Biden’s New Plan to Slash Credit Card Late Fees Could Save Americans $9 Billion per Year

President Joe Biden desires to rein in what his administration sees as extreme late charges charged by credit card companies. Biden is asserting a brand new rule on Wednesday that may decrease bank card charges to $8 for a late cost, down from the present $41 restrict.

Why it issues

Americans are charged about $12 billion annually in bank card late charges, in accordance to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal watchdog company. The charges range by issuer, however usually are the equal of the minimal month-to-month cost quantity for the primary missed cost — up to a max of $30 — and up to $41 for subsequent missed funds. The CFPB is the federal government physique answerable for proposing the brand new rule, which might not require Congressional approval.

  • The CFPB estimates the rule would scale back late charges charged to bank card holders by upwards of $9 billion per yr.
  • The company is accumulating public touch upon the proposal, and the small print might change primarily based on the feedback it receives.
  • The rule might go into impact as early as 2024.

CFPB Director Rohit Chopra outlined the brand new rule to reporters on a name Tuesday, forward of Biden’s announcement.

“By our estimates, 75% of late charges — $9 billion — haven’t any goal past padding the bank card firms’ earnings,” Chopra said on the press name.

Key context

The CFPB says this new rule is an effort to shut a loophole within the 2009 Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, which was handed by Congress to, partly, improve disclosures and restrict charges for customers.

  • However, after its passage, the Federal Reserve added an “immunity provision” on sure charges just like the late cost charge, permitting bank card firms to cost what the CFPB now sees as unreasonably excessive late charges.
  • The present cap to these particular late charges which are immune from the CARD Act rise yearly primarily based on inflation. The CFPB additionally desires to finish that provision.

“We discovered that, over time, this loophole has morphed right into a multi-billion greenback bonanza,” Chopra stated.

The new proposal is the most recent effort from the Biden administration to curb what it calls “junk fees.”

Other junk charges within the Biden administration’s sights embody fees for overdrafts, non-sufficient funds and bounced checks in addition to different charges levied by cellphone service suppliers, resorts and airways.

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