Are credit card late payment fees based on the laws of the state where you reside, or the state where the bank who issued it is located?

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As part of the National Bank Act legislated over 100 years ago, Congress gave nationally chartered banks the power to charge their loan customers interest at the rate allowed by the laws of the state in which the banks are located. When a California resident holding a credit card issued by a bank based in South Dakota challenged late-payment fees as being invalid under California law, the bank used the old federal law to defend the suit successfully.
The U.S. Supreme Court found that the “interest” referred to in the statute included fees for late payment of a credit card balance. As a result, a bank can charge such fees if it is allowed under the law of the state where the bank is located. Contrary laws of any other states where its customers reside do not apply.

Author: Andrew