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April 23rd, 2009
11:03 AM ET

Your Credit, Your House

Today we're looking at what the Obama Administration and Congress are doing to protect you from soaring credit card rates. Also there are new numbers out regarding housing sales. Have you got a home on the market? Tell us about your experience. Leave us a comment.

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Shannon

    All my banks and lending institutions are crazily raising fees and APR’s on loans and credit cards.
    My comment. American taxpayers are paying the salaries of CEO’s and employees of the banks and lending institutions that got bailed out by the taxpayers. American taxpayers are also paying the salaries of lobbyists then hired by said institutions to pressure congress to allow said institutions to raise interest rates and fees to absurd levels on the cards and loans held by the very same American taxpayers who are paying their salaries. The American taxpayers are also paying the salaries of the elected and appointed members of their government who will decide whether to let said institutions further burden and/or bankrupt the American taxpayers with their rate/fee increases.
    My opinion: They are all biting the hand that feeds them. Instead of being thankful to the American taxpayers, greed blinds everyone mentioned above to the fact that after they have emptied the pockets of the American taxpayers, there will be no one to pay their salaries.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  2. Angela from Tampa Florida

    Tony Harris, welcome to the 21st Century...

    April 23, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  3. Bill

    Tony: I would like to see some serious discussion about the responsibility we have as a society and individually to address issues like the environment, our terribly poor education system, job training and health care. There is so much negativism about President Obama and his agenda not on the merit; but on the issue of addressing this important topics. We have ignored them for so long, that we are now facing multi-faceted problems. The President understands it; but others including the republicans and many Americans don't seem to get it – witness the tea parties. I am a Republican. I may not agree with everything the President proposes; but at least he is actively proposing that we face these issues. I think CNN needs to have a major focus program on individual responsibility to face these issues and work toward solutions. Thanks for listening. William I. Weston, J.D., Ph.D.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  4. Mary Bazilewich

    All the credit card companys are doing is making it harder and harder to pay for the people who do pay on time. My discover card sent me a note that they will be raising my interest rate. I called to see why and they said that everyone is getting there rates raised. So not only are they getting gov. money but they are hitting us twice (the tax payer). My other half is at work and is sitting there with not a thing to do. At least you are getting paided. I think that they will have a lot more write offs this quater.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  5. Kenneth Svitko

    Future story idea

    I would like to see a story about PMI - private mortgage insurance. When I bought my home it was required if you put less than 20% down. This should have kept the mortgage problem from growing to where it is today. Also with a down payment of 20% there was room for priced to fluctuate. What changed over the years and why?

    Explaining this would help viewers understand the problem better.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  6. John Babb

    Tony , don't feel to bad for the hourly employees being laid off at GM. They will get 85% of their base salary every week they are off. I don't see how this is going to keep gm in business and what about using tax dollars to pay these hourly people. I don't think our tax dollars should be use for this. Until GM address their agreements with the UAW i don't think they have a chance of making it. Maybe that is the reason they are looking at Chapter 11. that judge can break the contract and then they nor the president will be hung with that.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  7. Max Zulauf


    I like what you're doing...keep up the good work!

    In response to the Obama Administration's hesitancy to prosecute former members of the Bush must be done! I understand and support the desire to move forward, and agree with the mindset of what's done is done, but I feel that we need to make an example to prove to the world that we want to make amends.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  8. Egberto Willies

    Hi Tony,
    First of all good job. You sure keep your program interesting. Please increase your coverage on healthcare issues that a large plurality of the population is having. It is something that stas under the radar until you sit and chat. In sitting at Starbucks and having a casual conversation, it always eventually comes up.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  9. Brain Doc

    What about the legalization of marijuana? How come the media doesn't cover the recent scientific evidence that demonstrates how Marijuana does not cause nor is related to increased risk of lung, head and neck cancer. Also there are recent studies that show marijuana is an antioxidant and can prevent the development of Alzheimers in addition to decreasing the inflammation/plaquing in the brain related to various disorders including(but not limited to): Multiple sclerosis, acute strokes. There is also recent evidence that shows it has neurogenesis properties.
    As a physician I cannot eliminate useful therapies for my patients and there exists no evidence that the use of marijuana is physically harmful, nor related to any violent crime trends. Can you start a blog, story on this? Too many people could benefit from this therapeutically, not to mention if taxed properly could provide an alternative revenue stream (which we desperately need right now) as compared to cigarette's, which are legal, and cost the American taxpayer over a billion dollars in healthcare related expenses last year, and are indisputably related to increased risk in all the above cancers and most others.
    Please let the American Taxpayers decide. If the truth is known, like it already is widely accepted in the medical community, this could help America on many levels.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  10. Matt

    Tony Harris came off as a child who is being made to eat his vegetables when making the announcement that this blog what up and running. Never seen somebody so blatently hoping something fails. Many of us don't like our jobs, but when you are on television the least you can do is pretend. Channel changed.

    April 23, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  11. Brain Doc

    By the way,

    The major studies are:







    Forward these to the American People, or just read them yourselves.


    April 23, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  12. T Herman

    Tony I feel for you . I am 46 I can email only no attachments or cut and pastes here. Still no cell phone,denying daily facebook invites and I am not even sure if this is your blog page so of course I cannot twitter but one thing we enjoy each day here in san diego is your wonderful laugh and great sense of humor. Thanks T Herman

    April 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  13. Chris in Denver

    Wikipedia has the following entry re credit card interest rates: Interest rates can vary considerably from card to card, and the interest rate on a particular card may jump dramatically if the card user is late with a payment on that card or any other credit instrument, or even if the issuing bank decides to raise its revenue.

    Some of their reasons for raising interest may be legitimate but for the reason of raising its revenue? How is that different from robbing Peter to pay Paul or in this case robbing Consumers to pay Banks? Or to use another idiom, banks are biting the hand that feed them because without our deposits they are nothing.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  14. Emo LeBlanc

    I think this whole credit card rights thing is kind of stupid. If people did as I do and not use any credit cards at all then the credit card company would not be to screw you over and everything you bought would be your out right. Easy solution to teach the credit card companies ....
    STOP USING CREDIT CARDS ! Buy only what you can afford and get rid of the credit cards. When I tell people I have no credit cards they look at me like I have a 3rd eye. Then I ask them how money they have in their savings or checking accounts. Once the are baffled by that question I tell them how much I have in mine and I let them know that my house & car are paid in full. That is because I don't have to give hundreds of dollars to the credit card companies.
    So as far as this credit card "Bill of Right" I think it is not needed but may be should be renamed to the "Idiots ill of Rights"
    Keep up the good work you are slowly growing on me ! LOL
    I like the fact that you do not buy into the " Everyone is doing therefore you should do it !" syndrome !
    Emo LeBlanc
    Country Music Recording Artist

    April 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  15. James Acevedo

    I am a big fan of CNN but you recently ran a short story on Dr. Edgar Mitchell regarding UFO's The new crew snickered as if he were some nut case. I challenge CNN to explain away the numerous NASA videos found on you tube. are all our former astronauts crazy Gordon Cooper, Dr. Leary, The former Canadian Defence Minister Take a closer look at the videos I have sent in this email. Can they be explained away as ice crystals ? There is a story here NASA's reluctance to come clean on what they are really doing in space.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  16. jay

    I don't understand !! What does giving 45 days notice before raising rates do ? If your in debt and have had your pay cut or lost your job then where will you get the money to payoff your credit card in 45 days. ? Just dont understand the thinking. Just tell the Banks you can't raise the rates , period !!

