SPENCER & BARNES BILL TO HELP PROTECT CONSUMERS AGAINST REPEATED & UNFAIR ATM FEES ADVANCED BY ASSEMBLY PANEL

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer and Assemblyman Peter J. Barnes III to ensure New Jerseyans aren’t forced to fall victim to repeated unfair ATM charges was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.

The bill (A-1014) prohibits businesses from operating an automated teller machine in this state unless the automated teller machine provides consumers with an option to withdraw as much as $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 to 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.”

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 was released by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. It now goes to the Assembly Speaker, who decides if and when it gets a floor vote.

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