A recent report has revealed how there are now highs and lows for credit card users in the United States when it comes to credit card fees, charges and penalties. Officials have stated that collectively American card users have managed to avoid billions of dollars in fees over recent years because of tight regulations that have been put into place. This obviously comes as good news for credit card customers in America. However, on the downside it was also pointed out that cardholders are still being targeted by aggressive debt collectors and being charged extortionate fees in some cases.
The report showed that as a result of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act being brought in around 2009, cardholders had been able to avoid more than $16 billion in fees. This figures included around$7 billion in late payment fees, which many people were finding themselves hit with as a result of not getting their monthly payment in on time.
Decline in late fees
According to the information from the study, average late fees decreased by around 20 percent following the implementation of the Act, as the laws stipulated that these fees needed to be more reasonable and proportionate. Cardholders also managed to save over $9 billion in fees imposed for going over the limit following stipulations that card companies needed to inform consumers about their charged going over the credit limit.
Officials have stated that there are other risks that are a cause for concern, particularly given that credit card use is on the rise – often amongst younger, more financially naïve consumers who have little experience when it comes to handling debt. One expert said that some debt companies were contacting cardholders more than fifteen times each day in order to attempt to collect outstanding debt on credit cards.
CFPB Director, Richard Cordray, said that this amounted to harassment, particularly in cases where the debt collection company did manage to reach the cardholder but then continued making constant calls. He also expressed concern with regards to the fees and charges that some of these collection companies and debt collectors are imposing on cardholders.
Those who have credit card debt and are struggling to make repayments in time – or make repayments at all – should make sure they get financial assistance from a debt charity as soon as possible. This can help to avoid this type of harassment situation.