    April 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  17. brian s

    On the note of home ownership, we're a first time homeowner that got in roughly a year ago. Thankfully it's a primary residence as opposed to an investment property, so while the housing market going down is disheartening, it was bought with the intention of being my home as opposed to an investment gamble. However, if property values go back up, it would still be nice as circumstances in life change with time, and if I decide to move to another city, it would be comforting to know we won't lose a lot of money.

    And Tony, you seem so skeptical about having a blog. Have a little faith!

    April 23, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  18. Mary Bazilewich

    These companys are making me have to choose between paying them or eating quess what am going to choose?

    April 23, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  19. Tim Daly

    The credit card companies have brought this situation upon themselves. Much like Fannie, Freddie, et al they overextended credit to people who were not financially worthy of receiving it. Now there is a huge backlash as they try to take it back from ALL of their customers in higher rates and hidden fees. I have a very good credit rating and have never been late on any payments since 1991. Why am I being forced to pay higher rates? I did not create this situation but I am forced to pay higher rates because of the card companies' inability to manage responsibly.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  20. Independent

    It is contradictory for President Obama to criticize lenders and consumers for the level of personal borrowing while he is at the same time leading the greatest expansion in public borrowing in history.

    Credit cards should be used to buy the things you need today and pay for them in the near future, matching your personal spending to your personal earnings. If you borrow more than you can afford to pay back, you are being irresponsible - and the banks who enable you to do so are making a mistake as well.

    Why should it be any different for public borrowing?

    April 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  21. Allen Meyer

    Tony, you're quite correct in your suspicion of blogs. How valuable can it be for potentially thousands of people to vent on your blog site, when few will read even a few of them, as most of the comments are emotional, banal, and predictable. You obviously can't sort through them all or read them all. The only usefulness is the psychological satisfaction of those who post. They really need to get a life. I promise never to post on this blog page again.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  22. Brandon Thaxton

    I like the blog But anyways, im a student and credit cards have really been holding me back. Sometimes them having you pay all the extra fees makes it hard to pay for the next months bill. But this morning I signed up for the plan to catch up on my ill follow up with you when I see how that turns out. Probably another way to make money off me in the long run.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  23. Erminia Caracciolo

    Hi Tony, love your show. I am a realtor in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, and I wanted to invite your viewers to come to Oahu to buy property. Our market has weathered this housing storm much better than our mainland markets.
    And we are in Paradise with the best climate on the planet.
    We expect the boom back very soon and know President Obama will do everything necessary to assure that.
    Mahalo for the time and we love your blog.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  24. David Hand

    My solution to high credit card rates: I never bank with a big commercial banks. I use credit unions exclusively and I always get better rates, lower fees, and more personal service. Credit unions are not-for-profit, so you don't have to deal with the issues of executive greed.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  25. Betty

    I'm so glad you asked our opinion...

    I have two credit cards with {company}. Just this month I discovered they have begun charging a "minimum service charge" just for USING your card. I been a customer for 7 years and always pay the FULL amount on time. I have a perfect credit rating and yet they began charging me a minimum service charge even when the full amount on time. {company} received $300 billion bailout money, and yet they are charging good customers a minimum service charge. This is outrageous, and I've told them I will never use their services again. Instead I will use my {other} cards have not begun this practice. Congress should address this unconscionable practice in the proposed bill regarding credit card companies and their outrageous activities.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  26. Tom from Philly

    I am in financial crisis due to my greed bad business planning and overt risk taking, I hereby notify my customers and employers I will be increasing my wages by 50% to 100% to bolster my earnings. Also anyone paying me back wages will have to pay cash on demand for future business activity.

    waaaaaaiiiiiit, thats {company's} moto, and they are driving the middle class into self fulfilling default prophecy. Ya know i bought into the reagan argument of deregulation and union bashing. Now i see the opposite. Government control: I want it.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  27. tom

    After being with {company} for more than fifteen years, (including a fully paid off car loan) never being late on any payments including to today, and I have been paying for job layoff protection for 15 years @ $10 per month – they raised both my cards from 9% to 30% overnight without any warning after I got laid off. These practices are pure robbery and making all of us suffer even worse when times are hardest. I don't know how they can sleep at night knowing the crimes they are committing. They will lose in the end, we will not be customers in the long term

    April 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  28. Scott

    Hi Tony:

    Good morning. I really enjoy your broadcast style.

    As a small business owner my anxiety increases as I hear all the gloom and doom broadcasted about our failing economy. I am worried that this actually perpetuates the situation in that people become more fearful and thus spend less.

    We had our house on the market from 2008 – 2009 and finally took it off the market. I think we were fortunate as we would not likely have gotten a loan.

    I have strong feelings about the credit card companies that are holding us hostage, who have gouged the public with bail out money and are now arbitrarily raising interest rates. I think that they should be held accountable as they are nothing more than loan sharking thugs holding the American public hostage like the Somalie pirates. My goal is to pay off my credit cards and put them away.

    Keep well.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  29. Steven P

    I will soon be a homeless father of three, I have spoken to my mortgage holder and they will not do anything for me till i am employed. I was laid off in January along with 68 others from where i was employed. Obama has done NOTHING to help me. Everything i have worked for will be lost. I will try to find friends where my kids can stay, This country is in a sad state and i dont see any changes. I am truly scared that the American dream is now the American nightmare, and i am living it! I did everything I have been told, went to college, dont do drugs. where did i go wrong? You tell me?

    April 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  30. Gwen

    It's absurd to say "houses are selling for less than they're worth" as your reporter just did, in a story about the Phenoix housing market. What anything is worth is determined by the current market, not by what it sold for 12 or 24 months ago. House prices in many parts of the country are falling. Houses are worth their market value, period. If that stings current homeowners is some neighborhoods, it doesn't change the facts. Don't try to sugar-coat them.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  31. Peggy Collins

    My husband and I have an average credit score of 810. We have NO credit card debt. HOWEVER, it's interesting, because the credit card companies keep making 0% interest rates offers to us for transferred balances. AND even though we have a high credit score, after the 0% rate expires the rate goes to 22% to 29%!!!! SO.....the credit card companies are lying when they say they will have to charge their good customers if Congress acts to lower rates. They are already doing that now to their good customers.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  32. Dave

    Credit Card Interest rates:
    I have watched my interest rate go from 7.9% this past Nov. to 25.24% at present. I have never been late I might add. I heard that the reason being is because of people defaulting on payments. The banks have said that the rate will only effect approximately 5% of the card holders. I believe that to be a LIE!! Then the thought came to me, at what interest rate are we charging the banks for our bailout monies? Maybe the banks should be the ones paying 25% interest rates or maybe more for being a willing participant in creating these problems. The American people are tired of being over taxed and penalized for Government and Banking failures. At this rate the end result will be a larger division between the rich and the poor with few left in between.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  33. M

    Recently my 83 year old Mom got a note on her statement from {company} that they have raised her interest rate to 29 percent. She has been in and out of the hospital since January and was late 2 times, only by a day or two. She has been with {company} for 11 years. Recently, this has been her only late times. {Company} sees this as an opportunity to make it nearly impossible for a senior citizen to pay their bills. Bailed out banks and greed are pretty much getting away with more and more greed. I would like to see the Obama administration take steps to stop the credit card companies from their constant greed. Is this just a dream or will the Obama administration take a stand on this issue?

    April 23, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  34. Lillian Davis

    Condo loans are excluded from the bailout package. Local banks do not have funds for Condos so we can not refinance at cheaper rates, nor can buy a house because we cannot sell our Condos. This is suppressing the whole housing market in our area in Montana. Condos are HOMES. Why are they excluded?

