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Late obligations less painful with new charge card rules

Final Round of new credit card guidelines limit late payment fees

The final package of new credit card rules went into effect Sunday. The last set for rule changes sets out to restrict overdue fees and other scams disguised as penalties. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 began the reform project, which is now complete. A limit for $25 has been placed on late payment fees under the new credit reform rules.Over the past year as new credit card rules are rolled out, credit card companies have been dramatically increasing interest rates. Another rule demands them to justify those increases to federal regulators.

Enforcement with realistic prices and also fees and penalties

The last enactment of credit reform provisions on Aug. 22 means that consumers can’t be charged more than $25 for a overdue, they are no longer charged for putting their cards in a drawer as well as they could see the interest rate jumps with the last year rolled back. CNN reports that credit card businesses must cut rates of interest if the reasons they claim for the increases no longer apply. Federal regulators will review those reasons and enforce compliance with the law. But when it comes to the $25 late fee limit, the guidelines give banks a loophole to exploit: if they determine a cardholder’s late obligations are habitual, they can exceed the $25 restrict by saying the increase is necessary to offset the economic impact with the late payment. Further checks on penalties include a rule preventing late charges from increasing above the minimum payment, or past due fees totaling more than the dollar amount charged over the credit line.

Credit card corporations dependent on fee fees

The latest round of new credit card rules could subtract $3 billion a year from credit card business bottom lines. A Wall Street Journal report on the charge card industry’s response to the restrictions said that issuers are busy upping the ante for balance transfers, cash advances, overseas charges as well as annual fees. Cardholders can also expect their minimum monthly repayments due to increase. This tactic allows card-issuers to effectively rise the restrict themselves on the late payment fee. Charge card corporations that have gotten used to huge piles for free cash from penalty costs aren’t relinquishing them without a fight . The Journal interviewed an industry executive who said last year banks siphoned approximately $11.4 billion in overdue fees from their charge card customers. The windfall is forecasted to slip to merely $8.1 billion-a 29 percent decline.

Consumers aid and abet credit card company greed

Rates of interest are raised by credit card businesses to combat the added consumer protection provided by the new credit card rules. An additional CNN report said that existing cardholders within the second quarter saw their interest rates rise to an average of 14.7 percent, 13.1 percent higher than last year . The gap between the average charge card interest rate and also the prime rate is presently 11.45 percentage points, the widest margin in 22 years as outlined by Synovate, the market research affiliate of Aegis Group. Consumers played along, spending with credit cards at the second-highest rate ever in the second quarter, according to Synovate .

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CNN

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Wall Street Journal

wsj.com

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