In October, lawmaker asked agency to investigate misleading financial products


Washington (December 10, 2013) - Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, released the following statement after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered GE Capital Retail to refund up to $34.1 million to consumers who were victimized by misleading medical credit card enrollment practices. Since 2009, consumers who signed up for the CareCredit credit cards received an inadequate explanation of the terms, resulting in substantial debt due to a lack of understanding of the consequences of skyhigh interest rates, deferred interest, penalties, and fees associated with the credit card.


In October, Senator Markey called on the CFPB to investigate the exorbitantly high costs associated with thirdparty medical loans and credit cards. Patients, like those with CareCredit credit cards, often use these financial products in anticipation of expensive medical or dental procedures that will not be fully covered by insurance. Unfortunately, these credit cards and loans are frequently offered to vulnerable elderly or lowincome individuals, and often offered by trusted health care practitioners or facilities. 


"Deceiving patients during their vulnerable moments with misleading financial quick fixes is exploitative and immoral, and I commend the CFPB for taking action to protect consumers and their families," said Senator Markey. "Medical debt already is an unbearable burden for millions of Americans. Consumers may believe they are on a path toward physical wellness when these deceptive financial products are actually leading them toward financial ruin. The CFPB has taken an important step today in increasing transparency of these products and holding financial companies accountable for deceptive practices. I will continue to work to ensure that patients are protected."  


A copy of Senator Markey's October letter to the CFPB can be found HERE.