    April 23, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  35. Tom from Philly

    The biggest load of bovine defication is the prevelance of bank branches. I bet if every bank closed half it branches, theyd be solvent in a month. I have more banks in a 5 mile radius (9 wachiovia alone) than i do drug stores gas stations and convenience stores combined. Each one paying a huge rent and a branch manager, probably a quarter million a year per branch before a utility or rank and file employee is paid. What are these branch managers doing anyway managing imaginary assets????

    First rule of business: IN bad times cut costs, dont double your prices. what these banks deserve is for america to get over its debt addiction. How will they operate in the black without 30% credit cards and 0% money and tarp money from the fed??

    waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait they cant even do that

    April 23, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  36. Deborah

    As of January this year I received letters from 2 different credit card companies that my rate was being raised to almost 24%. I had the choice to pay the card off or accept the rate. My finances were such that I could not pay off the cards. From everyone that I have spoken with the same thing has happened to them. Credit card companies are beating the July deadline by raising rates on everyone they can before then. Why did whoever is looking into this, wait until the credit card companies had 7 months to raise rates on consumers before reacting. What happens to those of us that have already had their rates raised?

    April 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  37. Elton Mack

    Don't worry Tony. i know this "blog thing" is probably a hindrance right now, but you will get use to it. In fact, you may even fall in love with it and ultimately cannot live without it. 🙂 You have alot of fans and your concerns are their concerns and they want you to know their thoughts and feelings as well. Who might even make some new friends. 🙂 Wish you all the best.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  38. Cindy

    I am currently unemployed so I watch your program every morning before I get started everyday trying to build a new business.

    I come from the mortgage and real esatate field. I am so impressed by all the segments your show is doing, helping people find jobs and general money management; the "how to" for our times.

    Recently Ms Willis has been featured talking about mortgages, Obama's plan ect. With the self imposed moratorium of foreclosures lifted, the numbers are on the rise again. Also, there are still millions of adjusted rate mortgages still to reset, 3 and 5 year mortages that were part of the last gasp originated in 2005, 2006 and even 2007 are still to re-set. Combined with still rising unemployment, there are more to come.

    I talk to homeowners every day who think that "Obama's plan" will bail them out. It is only a guideline! Banks have signed on, but resources are limited and banks just can't keep up with the need. There are many who still don't qualify for the refinance guidelines who NEED loss mitigation services, a combined approach that the banks just don't have the resources to offer.

    There has been much press on loan modification scams and rightly so, there are people out there who are operating irriesponsibly, taking money for doing exactly what the homeowner could do themself. What no one is spotlighting is that there are also companies who are doing good. Who have stepped into the void between homeowners who need relief, and who with that relief can stay in their homes and the banks who don't have the resources to help them. Company's who don't do forensic audits and don't threaten to sue the banks but that work with the banks to come to an equitable solution that keeps families in their homes, and children in their schools, keeps communities intact, at the same time, retaining value in the note.

    These companies are experts in debt settlement and loss mitigation which an approach that reduces a family's monthly cash flow through a combination of loan modification and debt settlement. Yes there is a fee, many times lower then a refinance under Obama's plan and definately lower then moving out and relocating, and yes in debt settlement and restructuring there is a credit hit, but in most cases these family's have missed payments and are facing moving eroding credit scores already. But when the program is finished, the bank has a performing asset, the family stays in their home and the credit card holders have received more payment then they would have gotten if they have had to charge off and the family is on the road to recovery with credit repair.

    I would love to see CNN Newsroom and company do some in depth coverage on these types of programs that are sincerely part of the solution, for our real estate industry, credit industry and for family's in trouble.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  39. Chris

    Tony, I'm a US military member and am myself glad to see that somehting is being done about this Credit Card issue. Unfortunetly for myself, it was too late. I had a credit card from {company} with an APR of 9%. I was late five days on one payment which didn't show up on my credit report. With that {company} raised my APR to 24.24%. I called to see what could be done to lower the rate. They told me that there was nothing they could do because nothing was available at this time and that I should wait three mounths and call back. I payed off the ballance and closed the card. They weren't happy about that. Let's hope this doesn't happen to any one else. My advice, watch your credit cards and you credit. It could hurt you in the end. I am also looking at first time home buying in California. I hope this credit card issue isn't going to hurt my chance.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  40. scrapgenie

    We have a credit card from {company}, the interest rate was 9.9%, it was actually high as we have excellent credit. We always pay more than the min pay due, we always pay on time and we received a letter stating our rate was rising to 14%! I called and inquired as to why the change, when we are more than "good customers." They told me I was "chosen" like I won the lottery or something! I explained I did not want to be the "chosen" one and would like them to reconsider and leave my interest rate as is, or they would loose me as a customer. The girl refused, I asked for a supervisor. The supervisor stated I had to the end of my "contract" which is when the card expires, to maintain the 9.9% rate and consequently it was expiring that month! She also stated I was "put" into the program and they had no choice but to raise the rate! Consequently I am in the process of paying off the credit card and closing the account. I plan on paying cash from now on. I owe about $1500 and that will be paid in a few months. Prior to this I had the {company}card, they did the same thing raised my rate unexpectedly and I closed that account without contacting them and they later called and offered me the rate I originally had and I declined because I already set up a new account. I am done with credit cards. Cash is the way to go. Our bank also has implemented little "fees"on all our accounts. If you transfer money from your checking to your savings or vice versa, more than 3 times in the month you are charged a $10 fee. If you use the Mac machine too much there is a fee. If your balance falls below a certain level now there is a fee. I now carry some cash at all times. Done with the debit card and I am not going to be nickled and dimed to death by fees of these banks! Time for the people to take a stand. Use cash people, save and then buy! Do not become slaves to the banks!!!! Time to take back control of OUR finances.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  41. Robert F. Pina

    These banks are killing us... we have been jacked by them with an increase in interest rates on our cards and they just automaticly have lowered our credit limits on others. This has affected our good credit score, these banks are going crazy with this and we cannot do anything about it they say we have been trying. Now the higher payments are making it tough for us to maintain our monthly household budget. We have been doing the right thing and now are considering even filing BK

    April 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  42. Steve W.

    As far as the banks now making some enormous profits with the TARP taxpayer money, one of my credit cards had the nerve to raise my interest rates and all the fees because I DID NOT USE THE CARD.
    Now the rest of my Cards are following suit because on my credit report it looks like the Bank canceled my card for negative reasons.
    It is a snowball effect.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  43. Valorie

    On Christmas Eve last year my hubby went out to pick up a few last minute things and decided to put them on his credit card which is issued through {bank}. When he tendered the card it was declined. When he came home and told me what had happened I logged into our account online and found that they had cut the credit line down to just what he owed. We had a several thousand dollar credit limit and was nowhere near the limit on it. They did not notify us about it so it came out of the blue. Before that, in October, they had raised the interest rate on the card with no notice as well. I emailed them to ask why they had done this and they said they would mail a letter detailing why. When we got the letter the first or second week of January it said they had reviewed a certain demographic of people's purchasing habits and deemed their habits risky and so cut the credit line. What the heck? My husband is an industrial electrician and instrument tech and he had used the card to get gas and pay his motel bill two or three times over the preceding couple, three months but had put nothing major on it and I was mailing in payments that were 3 to 4 times the minimum payment. Needless to say we have stopped using it and are paying it off with the determination to not use it again. We had never been late and had always paid many times more than our minimum payment. There was no reason to do this just because they deemed the area and the purchases in that area where my husband was working meant something sinister enough to them to cut our credit line off. We have one other credit card and it's with {company}. As of the first of this month they raised the interest rate 4 percentage points. At least they did have the decency to send us a letter about 45 days before the rate hike. I was able to pay it off before the rate hike took effect. I'm like a lot of people in being angry that these companies are getting bailout money which is really OUR money, our children's and grandchildren's money and now they are going to raise our rates so they can get more money out of us that way. This is just not right!!

