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Obama Warns Credit Card Issuers on "Sharp Practice"

Unfair terms and conditions are worsening consumers' indebtedness, President says in industry meeting.

"We want to preserve the credit card market, but we want to do so in a way that eliminates a lot of the abuses that people are feeling," President Obama said Thursday afternoon, after a closed-door meeting with banks and other representatives of the credit card industry. I trust that those in the industry who want to act responsibly will engage with us in a constructive fashion, and that we're going to get this done in short order," Obama said, in what was interpreted as a pointed message to card issuers.

"The days of any time, any reason rate hikes and late fee traps have to end," Obama said, in the top video clip in this Yahoo report.

The President recently seen in an Associated Press video, said that consumers who fall into credit card debt out of fecklessness are in the minority, victims of "sharp practice" composing the majority. Terms and conditions, which used to fit on one page 10 years ago, now may run to 30 pages, he added.

Obama noted yesterday that the average U.S. household has "more than $10,000 in credit card debt," which, the White House says, has increased by 25 percent in the past 10 years.

Bank technology industry analysts have projected that there will be a big increase in the use of prepaid debit cards, as consumers try to curb their use of credit.

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