On January 29, Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen announced his decision to retire.  Presumably he is now free to vote his conscience rather than blindly go along with his party’s agenda against the interests of the working class in America.

On February 14, he voted to support a bill that allows usurious credit card rates to apply when loans are sold from one institution to another.  The bill, with the Orwellian title, Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act of 2017, states, “A loan that is valid when made as to its maximum rate of interest in accordance with this subsection shall remain valid with respect to such rate…regardless of state law.”  The bill was prompted by a 2015 federal court ruling, Madden v. Midland, where a judge ruled against a New York debt collector charging an interest rate of 27 percent on credit card debt purchased from a bank. The legal limit in New York is 25 percent. 

The Center for Responsible Lending says “The sole purpose of this bill is to enable nonbank lenders to use bank partnerships to override state interest rate limits. The bill poses a serious risk of enabling predatory lending and unsafe lending practices. Unaffordable loans have devastating consequences for borrowers—trapping them in a cycle of unaffordable payments and leading to harms such as greater delinquency on other bills.”

It’s sad that Frelinghuysen still cannot stand with working families of the district as he retires as their representative.