Congressman Brad Sherman

Representing the 30th District of CALIFORNIA

Reports to the Valley - October 2009

  

Oct 1, 2009
Report To The Valley

To view the full report, please click here.

Tough Rules for Wall Street

Curbing Abusive Mortgage Lending

Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights

Making College Affordable

Valley Transportation

 

Tough Rules for Wall Street

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As a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, Congressman Sherman has been working to ensure accountability and effective oversight of our financial system.  He fought against bailouts for the giants of Wall Street.  In recent years, the government failed to shield consumers from unfair and deceptive practices.  Congressman Sherman has cosponsored the bill to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) that will look out for the interests of consumers. 
The CFPA will ensure that the banks, credit card companies and other financial firms play by the rules. 

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Curbing Abusive Mortgage Lending

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Congressman Sherman supported the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act.  This bill will outlaw many of the unsound and unfair lending practices that helped cause the current housing crisis.   The bill will prohibit lenders and brokers from steering consumers into more costly loans than they are qualified to receive, and would prohibit practices that caused many foreclosures, such as balloon payments. 

This legislation passed the House of Representatives over the summer and awaits consideration in the Senate. 

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Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights

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Congressman Sherman has been working for years to protect credit cardholders.  He cosponsored the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act, which President Obama signed into law in May.  The new law bans retroactive interest rate hikes on existing balances, double-cycle billing, and due date gimmicks.  Congressman Sherman worked successfully to include a provision in the bill to require credit card companies to tell cardholders how long it will take them to pay off their credit card balance, and how much interest they will pay, if they make only the minimum monthly payment.

As of August 20, 2009, card issuers must now:

  • Provide 45 days written notice to consumers of any interest rate increases or other significant changes to the terms of a credit card account;
  • Inform consumers of their right to cancel the card before the rate hike goes into effect; and
  • Send statements to consumers 21 days before the due date of any payment.

Other changes made by the new law are not scheduled to go into force until next year. Credit card issuers are trying to take advantage of consumers in the meantime, so Sherman has cosponsored the Expedited CARD Reform for Act to move up the effective date of these reforms to December 1.

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Making College Affordable

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Sherman cosponsored the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act.  Last month, the House passed this bill which now awaits action in the Senate.  This bill would have the federal government loan money directly to students, rather than guarantee loans made by banks.  This will decrease the costs for students and their families and save taxpayers $10 billion.  The bill will also increase the maximum annual Pell Grant scholarship to $5,550.

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Valley Transportation

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Congressman Sherman worked to convince officials to direct federal and state funds toward construction of a carpool lane on the northbound 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass, and a new lane in each direction on the 5 Freeway from the 170 to the 134 Freeway.  Workers broke ground on the 405 Freeway carpool lane project in May. 

The Stimulus Bill passed by Congress early this year includes millions in federal funding to help accelerate construction on both the 405 and the 5 Freeways.  Los Angeles will also use $23.8 million from the Stimulus Bill to resurface streets throughout the San Fernando Valley next year.

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