Friday, May 1, 2009

Bank Shots

Credit consumers had a good news/bad news day.

The Senate handed a victory to the banking industry on Thursday, defeating a Democratic proposal that would have given homeowners in financial trouble greater flexibility to renegotiate the terms of their mortgages.

The House of Representatives, meanwhile, overwhelmingly approved a bill backed by the Obama administration that would limit the ability of credit card companies to charge high fees and penalties. The bill, approved 357 to 70, still faces obstacles in the Senate, where — as the action on Thursday illustrated — the industry has more clout, particularly among Republicans and moderate Democrats. In recent days the White House, partly in response to polls showing the significant public outrage over high fees charged by credit card companies, has begun to work for its passage.

Maybe if the banks and credit card companies didn’t make the customers feel like they were getting screwed with their pants on, it wouldn’t have come to this in the first place. This is what happens when the folks at Bank of America and Citibank cornhole their customers while they’re taking billions of dollars in federal bailouts. Now they’re whining about having to print their statements in 12-point font. Set it to music; you brought it all on yourselves.

(Why, yes, I do have a bone to pick with Bank of America and their “generous” offer, and Citibank and their doubling of my APR. Why do you ask?)