Current APR's are unacceptable

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Hal, Feb 22, 2001.

  1. Hal

    Hal Well-Known Member

    I am interested in spearheading a letter/email campaign to Congress regarding current APR charged by creditors for unsecured credit. The term "USURY" comes clearly to mind, as I recall unsavory types being arrested for this type of charge when I was growing up.

    The exorbitant rates (I have seen as high as 29% in some cases) are without merit. Bait and switch tactics are used in some cases, offering one APR and then concealing almost impossible conditions to keep receiving this APR in the cardholder agreement. Even a person of average intelligence has difficulty understanding all the legalese in these agreements.

    If my memory serves me, (and that does seem to be the first thing to go), some large California based banks underwent class action suits some years back for exorbitant charges in regard to ATM usage, returned check fees, etc. and I believe they lost. Although I don't recall if any laws were changed it caught the attention of the legislature.

    I am considering establishing a website to try and get this campaign underway. The more response congressional members receive from the voting public, the more attention they will pay to this matter. I realize the financial industry has a huge lobby, but it cannot hurt to try.

    I think we have taken this enough from these companies. The APR and other charges are to the point of ridiculous and we need to fight back!

    I would welcome anyone's thoughts or opinions on this idea.
  2. RichGuy

    RichGuy Guest

    RE: Current APR's are unaccept

    That sounds fine to me. We had usury laws before, and they could be reinstated by legislation.

    A couple of ideas come quickly to mind:

    (1) Subprime lenders can easily evade both usury laws and consumer awareness of APR's by simply charging exorbitant annual fees. Capital One does this, and then everyone complains about a high APR from Aspire, even though its total cost is actually less than Capital One.

    (2) Usury laws would ultimately help people who carry high balances on subprime cards with high limits. Providian immediately comes to mind. Usury laws alone wouldn't help people with smaller subprime cards from First Premier, Orchard, or Capital One. Those people would benefit more from regulation of annual fees and other fees.

    (3) Lowering fees or interest rates through lawsuits may be difficult, since those things are clearly disclosed for most cards (although, as you mention, some of the legalese can be nearly incomprehensible.) I would guess that banks are being more careful than ever to avoid legal liability. Those check-fee lawsuits could have actually helped the credit card companies by warning them in advance of significant legal issues.

    With all this in mind, I like your idea.
  3. sam

    sam Well-Known Member

    RE: cap1?

    I think you mean providian?

    Cap 1 was 19.8% which is not really out of line for subprime, its actually one of the lowest subprime apr's there are? plus they give you a grace period, and no exorbinant fees.

    Aria is the bad guy :)
  4. jason

    jason Well-Known Member

    RE: Current APR's are unaccept


    Hey bud, I need you to respond to my post above.

    You mentioned reading something about Lexington and I need to know where you saw that.



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