    April 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  44. Geoffrey Fuchs

    Re Tony Harris' piece on iuncreasing foreclosures due to job loss, consider a moratorium of amortization while collecting unemployment benefits. In other words pay interest only while unemployed.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  45. Mr. T

    The credit card companies are just playing games with the tax payers and it's time to call their bluff. I recently got a letter from my credit card company informing me of rate increase. It was also stated that the rates will be variable. I have had the card for seven years and never late for once. I called their bluff and called them to close my account. That way I will pay off my balance with my very low rate that I presently have. I will do it again to any credit card company that is trying to take advantage of me without caring about the consequences. I don't need their credit and I don't intend to borrow any money again. We are all in this together and if we can send the message to these creditors that we don't care and at the same time change our spending habits, we will be alright.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  46. Robert F. Pina

    We Americans need HELP NOW!!!! not in 2010.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  47. Frannie

    Tony..Re.GM...........Can someone please ask why:

    (1)....Why was the electric car destroyed when it pleased so many leasees.

    (2) Why did GM sell the rights to the electric battery to an oil company,and with that should'nt the oil company be helping GM now?


    April 23, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  48. Kevin L Kennedy

    I see that congress is making an effort to stop or slow the practice of raising interest rates on credit cards. But what I do not see is help for those of us who in desperate times went to preditor lenders in my case {company} which is out of business but a subsideary of {company 2}. I like a lot of others lost my job with a major airline after 28 plus years, I have been fortunate to find work elsewhere, however it required a move, rental of an apt. and money for food and such until a paycheck came in. I had no option but to go where I could get money fast, which was {company}, they were happy to loan me money at 25% interest. I went for a long period of time only making the minumim payment, now nearly 2 years later I owe more than the original loan amount. In addition to that, since I do pay always on time, they just continue to raise my line of credit so that I am never over my limit.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  49. LariAnn Garner

    Seems that the wrong questions are being asked when it comes to credit card fees and interest rates. You see, the credit card companies (aka usury industry) have already raised their rates to usurious levels, and the proposed legislation gives them over a year to hike rates and fees even more. What kind of help is that? Of course, those in the Senate who oppose immediate relief have to pay back their campaign contributors, but aren’t these “representatives” supposed to represent the people, not the special interests? Ask the right questions, please!


    April 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  50. Independent

    Credit card policies that single out specific customers for higher rates and fees are designed to charge riskier customers more than the rest of us. If Congress outlaws these policies then the cost of riskier customers will have to be spread among all of us.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  51. Roy

    Now that the American public is going to be paying off these huge tarp infusions to the big banks... why can't we also dictate that they must lower their interest rates to reasonable levels... for example, I had one card that was at 10.9%, I missed a payment by one day and they jacked it up to 26%... that's just wrong. Since MY tax money is keeping these companies alive, shouldn't we at least get reasonable rates ? I'm not asking for a bailout, but if they can't stay alive with a rate of 10.9% we should let them fail. Our government has let us down so badly, they should be ashamed. These new credit card regulations should be fixed NOW and implemented within 30 days...if the credit card company can't do it, they should get no bailout cash...

    April 23, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  52. Ken W

    We have the upside down house. We paid much more for our house than it is worth today. We don’t have money due to layoffs brought on in our case by government decisions with Medicare. We are on the verge of losing the wonderful house we worked so hard to get. Our credit cards went up to overwhelming interest rates and the limit on the cards plummeted to unusable lows. We had to drop the credit cards because the companies won’t even try to work with us. We are rapidly sinking and there is no relief in sight. Apparently the protection that the government is providing for us isn’t working. I'm beginning to think that the only working protection is provided to the card company. .

    April 23, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  53. Joyce

    Hi Tony.
    Welcome to the Blog world. It's not too terrible.
    I'm so glad to tune in when you're on.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  54. Louis Guardiola Jr.

    You coverage of the credit card interest rates rising was very superficial. Why aren't you asking why President Obama doesn't pressure Congress to address this issue immediately like he did with the auto bailout? Your response that he is meeting with the Banks is not enough. CNN should be investigating this with Banks and posing this question to your guest or having guests from the credit card industry on your show to explain their reasoning.

    I have experienced this very issue of having my interest rate increase by 10%. I also need an advocate in the White House to deal with the issue ASAP, otherwise I will continue to cut back on my spending and this is probably what others will do. This will not stimulate the economy.

    This is why the conservative news media is so critical of liberals (I consider myself liberal). Please step up to the plate!

    April 23, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  55. Dave Stefanic

    This Credit card situation is going crazy. Again and again the greed now entrenched in the US economy is showing its ugly face. It doesn't matter what your credit history is, there is no such thing as "good customers" anymore. I got treated like dirt during my last call to my CC company. There is lost respect for what used to be the all so important customer of yesteryear. Then in addition they have the nerve to report you to the Credit Bureau to help ruin your once good credit history .
    The American middle class worker usually gets paid on a two week cycle so bills get paid on that cycle usually overlapping CC due dates. Where Credit cards used to have a thirty day payment cycle, it's now been reduced to 20 days as a way to justify increasing rates for delinquent payments and late fees. No grace periods anymore either.
    Now it's almost impossible to avoid these additional fees. It's become one of the biggest scams of the times. The worst part is others are following the same path, even my utility bills are following suite including phone, water, electric, etc. with twenty day payment cycles and late fees .
    When will it all stop. Our so called Congressman and Senators need to look at this issue sharply because the economy will never turn around if the common worker can't find any relief or credit to help him out through these desperate times. It's a noose around the neck and continues to tighten.
    What are these Politicians thinking or have they just been sleeping or ignoring this fiasco? I'd like to know. Thanks.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  56. Gregg

    I live in Scottsdale AZ and have been trying to sell my house for 3-1/2 years. I've reduced it by $300,000 and still no offers. The only homes that are selling are bank owned and short sales, that's all people want to look at. Now I've just been notified by {company} and {company} that they are raising the interest rates on my credit cards, and i've been a cardmember of both compamies for over 20 years. These are the same companies that took over 75 billion in taxpayer money at 0% interest. The American people are getting killed here, and the people who've caused this mess have not been held accountable. Please help us!

    April 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  57. Ana

    Put this on your broadcast!
    Talk about credit card interest rates how about this ...
    {Card 1} 21.24 reg, 26.24cash
    {Card 2} 15.24 purchases, 17.24past purch, 23.99 cash
    That is with an excellent credit rating!
    Apparently credit rating doesn't matter.
    It certainly will not matter when I loose my job and file bankruptcy because of GREED!
    Will filing bankruptcy help the economy?
    Frustrated, overwhelmed & just plain defeated

    April 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  58. Frannie

    The day the electric car died............If you can get the ......CBC......check

    out the Passionate Eye on Sunday Night.


