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Two takes on credit card firms

October 05, 2008

The Sept. 28 Consumer Confidential column, "Banks love bailout, hate credit card curbs," was especially well-considered and timely.

I've had the good luck and good judgment to remain debt free, but I had the sorry experience of watching as credit card companies drove one friend into bankruptcy over medical debt.

I understand that's a fairly common occurrence, and I think it's disgraceful.

These companies must be regulated to force them to return to fair business practices.

Anne Watson

Olympia, Wash.

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The column states: "The legislation -- HR 5244 -- would, among other things, end card issuers' self-proclaimed right to change interest rates at any time. Instead, a 45-day notice would be required for any increase."

Interest rates are the price card issuers charge for the product they sell: credit. Why does every other business have the "self-proclaimed" right to change prices but card issuers don't?

Like all price-ceiling legislation, this will have one guaranteed effect: a shortage of credit.

Peter Wilson

Los Angeles

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