Late fees become target during recession in Colorado |

Late fees become target during recession in Colorado

Colleen O'Connor
The Denver Post

Coloradans’ anger over an increase in late fees for vehicle registration is just a piece of the larger picture, experts say.

“Something like this captures peoples’ imaginations and they go crazy,” said Bob Sullivan, author of “Gotcha Capitalism,” about hidden fees and consumers’ pocketbooks. “But they’re getting soaked in all these other directions, and you can’t get them to care about that.”

In this economy, however, that might be changing.

Consumer-rights advocates are starting to question the huge profits that companies make from fees. Americans pay about $15 billion in penalty fees for credit cards each year.

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which goes into effect next month, requires credit-card companies to give card holders a reasonable amount of time to pay the monthly bill – at least 21 calendar days from the time of mailing. The act also blocks late-fee traps, such as weekend deadlines, due dates that change each month, and deadlines that fall in the middle of the day.

In Oregon, lawyer David Sugerman has filed a class-action lawsuit against Comcast, alleging that the company broke state laws with how it charged for cable service.

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