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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1702        FILED ON: 1/12/2009

HOUSE  .   .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 238


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Joseph R. Driscoll, Jr.


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the passage of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to credit card fees.






Joseph R. Driscoll, Jr.

5th Norfolk

Christine E. Canavan

10th Plymouth

Barbara A. L'Italien

18th Essex

Stephen R. Canessa

12th Bristol

Anne M. Gobi

5th Worcester

Robert M. Koczera

11th Bristol

Allen J. McCarthy

7th Plymouth

Richard J. Ross

9th Norfolk

Michael F. Rush

10th Suffolk

Robert L. Hedlund

Plymouth and Norfolk

David B. Sullivan

6th Bristol

Kathi -Anne Reinstein

16th Suffolk

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts


In the Year Two Thousand and Nine



An Act relative to credit card fees.


              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

              Section 1.   Chapter 140D of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 28B the following section:-

              Section 28C . As used in this section the following terms shall have the following meanings unless the context requires otherwise:

(1)     “account”  the account between a card issuer and 1 or more cardholders reflecting the outstanding balance of card transactions;

(2)     “account agreement” means the contract between the card issuer and the cardholder governing the parties respective rights and obligations respecting the account and transactions effected thereunder ;

(3)     “cardholder” a natural person residing in the commonwealth who has agreed with a card issuer to pay debts arising from card transactions, whether the card used in such transactions has been issued to the cardholder or to another person;

(4)     “card issuer” or “ issuer” a person doing business in the commonwealth issues a credit card or that person’s agent or assignee with respect to the card;

(5)     “card transaction” or “transaction” a cash advance, purchase, or other extension of credit effected or obtained by means o f a credit card or account number;

(6)     “debit card” any real or forged instrument, writing or other evidence known by any name issued with or without a fee by an issuer for the use of a depositor in obtaining money, goods, services or anything else of value, p ayment of which is made against funds previously deposited in an account with the issuer; and

(7)     retail merchant” a business with at least eighty percent (80%) of its credit card transactions conducted through a credit card terminal.

(a)     no card issuer shall cha rge to any retail merchant more than seventy-five hundredths of 1 percent 0.75% per transaction for all processing fees involving the use of a credit or debit card.

(b)     each violation of a subsection (a) constitutes an unfair and deceptive act and shall be sub ject to the procedures and penalties prescribed by section 31.

Section 2.The provision of this section shall not be construed to impair any existing contract between a credit card issuer and a retail merchant.  This section shall apply only to new contract s between a credit card issuer and a retail merchant and upon the expiration or termination of existing contracts.

Section 3.   This act shall take effect on July 1, 2009 .

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