Rep. Love Calls for Posting of Money Order Fees

Bill would ensure consumers know costs of buying, cashing money orders
Friday, April 24, 2015

LANSING – State Representative Leslie Love (D-Detroit) gave testimony On Wednesday, April 22 on a proposal that would require establishments that sell and cash money orders to post the fees charged for those services. Testimony on House Bill 4242 was given in the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, and more testimony is expected before the measure comes to a vote.

“As I traveled around my district and spoke with my neighbors, I learned that many of the places where people buy and cash money orders don’t warn purchasers of the fees they charge for those services,” Rep. Love said. “Those charges can vary greatly from one store to another, and people who rely on money orders to pay budget daily or consumers who depend upon money orders and check cashing locations is due to lack of transportation, limitations or the non-use of bank accounts, and the geographical reliability  need to know what those fees are. My proposal would simply require businesses to visibly post those fees, so that customers can make smart decisions about where to buy and cash-in money orders.”

Love explained during testimony that people use this as a convenience to do their banking and pay bills. But often times they have no idea how much these financial instruments will cost. The price can range from 50 cents to $2. When the pricing is not up front, the situation lends itself to take advantage of people’s naiveté. This refers to people with fragile finances who are economically challenged. Love included that “HB4242 protects consumers against price gauging and unfair competition and ensures that a consumer will enter a financial transaction knowing the full cost of the service or product.” The House Financial Services Committee is expected to take further testimony on the proposal, but no date for the testimony has yet been scheduled.

Rep. Leslie Love (D-Detroit) gives testimony on her House Bill 4242, which would require money order vendors to visibly post their fees, at a meeting of the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.