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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 4, 2020 08:24 AM
From: Representative Maria P. Donatucci
To: All House members
Subject: COVID-19 Consumer Credit Card Interest Amnesty Program
The novel Coronavirus has impacted the lives of all Pennsylvanians. Not a single family has escaped the devastating reach of COVID-19, whether it was losing a family member or friend to this horrible virus, or having to go without a paycheck. 

During this difficult time, the financial burden to put food on the table and to keep a roof over their family’s heads, has forced many breadwinners to rely on their credit cards to make ends meet. Many Pennsylvanians who never have done so in their lives, have been forced to live off of their credit cards. 

For most families, this means watching the interest compound monthly, while they attempt to make the minimum payments, so that they can use the credit card to keep themselves and their family fed for another few weeks.

While federal stimulus money and unemployment compensation will be helpful to families when it arrives, it is not going to address the one to two months of increased credit card debt, and ever-growing interest that families see each month when they open their credit card bills.

I am offering a proposal that would ask credit card companies to be part of the solution. My bill would allow us to take steps to stop the charging of interest on credit cards for debt incurred during the pandemic. 

My bill would make it a violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law for a financial institution or credit card company to deny a request by an individual to waive interest on credit card charges incurred or owed by that person during the COVID-19 disaster emergency issued by the Governor.

This proposal asks that credit card companies step up to the plate with a solution that they routinely offer to responsible consumers facing hardships.
I ask for your support in helping hard-working Pennsylvanians to be able to afford to live, and not to suffer the financial consequences of COVID-19 for years to come.

Introduced as HB2499