The New York Post recently reported that Brooklyn State Civil Court Judge Noach Dear has roiled attorneys representing major credit card companies, as they assert that he routinely dismisses cases against those who have defaulted on their credit card payments.
One plaintiff attorney even charged Judge Dear with “prejudice, impropriety, lack of impartiality and bias,” but this issue demands further examination.
During the throes of this economic downturn when unemployment rates are still staggering; when foreclosures are on the rise because making the monthly mortgage payments proves untenable for many; when bills pertaining to exorbitant healthcare costs keep piling up, the question put to the credit card companies and the banks that issue them is: Why, oh why, do you institute an annual percentage rate of 50 percent on new card holders and student card holders? Why do you institute annual fees and balance transfer fees that choke the public?
We are cognizant of the fact that the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac housing loan debacle to those who were not credit worthy caused banks to collapse and Wall Street to take severe hits. We are aware that credit card companies would like to recoup losses and that stringent credit criteria has been instituted, but bear in mind that the excessive profits that you are accruing on the backs of those who struggle to financially stay afloat and make their monthly expenses gives new meaning to word avarice.
Having debt hanging over one’s head is many people’s worst nightmare. When someone has undergone a battery of tests relating to a medical crisis and the bills related to their costs start flying in faster than the speed of sound and medical insurance companies remain adamant on not covering the charges, then the last thing a person needs is to be hounded by the likes of AmEx or VISA. Your threatening and incessant robo calls to customers and your lawsuits only create a new and profitable industry for debt counseling and management companies and place undue pressure on the economically-strapped.
For these reasons and much more, we applaud Judge Dear as the “champion of the underdog,” a man who clearly understands the pained voice of “Joe Public” and who has little sympathy for rampant corporate greed. So, if the attorneys for the plaintiffs in these lawsuits feel like they are being stonewalled, if they feel that Judge Dear is not meting out equitable justice for their clients, then we would suggest that you and others of your ilk petition the policy makers at the credit card companies that employ you to “get with it,” stop thinking only about profit margins, and start thinking about a solid plan to institute manageable interest rates that your consumers can afford. Yes, consumers make mistakes, and should be accountable. But it’s hard to feel sympathy for corporations whose business model is based on little more than legalized usury, and whose profits are derived from the misery of consumers.