    April 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  59. Mary

    When the bank execs were being questioned a while back by the congressional committee, they either denied or claimed no knowledge of interest rate increases when asked by Congresswoman Waters from California. So as they were sitting there thumbing their noses at Congress (a bank exec denying knowledge of how his bank is performing?!!) my letter from my credit card company increasing my interest rate was in the mail. These greedy execs were paying so much attention to a walk around in order to give themselves bonuses/high salaries from our bailout money, it’s no wonder with this kind of self-serving culture and direction, our big banks were in trouble. I personally think that with these same leaders, there is no chance of the bailout money making a difference. It will just go by the way of more misuse and misspending. In order to help people already struggling financially, these increased rates could just push them over the edge of not making ends meet and never being able to dig themselves out of debt. As we should know, the same leaders, performing the same jobs will bring the same results—greed and squander by the execs and hardship and distress of the average American.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  60. Randall

    Tony, why is it that those with deficient credit ratings have seen these kinds of rate and condition anomalies for years, but now that those with acceptable ratings are now also feeling discriminated against, the public outrage grows? What a coincidence. At any rate, kudos to President Obama for his consumer protection efforts.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  61. Lisa

    CNN has given out generic information about loan modification and websites to go to. Have you gone to the website you recommended? It tells you to talk to your lender, who will not help you unless you sign a note stating you are having financial difficulties and are in trouble. What are the implications of that note? In applying for a loan modification, if your debt to income ratio is over 55% you cannot get help. Well, if you are on unemployment, have can you be in that percentage?I don't see how or where any of the bailout money is helping anyone. I am not going to use a credit company , that the website referrs you to as well as HUD,to help me.even if it is free, because they make you sign a contract stating they are in control of handling your credit issues , which ruins your credit .Might as well claim bankruptsy as far as your credit report is concerned.You are not telling the whole story and make it seem as though the help is out there, when it isn't. Who wants their credit ruined to get a lower interest rate?
    On credit cards, I was $3.00 short on an automatic online payment, but on time. My interest rate went up to 29.99%. When I explained I was not working, they closed my card. I was told if I made paymentss ontime for 6-8 months, my rate would go down. I callled and requested my rate be lowered after 8 months. I was told my account is"blocked" and my rate will never go down. I owe $ 325.00 per month now. They also keep changing the due date , with no rhyme or reason,so I will be late and have a late fee. The auto payment ,which I depend on to keep me current,does not have a selection for "pay on due date" or "pay minimum due on due date",which is why I was the $3.00 short to begin with. By the way, it is with {company},who was allowed to become a bank so they could get bailout money. {Company} also is the only credit card offering 0% interest for transferring balances ,but if you are under your payment by1 penny or late by 1 day,the interest payment goes up to 29.99%.
    Is the new legislation going to address old interest rates before the legislation or only new issues?Or is it another attempt to make it look like help is on the way?

    April 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  62. Jean

    {Company} dropped credit line without my knowing, so when I was in line at a grocery store, I was told they couldn't use my card!!
    I panic because I thought identy theft had happened as I only had $900 into a few thousand $ credit line.
    When I got home I called them only to find that they had sent out the notice from Florida the day before and here in Hawaii I had no clue until I received the notice 7 days later !!!!
    This was very unprofessional of them. I will no longer use their card.

    Hilo, Hawaii

    April 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  63. TJBeere

    My credit card companie just sent me notice that my interest rate is now double (12.99% to 24.00%) . I will not stand by and let these companies take addvantage. I called and inquired of the reason why they where increaseing my rate. The woman on the phone informed me it was due to "Buisness cost". (???) I asked for a reduction and was denied. I then asked to speak to a supervisor. Just for fun, I informed the supervisor that our conversation maybe recorded for my protection and made sure she was ok with that. (LOL) ., she agreed. I then explained that I have lost my job and have not neglected my payments, but if they raise my rate, it will create a financiale hardship for me. I then stated that I would do everything I could to hold the credit card liable for creating hardship in other areas of my budget, ie failure in my morgtage payments. I informed her that I have no outstanding or late payments on any of my bills, and that this is something that can be easily proved. With out any hesitation she spouted off... " Well, there is something else you could do"... AHA I thought ... GOTCHA(hehehe). She then informed me that I could close the use of my credit card and this would lock my credit card back to the 12.99% rate. All this crap and all she had to do was her job in the first place and answer my initiale question on lowering my rate. So dont continue to be fleeced by any means. Just be smart, and quicker then the rest. Oh and by the way if anyone challenges the credit card companies, call and get your rewards first before you close your usage on your account. Or you'll lose them. I scored with merchandise cards.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  64. Ken W

    What if the card companies already made the rate hike.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  65. Debbie

    I'm an investor. I have brought 12 houses on hard money loans.
    The program worked well for me on all but the last house.
    After using my credit cards to rehab the house, as I have always done, I tried to refinance the house at 80% of value leaving approximately $10K in pocket to pay off credit cards. But all of the sudden, with no notice, the rules had changed. I was not able to refi because my debt to ratio was out of balance, and even though I paid everything on time and had no late payments on my credit history I was viewed as a bad risk. Therefore, I paid $1K every month in addition to my regular payments to the credit card companies in order to reach a ratio at 50% of my limit hoping that this would increase my credit score and I would be able to refi. All of this was done to no avail as the credit card companies not only increased my interest rate, but also reduced my limit as I paid down my balance. Unfair Treatment.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  66. Dave Loganville, GA

    I was paying 9.99% on a monthly credit balance of $4,000.00. They up'd it to 21.99% No reason, just a way to make more money off me. I cancelled my account, and asked to negotiate. They refused, and maintain that I a high credit risk even though I have never been late. I always paid far beyaond the minimum, and my credit score is a 689. I just don't get it. They are scamming people to make a profit margin.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  67. karen west

    I have excellent credit; have never been late with a payment and always pay much more than the minimum. {Company} just notified me they are changing my interest rate from 7.9% fixed to 13.95% variable. I called and complained and they set it at 9.9% fixedd. What crooks all these credit card companies are. I no longer use credit cards and will pay off my remaining balance. Maybe this is a good thing – more and more of us will go back to a cash basis and stop living above our means.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  68. saj

    when is all this dibilitating credit stuff go away. at 74 yrs of age did i ask for this in my golden years; that certainly doesn't exist (golden). never in my wildest dreams did i think "America" wld ever come to this, greeddddddddddddddddd. my mother always said, "what is this world coming to"....guess we're living it reluctantly.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  69. Donna Tschetter

    After many years with {3 credit card companies}, I am finding that a history of on-time payments does not matter in many cases. {company} chose to raise the percentage rate. {Company 2} imposed an "annual fee" of $59. One of my {company 3} cards, a small one (with a $300 limit) serviced by {company}, increased the rate to 30.99%. Very strange since another card with a $6000 limit remains at 0% interest as long as I pay in full each month.

    There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to how these cards are serviced. It appears that the banks are getting a little greedy and disregarding customer loyalty.

    When we as consumers get back on our feet, regain our job income and focus on using one card – where do you suppose we will focus our attention?

    I am thinking that credit card users such as myself will seek out the banks or card servicers that stuck by us in our tough times and not on those who were out to take advantage of a hard-pressed consumer in tough economic times.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  70. Donald Clark

    I too have perfect credit. No late or missed payments, or exceeding of credit limits not exceeded. The same with all other debts, yet {company} increased the interest rate the card I have with them by 7 percent. They took billions from us in taxpayer-funded bailouts, and now want to lend it back to us at excessive interest rates.
    I wrote my Senators asking them to put an end to this. Both said, Look! we passed a law saying next year they have to give you longer notice that they are going to screw you. They missed the point. I don't want to be screwed in the first place.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  71. Karen

    I just got a notice from {company} stating they will increase my interest rate to 17.24%. I have good credit, never been late and always paid more than the minimum. If I don't agree with the new interest rate I can opt out by June 10. I want to do that but right now I'm in the process of refinancing my home and I'm afraid I might not make that deadline.

    I called and they wouldn't work with me at all and when I said I was going to write my congressman they stated {company} did not take a bail-out. SO WHAT IF YOU DIDN'T TAKE THE BAIL-OUT – THAT STILL DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE MORAL RIGHT TO ABUSE US. (Congress lets them get away with this)

    I also saw on CNN today what the Credit Card Spokewoman said about limiting their abiity to charge higher rates to risk customers would affect good customers – they are already targeting GOOD CUSTOMERS!

