Consumers that have worked for the last few years to get out from under ever-mounting credit card debt are about to get help from the federal government.
The Senate passed the long-awaited financial reform bill 60-39 and now all that’s required for it to become law is the signature of President Barack Obama, which should come sometime next week. Part of the bill will create the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a part of the Federal Reserve System that will oversee the way banks approach lending on everything from credit cards to mortgages.
“These reforms will help make sure that banks are serving the needs of their customers, not taking advantage of them,” said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “These reforms will benefit the prudent and constrain the imprudent. Strong banks, the well-managed financial innovators, will adapt and thrive under the new rules of the road.”
The new bureau’s power to regulate lending practices is unprecedented, and its goal is to eliminate practices banks have used that are considered predatory or harmful to consumers.