Dodd outlines bill restricting credit cards

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd and other Democrats laid out the details of a bill Tuesday that would regulate the credit card industry and protect Americans

NORWALK - Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd and other Democrats laid out the details of a bill Tuesday that would regulate the credit card industry and protect Americans from unfair interest rates and fraud.

Dodd, who is chairman of the Banking Committee, says he hopes the legislation will pass this week. President Barack Obama told the Senate he supports the proposal and would like to sign it by Memorial Day. Dodd says the bill would require credit card companies to give customers at least 45 days notice before increasing interest rates. The bill also asks credit card companies to consider lowering rates if a customer continually pays on time.

"Having deceptive and fraudulent practices being used in the conduct of credit cards is hurting individuals," Dodd says. "It's making it difficult for them to meet their obligations. It's putting them further and further behind in dealing with their issues every single day."

In addition to interest rates, the proposal calls upon credit card companies to lessen the number of pre-approved credit card applications that are sent to working families and college students. The bill would prevent companies from giving people under the age of 21 credit cards without the guarantee a parent or guardian will assume the debt if necessary.

Opponents of the bill say it would restrict credit at a time when Americans need it most.

AP wires contributed to this article.

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