A move by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to crack down on credit card late fees could save consumers billions of dollars a year, but it might not happen for a while.
On Wednesday, the CFPB issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking information from card issuers, consumer groups and the public on late fees.
Late fees are a key income source for card issuers. CFPB Director Rohit Chopra wants to know how card issuers compute costs and if
existing laws undermine improvements enacted a decade ago.
A final rule isn’t likely by the end of 2022, officials said at a Wednesday press conference. For now, the agency is gathering public comments, which are due by July 22.
More than 175 million Americans hold at least one credit card, according to the agency. Companies charge late fees when customers don’t make the minimum card payment by their due date.
Total late fees amounted to $12 billion in 2020, down slightly from the record of $14 billion record set a year earlier, according to CFPB data.
The law allows banks to raise fees based on inflation, a CFPB official told CNBC. Many [people] are grappling with increased expend
itures and making ends meet.