Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on May 14th, 2009 :: 7:44:55 to 7:52:30
Total video length: 9 hours 49 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Claire McCaskill

7:44:43 to 7:45:05( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: significant and serious and protracted trying to get through it without burdening any of us and without any of us really realizing she got in a hole with credit card companies. once i figured out that she had gotten in the hole, i set about the business of trying to help. and i have a law degree.

Claire McCaskill

7:44:55 to 7:52:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Claire McCaskill

Claire McCaskill

7:45:06 to 7:45:28( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i'm not a shy person. someone who's willing to say what i think, and i helped write law at the state level. and i think i understand contract law. and as i began to get through all the fine print and deal with the credit card companies that she was indebted to, i became more and more

Claire McCaskill

7:45:29 to 7:45:49( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and i began to realize what has happened with unsecured debt in america through credit card companies. there's a lot of bait and switch that goes on. there's a desire to get a hold of the credit card customer that never pays principal. my mom was a dream customer because she paid like clock work in terms of minimum payment, but

Claire McCaskill

7:45:50 to 7:46:12( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: never quite had around to the principal. and then the -- the really the -- the saddest part of the story was me paying off the cards. they didn't want me to pay off the cards. i was on one call, hi been to several countries, b

Claire McCaskill

7:46:13 to 7:46:36( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: the phone call concluded, i was told it was impossible to pay off the payment with a card. they couldn't accept that check to pay off the card. it had to be sent in a separate payment. we're trying to pay off the card. they didn't want it. and then one of my favorites is -- she made a payment on a card and i paid off the balance and

Claire McCaskill

7:46:37 to 7:47:01( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: the bill came and it was a negative balance. they owed us money. but you're not going to believe it. they owed us money and guess what they did, charge us interest. i called this person on the phone. i said i'm trying to figure this out. you owes money and there is a charge for interest on the bill. and that's when began to learn the reality of trailing

Claire McCaskill

7:47:02 to 7:47:22( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: interest. it was mindboggling to me the tricks and the traps that were embded i agreements. we got an e-mail from one of my constituents -- by the way we've gotten thousands especially in the last six months. the reason i'm contacting you is because of a problem with bank corp.

Claire McCaskill

7:47:23 to 7:47:45( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i received several e-mails from bank corp. asking me to apply for a credit card. i finally did. the credit card interest rate was to be affixed at 7.99%. after the card was approved the interest rate was 7.99% for several months. then the rate was raised to 23%.

Claire McCaskill

7:47:46 to 7:48:06( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and as of july 2008 statement the interest rate was raised to .49%. i called bank corp. and with erin, the representative that answered the phone. after i was put on hold for a long period of time, i was told that, indeed, my account was in good the payments had all been made

Claire McCaskill

7:48:07 to 7:48:27( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: on time. she said that changed their lending practices. and that was the reason for the interest hike. i was told there was no lower rates availab and even though my account was in good standing, i was told that there was nothing i could do to change this and there was no protest the interest hike. and this man asked me: is this

Claire McCaskill

7:48:28 to 7:48:48( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: legal? sadly we had to tell him that every bit of it was completely legal. now, i understand the risk of unsecured debt. i understand that these banks are trying to get people. but one of my favorite parts of the hearing that we had on this subject with senator levin on the permanent subcommittees on

Claire McCaskill

7:48:49 to 7:49:09( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: investigations, one of my favorite parts is when i asked one of the credit card executives about the fact that they want to give these cards to college students. now, i'm not lying about this. this is actual testimonyhat was given in this hearing. i asked him about the fact that they were sending cards to -- and i was trying to get to the bottom of the practice where

Claire McCaskill

7:49:10 to 7:49:30( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: they were doing kickbacks to colleges in return for their lists so they could solicit the students to give them credit cards. and my favorite response was when i asked with as much sincerity as i could muster, now, i guess you find these college students a good risk for

Claire McCaskill

7:49:31 to 7:49:51( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: all of the insecured debt? and he said, yes, they're very good risks. and i'm thinking what planet is he on? i've got college students. they're no more a good risk than someone who has a horrible, horrible credit rating. they're -- they send these cards to kids because they know that

Claire McCaskill

7:49:52 to 7:50:12( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: their parents if they're in college don't want the trouble on their credit rating and they figure their parents will bail them out if they get in too deep on the credit cards and they want to hook them into the charging pattern, paying big, and payin interest only and paying them for the rest of their lives.

Claire McCaskill

7:50:13 to 7:50:33( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: we have work to do on this bill. i hope other side of the aisle join us quickly in getting to a point that we can bring this bill to a final vote. it w abusive behaviors. the ability to just ise the interest rate because maybe you missed one utility bill by accident one the practice of the trailing

Claire McCaskill

7:50:34 to 7:50:54( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: interest that you find yourself in a position that card owes you money and they still charge you interest. three amendments that i worked on with senator levin and susan collins, one is no over-limit fees. if they let you go over limit, they shouldn't charge you a fee for it. no interest on fees, and then a very important amendment that we can do credit card data

Claire McCaskill

7:50:55 to 7:51:15( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: collection. so we have more information about what are the interest rates we're paying in america? the irony of these spikes in interest rates for good credit customers is that this is occurred at a time when interest rates in our country are at a historic low.

Claire McCaskill

7:51:16 to 7:51:36( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: ben bernanke has used just about all the leverage he can to help our economy by lowering the interest rate and lowering the interest rate, and lowering the interest rate, and lowering the interest rate. these companies can borrow money at very, very low rates. but, yet, to the consumer right now those interest rates getting hiked and hiked and

Claire McCaskill

7:51:37 to 7:51:57( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: hiked and hiked. even when the person with the credit card has no indication that they present any kind of financial risk to that credit card company. we wring our hands around here about what we can do to help the people that we work for at home. we know that people are hurting right now. i'm not sure that there's any

Claire McCaskill

7:51:58 to 7:52:19( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: piece of legislation that is more important to the people at home than this credit card bill. bringing to heel these companies that are taking advantage of an unlevel playing field. a playing field that is strewn with all kinds of information that is too difficult to even understand. let's keep it simple.

Claire McCaskill

7:52:20 to 7:52:32( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: let's keep it straightforward. let's make sure the rules are available for all people to understand and let's that they are not engaged in the kind of practices that cause my

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