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Legislation seems to be keeping a lid on credit card fees

People in Ohio who are struggling with credit issues may find that no matter what they do, they aren't able to significantly reduce their credit card debt. Some of that is the nature of the beast; the higher the credit card balance, the more a person is charged in interest. A path to credit restoration might be a very long one indeed for people who only pay the minimum payment every month. The overall balance barely goes down, and the card holder pays mostly interest every month, rather than paying down the principal.

There is one aspect of credit card debt that has been favorable to consumers with large balances in recent years, however. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act -- known by its initials, CARD -- eliminated fees for people who exceeded their credit card limits. This knocked down over-limit fees and also decreased late fees as more people were able to pay their balances on time.

In fact, the average late fee has gone down too in the last three years, by an average of $6 per consumer. While this might not sound like a lot at first blush, the overall difference has been enormous. Just within the last year, cumulative late fees dropped by $1.5 billion and the elimination of late fees has saved another $2.5 billion.

Even with this progress, the capacity for an individual's debt to go down without any assistance might be limited. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can advise someone in a similar situation of possibilities to help curtail or eliminate their debt.

Source: CBS MoneyWatch, "Study: Credit card law has cut consumer costs," Constantine von Hoffman, Oct. 3, 2013

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