Thursday, March 22, 2012
Spencer, Barnes, Wimberly & Ramos Bill to Help Protect Consumers Against Repeated & Unfair ATM Fees Approved By Assembly
) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly member L. Grace Spencer, Peter J. Barnes III, Benjie E. Wimberly and Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. to ensure New Jerseyans aren’t forced to fall victim to repeated unfair ATM charges was recently approved 69-10 by the Assembly. TRENTON
The bill (A-595) prohibits businesses from operating an automated teller machine in this state unless the automated teller machine provides consumers with an option to withdraw $20 increments up to $200 per transaction
“Many times stores in lower-income neighborhoods underserved by banks bar people from taking out more than $20 from their ATM, for instance, thus forcing consumers to complete multiple transactions at the same ATM, all the while incurring unfair service fees,” said Spencer (D-Essex). “That is wrong and it’s time it came to a stop.”
“New Jerseyans in need of cash shouldn’t be subjected to schemes that force them to end up paying multiple transactions fees for no particular reason other than to make money for the store off of ATM fees,” said Barnes (D-Middlesex). “It’s unreasonable and unfair and this bill will put an end to it.”
“Many of these ATMs are in stores in lower-income neighborhoods. These ATMs are convenient, but that doesn’t give these stores the right to use them as their personal piggy banks,” said Wimberly (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Money is tight for many people. These processing fees can add up. This bill prevents these stores from benefitting at the expense of cash-strapped residents.”
“Most people are watching their spending and tightening their belts with good reason,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “Making someone pay several transaction fees without any real justification than to put money in the pockets of store owners is shameful and must stop. With this bill, we can end this shady practice.”
The bill provides for enforcement by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, who may also adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the bill’s provisions.
The bill also provides for a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per day for failure to comply with the provisions of the bill.
The bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.