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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

CFPB late fee rule could save NYers money

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Monday, May 20, 2024   

New Yorkers could benefit from a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule. It caps credit card late fees at $8, or - at the credit card company's discretion - 25% of the minimum balance due.

Consumers in New York and across the country would save about $220 per year.

But Rebecca Garrard, deputy executive director of Citizen Action of New York, said the rule is under fire in Congress.

"We have a problem with some of our congressional representatives who oppose measures such as this," said Garrard. "It's both problematic from a policy standpoint - and quite frankly confusing from a political standpoint, when you think about what the will of their constituents are."

The House Financial Services Committee voted to overturn this regulation a few weeks ago.

Garrard and others ascribed this to Rep. Andrew Garbarino and Rep. Mike Lawler of New York and other committee members who voted for the rule receiving money from corporate donors opposed to the rule.

Despite this,
polls show reducing credit card late fees has strong support across party lines.

Aside from CFPB protections being under fire, the agency itself just survived a Supreme Court challenge from conservative groups.

Kimberly Fountain - consumer financial justice field manager with Americans for Financial Reform - said with the decision out of the way, the CFPB can get back to work.

"They're working on requiring fairer credit reports," said Fountain, "reducing the harm of medical debt collection, fighting inequity in home appraisals, increasing consumer rights to control their own data, and much more."

She said she expects battles on consumer protections to continue in Congress.

Other rules the agency worked on include closing a loophole exempting overdraft fees from Truth in Lending Act provisions.

In the early years of the pandemic, New Yorkers paid close to $1.5 billion in overdraft fees.



Disclosure: Americans for Financial Reform contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Campaign Finance Reform/Money in Pol, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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