Obama to meet with credit card industry

Report by Joel Brown

WASHINGTON (CBS) - Credit card company executives are heading to the White House for a meeting with President Obama about practices that some critics claim are unfair.

They'll discuss fees, interest rate increases-- and a new Congressional measure that's designed to protect consumers. But the companies say -- those restrictions could end up making consumer credit cards, even more expensive.

President Barack Obama has called the leaders of the 13 biggest credit card companies to the White House. He wants to talk to them about fees and interest rate hikes-- that critics say are highway robbery.

Carol Chapman says, the interest on her credit card jumped from under two percent -- to almost 30 percent. She says they tack on your late fees and penalties. Chapman is at the point where she doesn't pay at all and is glad Congress is moving forward on a bill -- to protect card holders.

The measure would limit interest rate increases, prevent companies from charging fees for phone or internet payments... And stop penalties on consumers who pay their bills on time.

"I think someone should have done this a long time ago, stepped in and did something way before now," says Chapman.

The credit card issuers meeting with the president include companies that have received billions of tax dollars from the bank bailout -- money that was supposed to get credit flowing again."

The credit card companies argue -- new regulations would hurt their bottom line as they try to recover from the recession. They say, the economic meltdown has led to an all-time high in the number of card holders who aren't paying.

President Obama has said -- he wants new rules aimed at making credit card terms simple and fair -- but White House officials say, he will probably stay away from backing regulations that would make it harder or more expensive for Americans to get credit.


What do you think? Has the credit card industry gone too far? You can log in or register below to leave comments.

We'll be covering this story interactively on News 11 at 5 and 6. We'll share some comments on air as well as poll results.

More on the Web

Read more from CNN Money: Obama in credit card face-off. The White House meeting comes a day after credit card legislation opposed by the financial services industry moved forward on Capitol Hill. The House Financial Services Committee voted 48-19 to approve a bill to clamp down on rates and fees; nine Republicans joined the panel's Democrats in voting for it.