|May 15, 2007
Senator Judd Gregg, 393 Russell Senate Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20510
Senator John Sununu, 111 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Congressman Paul Hodes, 506 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Dear Honorable Sirs:
Last year the credit industry gleaned more revenue from fees than from finance charges. This is astonishing since finance charges appear to routinely be in the range of 20% to 30% APR. This has happened because Congress has permitted the credit industry to consolidated itself into large national entities, finance charges are now virtually unregulated, and the process is skewed to better serve the special interests and lobbyists.
To add insult to injury, Congress has appropriated the personal information of every American and given it cost-free to the credit industry under the "Fair Credit Act" et al. It should be no surprise to Congress that such legislation has virtually single-handedly enabled the engine of identity theft.
Through other laws and regulations, Congress has allowed the entire banking, credit and insurance industry to change various processes to their clear financial advantage. Such changes are: (1) reducing the 30-day "monthly" cycle to 17 days, (2) establishing virtually random due dates, (3) redefining the calendar and the definition of a "day", (4) allowing the posting payments as late as 13 days after cash is actually received, (5) having due dates on days when an institution is not even open, and at the same time allow institutions to be technically closed for posting purposes when they receive cash payments. Last year a third of creditors paid a late fee to the credit industry as a result of these new and insidious process changes thanks to the "Fair Credit Act" et al.
I contacted each of you and Senator Levin about one month ago to identify the problem and propose action items to help consumers get fair treatment from Congress. This is a follow-up to that communication. The quid pro quo concerning labor and time on my part is that I will pledge to help write a bill in proper form, testify on it if necessary, and do whatever is in my power to make something of substance happen. My children and grandchildren deserve fair treatment and you are the folks that can make it happen. The larger questions is that I need to know if a few special interests are more important than doing the right thing for every American.
My detailed questions are simple. Will any of my elected officials file a bill containing any or all of following nine clear and fair requirements to solve the credit, banking and insurance industry process inequities for consumers and which ones? I would appreciate nine yes or no answers. In the alternative, I will assume no is your answer. If this approach is offensive, I apologize for that. I am an engineer, not a politician - - my best-practice process management approach is Boolean based. It generally either resolves the gray into either a problem solution or proves the problem unsolvable. Please help to solve the problem.
1. All transactions shall be posted and credited on the actual date and time such occurred.
2. A "Business Day" and a "Banking Day" shall be a day a business in a state is generally open.
3. A billing "Due Date" shall be a "Business Day" at least 15 "Business Day"s after mailing the bill.
4. "Finance Charges" and "Interest" rates shall be considered "Usury" if in excess of a 20%.APR.
5. "Fees" shall not exceed actual incurred costs plus a nominal administrative percentage.
6. "Opt-Out" is the default status and "Opt-In" is an option if requested by a consumer in writing.
7. "Over-limit" transactions shall be refused unless authorized by a consumer in writing.
8. All "Hold" status funds shall be transferred and held in an account requested by the consumer.
9. Increases in "Finance Charges" and "Interest" rates shall be applied only to future transactions.
I would appreciate a reply by June 7, 2007. Thank you.
An email of this letter was also sent to each addressee on May 15, 2007
The message was:
"An electronic copy of my letter can be obtained at: http://solvetheproblem.info. Hard copy will be will be sent tomorrow via USPS."