Nolan Consumer Protection Bill on Debit Card Policy Passes Assembly

May 8, 2007

Albany – A bill preventing consumers from receiving holds on their account of up to $75 when using their debit cards to get gasoline was passed by the Assembly Monday. The bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan of Queens.

Ms. Nolan said she was concerned that people were vulnerable to the risk of drawing upon insufficient funds, bouncing checks, and incurring overdraft fees because it may take several days to clear the hold and return the money to the customer’s account. “When purchasing gas many consumers pay using their debit cards but are not even aware of the holds placed on their bank accounts by gas retailers and financial institutions” said Assemblywoman Nolan.

This bill would require any dealer who chooses to place holds against the customer’s account for the purpose of ensuring payment to post a prominent statement informing customers of the policy.

“It is a simple step to take to help consumers, particularly with the recent spike in gasoline prices when consumer’s find themselves more vulnerable than ever the overdraft,” said Assemblywoman Nolan.

The bill was delivered to the State Senate and referred to the Committee on Consumer Protection Monday, May 8, 2007 where it will await review.