In recent years, consumer groups and retailers have argued that credit card companies artificially and unnecessarily inflate prices through ‘hidden fees’ on credit and debit card transactions, resulting in ‘excessive’ revenues for the card companies. The industry has defended its practices, arguing that the fees legitimately cover transaction costs. They point to increases in overall sales using credit or debit cards as the reason for higher revenues.
American Financial Services Association (AFSA)
Based in Washington, D.C., AFSA (www.afsaonline.org) is the national trade association for the consumer credit industry, protecting access to credit and consumer choice. Its 350 members include consumer and commercial finance companies, auto finance/leasing companies, mortgage lenders, credit card issuers, industrial banks and industry suppliers.
Foreclosures and vacant properties have spread from the cities to the suburbs. Cash-strapped municipalities are facing declining property values, decaying neighborhoods, more crime, and health and safety issues they are ill-equipped to manage. To deal with this problem, cities and towns have enacted new ordinances or strengthened old ones to require that foreclosed and vacant properties be maintained to a certain standard.