Credit-Card Late Fees

Taking the first concrete action following its new policy on “junk fees,” the CFPB has sought public comment on whether and how to govern credit-card late fees and broader practices related to late payments.  The ANPR’s focus is directly on inflation adjustments permitted for these fees under current rules, but it notes broader interest in other fees, extending questions to the entire construct of credit-card pricing, profit, services, and fees.  The proposal itself indicates no policy direction, but Director Chopra made it clear when this was issued that he believes current late fees are far too high.  To the extent this rulemaking reverses current standards, consumers would benefit, but some might become more willing to let bills go unpaid and risks and costs might rise, leading card offerings to become less attractive.