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Cooper supports U.S. agency to oversee financial consumer services

Posted October 14, 2009

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— North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper on Wednesday backed a new federal agency that would serve as a clearinghouse for all issues consumers have with banks and credit card companies.

"Irresponsible and unfair loans have paved the way to the financial meltdown that we're working to recover from now," Cooper told reporters in downtown Raleigh. "Adding to the pain for consumers and our economy are rapidly changing terms on credit cards along with high overdraft fees."

Cooper: U.S. agency needed for financial services Cooper: U.S. agency needed for financial services

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee, meanwhile, also met Wednesday to debate H.R. 3126, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009, which would create a consumer financial agency to corral several oversight agencies into a single, independent agency to set rules for the financial services industry

Cooper says it is long overdue.

The attorney general's office has received 662 complaints this year – triple the number from three years ago – about financial services, which include concerns about bank overdraft fees, late payment fees, rate increases, restrictions on access to credit lines, insufficient fund fees and monthly maintenance fees.

But there is not much the state can do, he said, because they are federal issues. A federal consumer protection financial agency could help.

"There is often little help provided to consumers," he said. "This is frustrating and confusing, and it's only getting worse."

Cooper also said he supports allowing the state's laws against predatory lending to be applied to all financial institutions rather than less stringent federal laws.

14 Comments

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  • tgw Oct 14, 2009

    Come on folks, there is enough blame to go around on this deal. Barnie Fa.. and Chris Dodd surely were in the pockets of some lenders including Franklin Rains and Freedie Mae and Freedie Mac. They pressed other lenders to make poor loans irregardless
    of who could pay them back. Lenders took some wierd loans without coercion from the government.
    No one expected the housing price bubble to burst like it did-so vastly-so quickly. No one knew how big the bonuses were going to lender executives.
    So let's not point to quickly. Remember, then you point a finger, 3 are pointed back at you.
    Concerning a new agency for consumers, we already have cosumer protection agencies. Banking Commission, Consumer protection Why do we need more? Use what's there already.

    And this is not a republican or democrat issue. This is an everybody issue.

  • Outside the Beltline Oct 14, 2009

    I think we need all the regulation we can get on these irresponsible lenders. While we're at it, I hope someone takes some action to break up some of these companies that are considered "too big to fail."

    We definitely need contracts that allow both parties the same rights regarding credit and lending. We need to have a fair rating agency that will allow people to know if a business is conducting its operations on the up-and-up. Something like a health department for lenders would be fantastic. I'd love to go to a lender that had a 95.0/100 rating and know for certain that my money and rates were safe.

    While they're at it, a governmental credit rating agency for consumers would be even better. As it is, the three credit reporting agencies out there have far too much power to affect individual's lives with their erratic proprietary credit ratings and scores. I'd love to see a government body to balance them out.

  • prodigalrn Oct 14, 2009

    Actually, there are some things I'd like to see the government change with the banking system. When you or I sign a contract, we can't go changing the terms of that contract, we pay the payments we signed up for, and on a certain schedule. If we default, we are charged a penalty. But banks can change the terms of their side of the contract at their pleasure. No reason, except they want to. I had a 8.9% credit card, with a very modest balance on it, where I always paid on time and paid way more than the minimum each month. The bank sent me a letter and said that they were raising the interest rate to 18.99%. When I called to ask them why, they merely answered, 'we are making market-corrections with our credit card subsidiary.' What? I'd like it to be where if a credit card issuer gives you a credit card at a certain rate, they cannot raise that rate until the current card expires, unless you give them reason to, i.e., miss a payment, etc. To me, that's only fair.

  • ckblackm Oct 14, 2009

    timothycapwell-"It's true: "Conservatism is a mental disorder".

    Fixed that for ya.

  • Seeminglyopposed Oct 14, 2009

    Not everyone who borrow money and can not repay are irresponsible. The majority of the ones who are pointing fingers are the ones who are making the big bucks without worries. And if the greedy would not want to be greedier, these fees would make it easier for those who are trying to repay to repay the loans on time because it is not causing these money hungry people these outlandish amounts of late fees they are charging so they can get billion dollar bonuses each year.

  • RedStatesManWatts Oct 14, 2009

    timothycapwell-"It's true: "Liberalism is a mental disorder".

    AMEN BROTHER!

  • time4real Oct 14, 2009

    another Roy Cooper moment. Your next Governor!

  • WHEEL Oct 14, 2009

    Cooper just wants someone else to do his job so he can spend more time on the TV.

  • timothycapwell Oct 14, 2009

    The government forced the banks to loan to people who could never pay the loans back, so now the democrat party wants the banks to pay the consequences and "protect" these poor, put-upon souls. Spare me. It's true: "Liberalism is a mental disorder".

  • ncguy71 Oct 14, 2009

    Just what we need - more government.

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