    I'm fed up with credit cards abuses and I want Congress to do something now – not next year!

    April 23, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  72. Jean

    I recently recieved a statement from one of my credit cards, and noticed they had increased the interest rate to 25.96%! When I called to complain, I was told it was a nationwide decision to increase ALL of their credit card customers rates to that due to the recession. I think it is gouging, isn't that illegal?

    April 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  73. Nathan

    I'm tired of hearing Americans whine when they get penalized for making late payments. Even a few hours late is still late, DUH. Americans need to learn to be more responsible with their money and not buy so much on credit if they can't pay for it. The government doesn't need to hold our hands and protect us from penalties, if anything some Americans need a swift kick to the pants when you can't make on time payments. Setup automatic payments if you need to, they make it too easy to make payments to be late.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  74. Julian Stevens

    I own a small business and it took me years to build my credit rating. I had an {company} card for over 4 years without a single late payment. I was late with 1 payment that was due to a banking error and {company} closed my credit line and sent me to collections. At the time they took this action, I was only 3 weeks late with 1 payment – not even 30 days late yet. I called {company} several times and spoke to over 4 different departments that tried in vain to reinstate my line. In the end the collection department stated that they would not reopen the line and didn’t care if it impacted my rating. They stated that they earned commissions from collecting the debt I owned. I still can’t believe a credit company would close a credit line that wasn’t even 30 days late and send it to collections… I am still so angry over this.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  75. JP

    I think it is a shame what credit card companies are doing to people who paid on time. My mother worked hard to achieve a high credit rating and making sure that her bills are paid on time. Now most of her interest rates have been raised to between 15 and 26 percent. She has received the same answer as most that everyone's rates are being raised. but how is this fair to those people who have worked hard all their life and been responsible about their bills to be punished for credit card companies who could not handle their finances? Also if they are receiving bailout money from us then why are they acting like we denied them the money? After all we approved their line of credit, why not keep our rates at least the same? I think that instead of giving credit card companies time to raise everyone's rate before the bill takes effect, they should make the rates retroactive to a certain date so that people are not continually punished. Giving them time means they can raise rates to what ever level they like then when the bill takes effect credit card companies are not worried since the rates will be at the level they want.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  76. Matt

    Credit card companies have the legal right to do what they're doing, no question about it.

    There is a moral issue as well, right?

    Legally my credit card debt is unsecured, so I have the legal right not to pay when I see these 29% rates.

    I have a moral duty to pay, but since this topic is being ignored by all these companies, I no longer feel the moral issue as valid, a new feeling for me with 30+ years of having credit cards.

    Yes, sure my credit rating is toast, but since I've had more than my fair share of heartache trying to remove items on my credit report like late payments to apartments in which I've never lived, etc, no win here.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  77. Philip Elliott

    Given the tightness of credit, credit card companies realize that individuals will have difficulty moving their high interest balances and that they can raise rates and fees at will. The only way to stop these huge increases is to have a serious alternative to re-introduce genuine competition to the system. Credit card companies claim they need these high interest rates because of the risk of default. If the government were to offer pay-off loans that went directly to credit card companies, even at 8-10%, many individuals, who are committed to and want to pay off their credit cards, would take out these loans, even if they realize, like student loans or taxes, they could not be discharged by bankruptcy. This would help infuse capital into credit card companies and their parent banks, without government oversight of those banks. The problem for these credit card companies is that these are the very consumers that credit card companies count on to offset losses from those consumers who are much more willing to walk away from accumulated debt.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  78. CS

    Two weeks ago my credit score was 731. I have been employed at the same company for over 12 years. I am employed andmake 6 figures. I am not deliquent with any creditors and I am not in default on ony accounts. While out of town on a business trip, I discovered that {company} had reduced my available credit on my 2 credit cards down to my balance. If I didn't have access to additional resources, I would have been stuck out of town with no way to pay my bill. Shortly after the action by {company}, my credit score was reduced from 731 to 680 because the bank effectively made me look as if I had maxed out. The bank made no attempt to verify my income or asses my finances. Today, I went online to discover that the bank had eliminated my home equity credit line. When I called them to inquire, the response was that they did an appraisal and my home is now worth considerably less than what I owe in 1st and 2nd mortgages. I challenged their appraisal. I went immediately to an independent source who valued my home at 115K more than the bank did. This is not right. They are turning credit worth customers in deadbeats. The government needs to stop the banks from doing this.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  79. Kathy Speights

    My two credit card companies have already notified me that they are increasing my interest rate by 4% each. They gave me the option to agree to the increase, or respond with in 45 day that I do not agree. If I do not agree, my account will be closed and I will pay back at my original interest rate. The reason that they gave me was "to make money on my account". They have both made thousands of dollars on me in interest. I had just raided my 401K (I'm retired), and have just paid both of them down by $10,000 each. I have a stellar credit rating, don't miss payments and pay on time. Is this how good customers should be treated? I feel like I'm being punished for the bad decisions of others...AGAIN!

    April 23, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  80. Bob

    About time the Government stepped in on these credit card company thieves. I paid off a {store} credit card (89.00) and closed the account last year. A month after the payoff they sent me a $39.00 late fee saying the payment came one day late. The due date was on a Sunday and they cashed it on Monday. They continue adding 39 dollar monthly late fees and interest. That payment was mailed in plenty of time for them to recieve it by Friday. We think they deliberatly held it until monday because we closed our account.
    Although the account has been charged off and my credit blemished, they and thier credit collector agencies continue to call. I have over 600 logged calls and 50 mailings attempting to collect this bill. Its no wonder the banks are in trouble. How much time and effort do you spend trying to collect 39.00 bogus debt. As far as we are concerned they will get the money and see us in thier store "When Hell freezes over"

    April 23, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  81. hugh

    hey Tony: Good show.
    Sincerely, Harris in Richardson TX

    April 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  82. Michael

    As an American I think that we are tiny reflections of our governement both large and small. We as a nation understand the importance finances, but keeping up with the Jones' is a major force behind our finanical troubles. Like our governments we as individuals are in debt and a trying to figure out ways remain stable. I think Henry Ford had it right if you can not afford to purchase an automobile with cash on hand you can not afford it. Yes, I have debt, I hate it but have to use Dave's Ramsey method of my snowball to eliminate them one by one.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  83. David--New Jersey

    I cant beleive what i just got in the mail today ...A post card from the {credit card company} .....they are going to raise my rate from 14.99% fixed to 19.24% var. .........I called them and they said it was due to the cost of doing business......

    April 23, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  84. Lisa

    Credit card companies "the banks" are not descriminately raising rates for the customers who are "late". Our credit card company also raised our rate to 14% even though we have paid on time and have excellent credit. Banks are also implementing fees on all your services, including transactions you do yourself, online. As consumers we should not fall prey to these companies, whom we have just "bailed out." If possible we need to be smart consumers and not utilize the banks that are violating our rights as "good customers." We deserve to be treated with respect and they are stepping all over us!

    April 23, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  85. Brian G.

    No one should have a credit limit so high as to be able to plop a card down and buy a $50K BMW. Only a business or people making $1 Mil. should be able to have a CC limit so high. As a country, it seems that we need to set a maximum limit on available debt. I think that the ceiling should be no more than $15k total for all credit cards combined.

    I have a {company} card with a very low fixed rate and they just raised my CC Limit. Between the two CC cards and 1 store card, I have a limit much greater than my annual income. I only use no more than 3K of it.

