- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 23, 2009

President Obama said Thursday he will work with Congress to create more “clarity and transparency” in the credit card industry, which has led consumers into heavy debt and the U.S. economy into a doomed bubble-and-bust economy.

Mr. Obama made his remarks after meeting at the White House with leaders of the credit card industry.

“I am confident that we can come up with something that is common sense-ical,” he said.

Mr. Obama called for a three-fold plan of ending unfair increases in interest rates and late fees, having all customer forms and statements in plain language and ensuring that credit-card contracts are easily accessible to consumers so they can shop for the best deal.

Roughly 80 percent of U.S. households have credit cards and carry a debt of more than $10,000. The national delinquency rate has now reached about 4 percent.

Mr. Obama during his presidential campaign called for credit-card reform. But the issue recently returned to the forefront when Bank of American and other card-issuers unexpectedly notified customers of rate increases.

Mr. Obama said that tougher regulations alone is not the answer and that the government must provide better oversight and more effective enforcement of the industry.

The president said his economic team will work with Congress, but he did not propose deadlines.

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