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Texans protected from swipe fees

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Texas - Texas officials are looking to crack down on those illegally charging swipe fees.

Texas is one of only 10 states in the nation that prohibit merchants from charging swipe fees for credit card sales.

Now even more is being done to protect consumers.

The legislature passed a law prohibiting the same kind of surcharges on debit cards.

Keep in mind that a minimum purchase of $10 can still be required before a credit card can be used, according to a federal rule.

But no one is allowed to set a minimum purchase level for using a debit card.

That comes directly out of the card owner's account.

Also recently passed is a law giving enforcement power to state regulators to go after any merchants who charge extra.

For almost 30 years letters were written to violators, now administrative financial penalties are on the table, too.

If you see a merchant charging extra for credit or debit use, you're recommended to take a photograph of a sign proving the illegal surcharge.

Or you can use the receipt as evidence.

Then file a complaint with the Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner, which, for the first time because of the new law, is able to use its field agents, investigators and legal staff to go after violators.

There is on exception to the ban on surcharges.

Local, county and state government can tack on charges for credit cards.

Charges include taxes, fees, licenses and other government transactions

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