    When it comes to saying no to the CC companies, we should have said no years ago. NO to higher limits, NO to more that 1 or 2 cards, and YES to a Max total limit on all combined CC debt.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  86. Aundrey L Munn

    If the gov. is so concerned about the ( ccc) credit card company) over charging,hidden fees,unfair rate hikes etc. and they want to protect us, then why don't they establish a gov. ccs (credit card service) maybe then we won't have to worry about being takin advantage of.

    April 23, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  87. Rich

    The new rules being considered by both houses and the fed still allow the card companies to charge 29% interest. That is usurious in any event, and yet the credit card legislation has the call to claim to be an usury reform measure. Wake up congress, 29% is usurios. I know they own you but the American people are tired of this, and you!

    April 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  88. Lynda Witt

    I think its a shame Tony the way the credit card companies are taking advantage of thier customers. It's about time someone has pointed this out and are taking steps to put a stop to it. I dropped all of my credit card accounts years ago and I'm sure that a majority of custumers will do the same after they exit their credit card desaster ps Keep up the good work. I just love your smile!

    April 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  89. Brian

    I had been struggling to make ends meet since being laid off last September from my position as a pilot. After waiting until mid-December to receive my first check (I filed on Oct. 17th) NY unemployment got the proper amount wrong (by $85). Finally after repetitive calls, letters and filing the same documents over three times to get the proper amount, they stopped sending me money without notice. This caused {bank} to charge me almost 200 dollars in overdraft fees because of small credit charges around ten dollars that came in after my unemployment should have been deposited into the account. Just recently in mid March, I was finally able to get someone one the phone who at first had no idea where my filed papers were and could not tell me why my account was under review. He was then able to locate the papers and the next day I had $85 for each past check deposited into my account. (something that had taken 5 months to get done). It was not until early April that NY unemployment finally sent me a letter saying I was involved in a business and that is why my funds had been delayed since Feb. 22nd. This was the first notification of the delay. After sending a letter stating they were wrong, I finally received my past payments on the 21st. This in my mind is completely unacceptable, and has put a major strain on my home-life. Not to mention that between the late fees on my {bank} credit card and the over-draft charges, I have ruined what was once great credit because 1. unemployment waited months (on two occasions) to figure out they were wrong and 2. because {bank} charges you $35 repetitively making it even harder to get back in the black. In the end I do not regret spending the money that overdrew the account because it shouldn't have been an overdraft when I made the charge since I thought an unemployment check was coming in, and also because it put food on the table for my family.

    April 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  90. James Burton

    Credit Card Complaints-

    1. Due date for a payment is on a Sunday, but an ONLINE Saturday or Sulnday payment of the minimum amount due will not post until Monday.

    2. Statement indicates the total amount due, including interest. When that amount is paid, the following month's statement shows some additional interest due on the fully-paid account.

    April 23, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  91. Sheri Johnson

    We have a 3rd sales contract "in process" with {company} Mortgage Loss Mitigation department. We have been in active pursuit to sell this house under their "Short Sale" guidelines for 22 months. The bank refuses to communicate, nothing gets done and the sales contracts expire and potential buyers look elsewhere. The house has depreciated $60K since we presented our first short sale contract plus running up fees and interest of $65K.

    Now I get a foreclosure notice (while a sales contract is in process) so they can foreclose and file a default judgment against us for the difference of the loan and what they get from the highest bidder. I am wondering if this is breach of duty of care, neglect, and/or fraud?

    Our credit was great before we took our mortgage companies advice to do a short sale 22 months ago. Because of the bad credit we now have because of {company's} incompetence and neglect, the credit card companies have all lowered our credit limits and charging us fee's when we go over the new limits. We have liquidated everything, IRA, 401K, and our savings to fix up this house and not go through foreclosure.

    Foreclosure date is May 5th, 2009 yet {company} still tells us our Sales Contract is being reviewed.

    Would anyone from CNN like to go with us to the Courthouse Foreclosure proceeding on May 5th, 2009 in Lawrenceville, Georgia?

    April 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  92. Barbara DanfordHirsch

    I have a 28.99% interest rate on my {company} visa. $5400 limit. So my finance chgs can be about the same as the payment required. So if I don't pay both as an actual minimum, automatically I can go over limit & voila! $39 overlimit fee! Original card was purchased by {company}, who found me a good enough client to raise my limit a few times. {company 1} bought {company 2} Rates up up up for every category, like late payment: on the West Coast, if you make your payment after 1:00pm PST, your payment posts the next day because {company} does business on East Coast time. So a payment can be late even if made on correct date PST! I've used card to cover surprised few extra expenses since diagnosed with leukemia & receiving a transplant to survive, unable to work, on disability but I am reliable to pay charged amount + payment due. At least 1/3 of what's owed is due to interest. I do not use it at all now. Can I talk them down? Sure make $500/month payments (on $1000/mo disability no less) to make sure I don't go over limit & they could talk about reduction in 6 months OR I can work with their credit counseling and give up all my cards & income control to reduce or freeze interest. This just sounds loan sharky. Does it make sense to charge more fees, making it more difficult for payments on existing amounts, making it more likely to get talked into {company's} "credit counseling" as I have? I make more than minimum payments, did not choose to have leukemia or this income level so I don't feel delinquent as I have been termed. I have another Visa w/a credit union. No problems. 13.99% rate. They work with me.

    April 23, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  93. Meredith

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    But with three months of Obama's continued effort and work from January 20 through April 20, that is 3 months, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Obama has done more in his first 3 months than any other president has done in their first 3 months. If Obama continues at this rate, we could be #1 again.

    April 23, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
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  97. Brain Doc

    You only post comments that are consistent with your political agendas. this does not embody freedom of speech nor freedom of the press. My topic was not published why? Neutrality in posting I thought was your policy with the exception of things that were illegal, threatening etc. If we are to progress in this nation the sounding boards should not be censored to discussions about public policies. Maybe another news network will be credited with serving the intellectual (non sensationlist) public. A pity, I thought CNN was at the forefront of objective media.


    An American Neurologist

    April 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  98. Charles R. Castle

    Another example of CC Co. abuse – I am disabled and sick some times with difficulty with memory. I have a MasterCard and Visa with {company}. The VIsa I have a high limit $3K and the MC $800.00 for plane tickets, or small household items. I am disabled and manage to pay on time & try to pay new purchase + previous months balance+$150.00 on the actual bill

    I use bill pay from my bank. One month I could not get to online banking so I called my bank and had them make payments for me I could only guess the amounts as I did not have the ability to get my billing. I was short in Feb 2008 54 Cents on my Febuary bill, My interest rate on that card jumped to almost 25%. My

    My MC with the same bank remains about 13% so with the same bank I have 24% on one Credit card and 13% on the other. I called to complain and they told me I had to wait to 1/2009 to call and ask for a reduction. I was told that they do not change the percentages as they are review once a year and adjustments are made. They also reported to the Credit Agencies that I asked for a increase in my line of credit which is being corrected.

    In conclusion, The Bank lied about the interest rate review, they raised the rate almost 10 point in July of 2008. Yet no lowering of interest occur in 2009.

    {Company} has made a false report stating I asked for an increase in my line of credit. There has been no lowering of that HUGE interest rate increase. I have a MasterCard inched up to 13%.

    I have had these accounts one for almost 12 years the other about 8 to the best of my recollection. This is how badly the citizens of this country are treating their excellent clients. I am relaying my story to Rep. Carol Maloney NY , Sen.Christopher Dobb CT . It is about time to have a president that is doing things for the MAJORITY of US Citizens and the disabled.

