profligate lenders continue abuse

by problembear

anne opened her mail today after a long shift as an RN at St. Patrick’s hospital. one of the envelopes contained in the slew of junk mail looked a little ominous. in the right hand corner of the envelope were the words “account information enclosed.”  anne placed the mail on the dining room table and let her little dog out. she lives alone with her small terrier/poodle cross named Izzie who anne rescued from the dog pound 7 years ago. she lives very modestly in a nice apartment with a view of the clark fork river. her life is busy. she volunteers at the food bank on her days off and her friends keep her busy with church activities and outdoor hiking on weekends. a very used book by Kim Williams entitled Book Of Uncommon Sense lies prominently on the cluttered coffee table in front of her comfy recliner.

it was a couple of hours later when anne finally opened her mail and read the fine print contained in the envelope. her JC Penney card which she used for modest clothing and linen purchases had a current balance of $653.46. anne always paid her bill early or on time and she always paid at least triple the minimum. her current credit limit is $1500.00. the first announcement in the summary of changes stated that anne’s current rate of 12% will immediately be increased to a new standard rate of 22.85%. the credit card company gave no reason for the change. the summary of changes had other surprises for anne like shortening the time by which she must pay the minimum payment to avoid a late payment fee from 30 to 23 days. also, interest will be compounded on a daily rather than monthly basis.

anne felt abused as a customer of JC Penney and she felt abused as an american worker who pays her bills on time and expects to be treated fairly. she will vote for obama in november because she is tired of being taken advantage of by large corporations like GE Capital who sent her this notice today because they have just purchased all the credit card accounts from JC Penney Corp. anne is tired of hearing about the corruption and predatory lending practices of  banks and credit card companies like GE Capital. she hopes that change in washington will also include reining in the predatory lending practices that have been encouraged to flourish under the Bush administration. anne feels that obama knows that what this company is doing to her is wrong and she is certain she can trust him to bring some integrity back to business practices in america again. meanwhile, anne will take some money out of savings and work some overtime to pay the card off over the next few months and she is certain she will never set foot in JC Penney’s again. i believe her and if you have ever seen the determined look that a seasoned RN can muster you would believe her too. after all, anne reminds me, she works in a cancer ward. Mr. Bush himself would wither under the look of anne’s eyes peering at him over her reading glasses tonight. and i would not recommend anyone ever giving anne a conservative right wing lecture on allowing the credit industry to remain unregulated.

with notices like these going out to 25 million JC Penney card holders and the accompanying anger sure to grow from this bold move, i do not envy the chances for mccain/palin in november.

obama votes on predatory lending. obama’s plan to address predatory lending.


  1. goof houlihan

    How JC Penneys and John McCain are tied together is unknown and unexplained in this anecdote.

  2. that is anne’s and my opinion, goof. and like john wayne said “i’m not in the habit of explainin’ myself and i’m not about to start with the likes of you.”

    but seriously- John mccain’s record on his pro business glued-to-the-side-of-Bush record is pretty clear. mccain likes government to get out of the way while companies like GE Capial screw people like anne.

  3. --dhc--

    “anne feels that obama knows that what this company is doing to her is wrong and she is certain she can trust him to bring some integrity back to business practices in america again.”

    Why exactly does Anne feel that way?

  4. --dhc--

    “mccain likes government to get out of the way while companies like GE Capial screw people like anne.”

    I think it would be much more accurate to say that McCain likes government to get involved in actively giving tax cuts to and passing legislation that favors companies like GE capital. In an America where business was actually allowed to run free, unencumbered *and unaided* by government, less predatory lenders would take business over from more predatory ones. As it stands, I’m sure there are a myriad of legislative loopholes that allow GE Capital to be more mor efficient and profitable than their competitors, which means they can take over their competitors’ businesses.

    I’m certainly glad Anne is taking her business elsewhere. If all 25 million JC Penny cardholders did the same, the story would end differently than it inevitably will: with millions who aren’t as observant or as smart as Anne falling victim to their lifestyles of accumulation and spiraling into situations they can’t escape from.

  5. anne feels this way because the bush administration has allowed these practices to proliferate and mccain has agreed with bush.

  6. --dhc--

    Right, couldn’t agree more than Bush sucks and McCain is like bush, but what has given her the impression that Obama is significanly *unlike* Bush?

    –dhc–

  7. I guess you have the audacity to hope…because if you can’t do that – given that we agree that Bush sucks and McCain is like Bush – then you may as well give up.

  8. links to address your questions added above, dhc.

  9. --dhc--

    I do, indeed, hope Mr. Obama is who he says he is, and does what he’s promised to do, but somehow I doubt it. He’s already begun to change his stance to suit situations as they present themselves. One relatively minor example I can think of is his saying “I am not a nuclear energy proponent” last December, and then “I favor nuclear power” in the 2nd presidential debate. A more pertinent example is his sudden acceptance of donations from corporate entities soon after Hillary was out of the picture. I don’t know whether he ever vocally claimed this as a virtue, but I know that my good friend, a rabid and attentive Obama supporter, often bragged that the man didn’t accept corporate money until he suddenly decided to, at which point my friend became despondent for a moment before promptly forgetting about it.

    Real hope is still alive in this country, but no longer in this election, I’m afraid. The last couple of debates have made me sick to my stomach. I held some hope for Obama, but I’ve cringed as instead of rising above the same old mud-slinging, he’s given that lowest form of politicking quite a go. Is it really necessary that the two of them disagree vehemently with each others’ every spoken word? Do they really need to stand smugly looking down their noses at each other as they take turns flinging insults across the floor and over the airwaves?

    The two of them may have different ideas of how the government should become more embroiled in the lives of the people of this country, but they are not different from one another, and neither is different from what we’ve had before. Both have succumbed to the siren song of possible election and have decided to play the part their handlers think may accomplish that.

    I suppose if we’re going to have a corporate puppet running the country, he might as well be a good public speaker. I’ve lost all real hope in the two false choices that are presented to use every election cycle, though.

    –dhc–

  10. maybe people would have a little more hope if we tackled one thing at a time and worked on change for that one thing. one of my pet concerns is the lending industry in this country. we can do better. obama is the best choice available to help me fix that so i will vote for obama.

    one advantage of being a bear with very little brain is i don’t get caught up in too much hand-wringing or soul-searching. i know my limitations and i try to set doable goals for myself, dhc. they are not lofty goals either- just small goals one at a time and if we work together each with one brick we can build change but it will take time. bush and the greed-heads who supported him have left a huge mess to clean up. try to see this as an opportunity to join in and do your part (however small) to help rather than grouse about how imperfect everything is.

  11. i like practical. i like down to earth. i like pragmatic solutions. it sure beats the financial theorists, milataristic profiteers and religious zealots who run the administration now.

    binky- the advantages of keepin’ it real will become all too clear when Colin Powell and warren buffet step up to the plate.

    at that point the complete and utter destruction of the dead elephant will be accomplished. leaving the rest of us to rebuild what it has destroyed.




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