Oklahoma Sets Cap on Late Fees

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Oklahoma cable viewers will see a vast decrease in late
fees thanks to a bill that squeaked through the legislature on the last day of its
session.

Late fees are now capped at 5 percent of the past-due
balance. This means that a late fee on a $30 monthly bill, for example, can be no more
than $1.50. Cumulative late fees can be no greater than $6. Operators now charge between
$3 and $6 for late bills.

Further, the rule will make it difficult to assess fees for
late payment on the lowest tier of service. A late bill must be greater than $12 before
any collection fee can be added.

The bill, SB 1091, was passed after Cable Television
Operators of Oklahoma dropped an effort earlier in the session to set a late-fee cap of
$7.50 per month, with a trigger date that would be unified throughout the state.

The new bill, which takes effect July 1, requires that all
new customers be notified of the late-fee policy in their subscription agreements, and it
gives consumers 10 days' notice before late fees can be assessed.

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