Credit Card Practices and Consumer Debt

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Debt counselors around the region say they’re seeing an increasing
number of people with credit card interest rates exceeding 30 percent
balances they can’t possibly pay. Congressman
Peter Welch says he’s been getting an earful from Vermont consumers and
retailers who are fed up with what he calls "unfair bait-and-switch
by the credit card industry. Welch supports a Credit Cardholders’ Bill
Rights, which seeks to protect consumers from predatory credit card
But some bankers warn that tampering with credit card pricing formulas
mean higher rates for people who do pay their bills on time.

We talk with Congressman Welch about his hopes for a legislative
solution, and with consumer finance expert Karen Gross, the president of Bennington’s Southern
Vermont College, about how consumers can protect themselves and how the system
could become more balanced and transparent.(Listen)

Also on the program, Candace Page of the Burlington Free
Press fills us in on spotted salamanders, vernal pools and the amphibious mating
rites of spring. (Listen)

And Burlington
comedienne Martha Tormey ruminates on confidentiality and what happens when the ethics of professional
life and private life collide. (Listen)

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