Dover business owners split on credit card fees
News from Foster’s Daily Democrat:

DOVER — A major legal settlement between retailers and the country’s largest credit card companies could soon allow merchants to charge customers an extra fee for the privilege of using plastic at the check-out counter.

The proposed settlement would require Visa, MasterCard and major banks to pay at least $ 6 billion to resolve a lawsuit over credit card practices. It would also allow merchants to begin charging customers who use credit cards an extra fee.

The settlement is the result of a lawsuit brought by merchants that have long complained about the billions of dollars they pay for shoppers who increasingly use credit cards. In 2005, large retailers, including Kroger Co., Safeway Inc. and Walgreen Co. began filing price-fixing lawsuits.

Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. make money on the fees that stores pay for each customer who uses credit or debit cards for their purchases. The fees are set by the card processing networks but collected by, and split with, the banks that issue the cards.

Currently, merchants are restricted from passing on the extra fees, although rule changes included in the settlement would give them discretion over whether to charge extra for customers who use credit cards. If the settlement is approved by a federal judge, merchants will face the dilemma of whether to charge shoppers extra, and if so, how…………… continues on Foster’s Daily Democrat

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Credit care: Use a windfall to pay card balances down
News from Arizona Daily Star:

2012-09-02T00:00:00Z Credit care: Use a windfall to pay card balances downTanisha Warner Creditcards.com Arizona Daily Star

Q: I came into some money and want to pay off a couple of my credit cards, but don’t have enough to pay them off in full. What is the best way to ask them to reduce your payoff amount?

A: Unless you are seriously behind in payments on your credit-card accounts, it is doubtful your card issuers will agree to settle an account for less than the full balance owed.

That said, if you haven’t made a payment on the accounts in 90 days or more, your card issuers may be willing to settle for a lump-sum payment to satisfy your account.

Contact them and ask to speak to someone who is able to negotiate a less-than-full-balance settlement on the account. If you are able to negotiate an amount you can afford, be sure to get the settlement offer in writing before you send in the payment. Be aware that if you settle the account, the card issuer will in most cases close the account.

You may face one other issue if you settle an account for less than full balance. The card issuer is required to issue you a 1099-C tax form if the amount of debt forgiven is $ 600…………… continues on Arizona Daily Star

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