    This at a time when our tax payers are being lent to these FAILING Bank's by their own actions, and borrowing a 0.00%, I applaud to speak for the average Americans. This president has done more under 100 days that the Bush II administration did in 14 years. He also reads his daily briefing memo's CNN all are doing a great Job as well as the competition

    Charles R. Castle
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    all information I have given to you in this post may be used without any further need to request my permission.

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    April 23, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
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    April 23, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  100. Alicia

    We do not currently have a home on the market; however, we are considering it. We are upside down by almost $100,000 on our home. We have an adjustable rate mortgage set to make it's first adjustment on June 1. Our payment will be going up by $881 per month. I have been calling our lender since December and telling them we know we cannot make the new payment. We have been redirected to several different places in the company. On two separate occasions by two separate customer service agents I was told to "Get a job" and "you spend too much money on groceries". The agents have no compassion and are RUDE. On both occasions the agents used derogatory tones of voice. The lack of consideration and concern is disgusting. We are educated people, not trying to get out of any obligation. We are trying to do the right thing and the lender does not care. Why shouldn't we just walk away from our home like so many other americans are doing?

    April 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
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    Mr. Philip Elliott has the best idea I have heard recently and I think it bears repeating here:

    "Given the tightness of credit, credit card companies realize that individuals will have difficulty moving their high interest balances and that they can raise rates and fees at will. The only way to stop these huge increases is to have a serious alternative to re-introduce genuine competition to the system.

    Credit card companies claim they need these high interest rates because of the risk of default. If the government were to offer pay-off loans that went directly to credit card companies, even at 8-10%, many individuals, who are committed to and want to pay off their credit cards, would take out these loans, even if they realize, like student loans or taxes, they could not be discharged by bankruptcy.

    This would help infuse capital into credit card companies and their parent banks, without government oversight of those banks. The problem for these credit card companies is that these are the very consumers that credit card companies count on to offset losses from those consumers who are much more willing to walk away from accumulated debt."

    Kudos to a great blog!

    April 23, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  102. John Maddox

    How will the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler affect the Military and First Responders?

    There are a lot of media outlets constantly regurgitating the same story and options about the impact of a possible failure of the auto industry. However, no one mentions or investigates the impact to the Military and First Responders (federal law enforcement, state and local police and government fleets).

    April 23, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
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    As someone that has worked hard to get out of debt and maintain his credit i am saddend that I will soon pay more for the credit benefits that I receive and use.

    If interest rate hikes are limited all credit will cost more from the outset.
    If charging people who do not pay more is limited those that pay on time and per the agreement will pay more from the outset.
    If imposing fees is limited we will see more fees upfront, no more cards without annual fees, fewer points and cash back awards, etc.

    Thanks government for "looking out" for me.

    April 24, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  104. Chip

    I have had a {bank} credit card since 2003, with a fixed 7.9% APR. In January, they increased the APR to 24%, if and only if I use the card to make any transactions after January. On top of that, they decreased my limit by $1100. I have never made a late payment, and I have always paid well over the minimum payment. Now, instead of having a credit card to use in case of emergencies, I have only my checking and savings accounts to rely on. How is it fair that my tax dollars are shoring up their bad investments while they continue to try to swindle more money out of my pocket, which is hindering the ability to finance my own needs?

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  105. Brain Doc

    What about the legalization of marijuana? How come the media doesn’t cover the recent scientific evidence that demonstrates how Marijuana does not cause nor is related to increased risk of lung, head and neck cancer. Also there are recent studies that show marijuana is an antioxidant and can prevent the development of Alzheimers in addition to decreasing the inflammation/plaquing in the brain related to various disorders including(but not limited to): Multiple sclerosis, acute strokes. There is also recent evidence that shows it has neurogenesis properties.
    As a physician I cannot eliminate useful therapies for my patients and there exists no evidence that the use of marijuana is physically harmful, nor related to any violent crime trends. Can you start a blog, story on this? Too many people could benefit from this therapeutically, not to mention if taxed properly could provide an alternative revenue stream (which we desperately need right now) as compared to cigarette’s, which are legal, and cost the American taxpayer over a billion dollars in healthcare related expenses last year, and are indisputably related to increased risk in all the above cancers and most others.
    Please let the American Taxpayers decide. If the truth is known, like it already is widely accepted in the medical community, this could help America on many levels.

    April 24, 2009 at 11:27 am |
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    Credit card payments and late fees are a big issue for me and my family as well. My husband was a victim of a crime and therefore could not work for six months, and they still never waived even one late fee. The point I am trying to make is that no matter what situation an individual is in, the credit card (companies) never try to work with them until they can no longer pay or are trying to commit bankruptcy. In essence, what do these companies think they can do if all persons decided, since they can never get a break, to just stop paying?

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    I found this article very interesting...please read!

    Do you remember the blockbuster hit film The Matrix that was released in 1999? You may not know this, but it has deep spiritual implications concerning the times we are living in and Bible prophecy.

    It tells a story of how these "agents" are trying to turn us into machines. We are closer then ever before for this to become a reality when they cause us to receive an implantable microchip in our body during a time when physical money will be no more.

    You may have seen on NBC news concerning the implantable RFID microchip that some people are getting put in their hand to make purchases, but did you know this microchip matches perfectly with prophecy in the Bible?

    "He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name...

    You also may have heard of the legendary number "666" that people have been speculating for possibly thousands of years on what it actually means. This article shares something I haven't seen before, and I don't think there could be any better explanation for what it means to calculate 666. This is no hoax. Very fascinating stuff!

    ...Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666" (Revelation 13:16-18 NKJV).

    To see all the details showing why the Bible foretold of all these things, check out this article!


    GOD is sending out His end time warning:

    "Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name'" (Revelation 14:9-11).

    In the Islamic religion they have man called the Mahdi who is known as their messiah of whom they are waiting to take the stage. There are many testimonies from people online who believe this man will be Barack Obama who is to be the biblical Antichrist based off dreams they have received. I myself have had strange dreams about him like no other person. So much so that I decided to share this information.

    He came on stage claiming to be a Christian with no affiliation to the Muslim faith...

    "In our lives, Michelle and I have been strengthened by our Christian faith. But there have been times where my faith has been questioned - by people who don't know me - or they've said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing," – Barack Obama

    ...but was later revealed by his own family members that he indeed is a devout Muslim.

    So what's in the name? The meaning of someones name can say a lot about a person. God throughout history has given names to people that have a specific meaning tied to their lives. How about the name Barack Obama? Let us take a look at what may be hiding beneath the surface...

    "And He (Jesus) said to them (His disciples), 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven'" (Luke 10:18).

    In the Hebrew language we can uncover the meaning behind the name Barack Obama.

    Barack, also transliterated as Baraq, in Hebrew is: lightning

    baraq – Biblical definition:

    From Strongs H1299; lightning; by analogy a gleam; concretely a flashing sword: – bright, glitter (-ing, sword), lightning. (Strongs Hebrew word H1300 baraq baw-rawk')

    Barak 'O'bamah, The use of bamah is used to refer to the "heights" of Heaven.

    bamah – Biblical definition:

    From an unused root (meaning to be high); an elevation: – height, high place, wave. (Strongs Hebrew word H1116 bamah baw-maw')

    The day following the election of Barack Obama (11/04/08), the winning pick 3 lotto numbers in Illinois (Obama's home state) for 11/5/08 were 666.

    Obama was a U.S. senator for Illinois, and his zip code was 60606.

    Seek Jesus while He may be found...repent, confess and forsake your sins and trust in the savior! Jesus says we must be born again by His Holy Spirit to enter the kingdom of God...God bless!

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