BlueNC as often as I can, but as always, the people's work comes first and this issue certainly affects us all.

You know, credit card debt has increased 25 percent in the past 10 years and more than 44% of families now carry a balance. The Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights provides working families the hard-earned protections they deserve as we all come together as Americans to fight for a brighter financial future. Thank you so much for your support of this important legislation.