Treat Americans right and they will pay credit card bills

It one thing to be put in a position where you can’t make your payments. Job loss, illness, or loss of a loved one is beyond our control. On the other hand it is quite another issue when your credit card company raises the monthly payment well beyond your budget.

The bank stress test results, released Thursday, suggested that the nation’s 19 biggest banks could expect nearly $82.4 billion in credit card losses by the end of 2010 under what federal regulators called an adverse economic situation.

But if unemployment breaches 10 percent, as many economists predict, the rate of uncollectible balances at some banks could far exceed that level. At American Express and Capital One Financial, around 20 percent of the credit card balances are expected to go bad over this year and next, according to stress test results. At Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, about 23 percent of card loans are expected to sour.

Card companies are afraid of the new credit card holder’s bill of rights. Sorry, but it is very late in coming, badly needed, and if card companies cannot treat Americans fairly then some Americans will simply quit making their card payments.