Honorable Steve Kagen, M.D.

Wisconsin's former 8th District Representative

January 4, 2007 to December 22, 2010

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Kagen Protects Consumers

Press Release

Media Contact:
Jake Rubin 202.225.5665


April 30, 2009

Washington, DC– Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. is protecting working families from predatory credit card companies.  Kagen voted for the Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights which would put an end to corporations taking advantage of consumers through excessive fees, inflated interest rates and unfair credit card agreements.

“For too long, consumers have been victimized by high fees, increasing interest rates and confusing credit card agreements,” said Kagen. “This legislation will protect everyone from these unfair and often abusive practices.  It would prevent companies from constantly moving the goal posts and taking advantage of people who haven’t done anything wrong.”

The Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights would prevent card companies from unfairly increasing interest rates on existing card balances and requires them to give 45 days notice of all interest rate increases, significant contract changes or new fees.

Congressman Kagen spoke on the house floor today about this legislation saying, “In these difficult economic times, all credit cardholders across the country should ask themselves, whose side are we on?  I am working hard for the families in Northeast Wisconsin who I have the honor of representing.”

The bill would end unfair penalties for cardholders who pay on time.  If a cardholder pays on time and in full, the bill would prevent card companies from piling additional fees on balances consisting solely of left-over interest. It would require card companies to mail billing statements 21 calendar days before the due date.  It also prohibits card companies from knowingly issuing cards to individuals under 18 who are not emancipated.

Kagen also spoke out in favor of ending excessive bank interchange fees that are hurting merchants throughout the country by increasing the fees associated with processing credit card transactions.

The Congressman will discuss this legislation with constituents on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM at the Harmony Cafe in Green Bay, WI.  He will be joined by Bruce Speight of WisPIRG, Alan Prahl of the Financial Information Services Center and Pat Strainis from AARP.


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