Outraged by credit card, mortgage, bank fees? Here’s who to contact

Shopping around for a deal on a credit card seems like one of those things that’s pretty straight forward. Low, eye-catching rates are plastered all over websites for those doing research online and paper envelopes with special credit card offers pop up in the mail. 

But are credit card issuers, really, all that competitive?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking a new, deeper dive into hidden fees, exploitative income streams, and anticompetitive financial practices that can hurt consumers. 

What’s a junk fee? 

We all know how hidden fees drive up our costs when buying concert tickets online. But some argue that the same can be said about fees relating to financial services and products.

“These junk fees make it harder for us to choose the best product or service since the true cost is hidden,” Rohit Chopra, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said in a call with the media Wednesday. 

Many times, Chopra said, banks and others obscure the actual cost that consumers pay when selecting a specific mortgage, bank account or credit card by highlighting an attractive offer but then charging inflated, back-end fees.

Overdraft fees, late fees, check image fees, stop payment fees, closing costs and a wide variety of other fees will be under scrutiny. 

“By promoting competition and ridding the market of illegal practices, we hope to save Americans billions,” Chopra said in a statement. 

The argument being made by Chopra is that a new “fee economy” is distorting free markets and making it harder to comparison shop if you don’t know how much money will really come out of your pocket. 

Chopra said the agency is in the process of ending the banking industry’s reliance on what he called “exploitative” sources of income.


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