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AG sues credit card companies over payment protection charges

By Nelson Daranciang

LAST UPDATED: 1:30 p.m. HST, Apr 12, 2012

The Attorney General filed suit this morning in state court against seven major credit card companies  and their subsidiaries to halt collection of payment protection charges and to seek penalties.

State Attorney General David M. Louie is asking Hawaii consumers to check their credit card statements for what he says is a particular unfair or deceptive business practice charge by the credit card companies charging for "payment protection."

The seven companies named are Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover and HSBC. Penalties can range from $500 to $10,000 per violation.

Louie said almost nobody who pays the charge gets a benefit because of the numerous fine-print restrictions, and asked customers to report it to him or the local private law firm the state has hired to help put a stop to the practice.

The charge is for "payment protection" or something similar.

Rick Fried, whose law firm is one of two the state hired to handle the case, estimates about 30,000 Hawaii credit card holders are paying payment protection.

The telephone numbers are 586-1500 for the state Attorney General and 524-1433 for Fried.

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