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Federal Judge Blocks Rule Capping Credit Card Late Fees

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
May 13, 2024

iStock-672053694 Credit Card Payment

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule to cap credit card late fees, The Washington Post reported.

The rule, announced in March, would close a legal loophole that allows credit card companies to charge an average of $32 per month for a missed or late payment, capping that fee at $8. These late fees cost American families more than $14 billion a year, the CFPB stated at the time.

But  the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with bank lobbyists and other groups, challenged the rule court. They claimed that such fees deter late payments. A May 10 ruling by U.S. District Judge Mark T. Pittman of the Northern District of Texas granted them a preliminary injunction, staying the rule before it was to take effect on May 14.

“This ruling is a major win for responsible consumers who pay their credit card bills on time and businesses that want to provide affordable credit,” said Maria Monaghan, who serves as counsel for the U.S. Chamber’s Litigation Center, in a statement. “The CFPB’s attempted micromanagement would have raised costs for most credit card users and made it harder for businesses to meet consumers’ needs. The U.S. Chamber will continue to hold the CFPB accountable in court.”

CFPB spokesman Sam Gilford said in a statement that cardholders would “shoulder $800 million in late fees for every month” that the government’s rules are delayed, and that the delay “pads the profit margins of the largest credit card issuers.”