McAuliffe vetoes bill that would allow ‘excessive’ fees to be collected on overdue accounts

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — On Tuesday, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed legislation that would have increased fees for people already struggling to pay their bills.

House Bill 2442 would have allowed a local ordinance for the collection of overdue accounts to also provide for the imposition of fees of up to 25 percent of the amount owed.

The governor called it “excessive.”

“Individuals struggling to pay their bills are already subject to a wide range of fees and penalties,” McAuliffe said in a release. “Allowing the addition of substantial fees, as called for in House Bill 2442, would further challenge those individuals, many of whom are low-income Virginians.”

Robert Linkonis knows how hard it can be for people to pay off their debt. He’s a certified credit expert and president of Credit Restoration Associates in Chesterfield.

He agrees that a possible 25 percent fee would be excessive.

“If they’re struggling to pay their bills all of a sudden now take 25 percent additional of what’s owed is a tragedy,” said Linkonis.

The governor says he tried to amend the bill to limit fees to five percent instead of 25, but it didn’t get enough support.

Del. Riley Ingram (R-Hopewell) patroned the bill. He says supporters plan to rework and clarify some things before it’s reintroduced next session.