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GE settles high-interest health care credit card probe with NYAG

Company’s charged cardholders up to 27% interest

General Electric Co. (GE) will pay up to settle a nearly three-year investigation into its shady health care credit card.

Yesterday the New York Attorney General’s office announced that GE Capital Retail Bank and health care financing company CareCredit reached a settlement over a probe into GE’s health care credit card, which is meant to finance medical treatments. Cardholders complained to GE that they were tricked into signing up for the card, which charged sky-high interest rates of up to 27 percent. Many cardholders thought they were signing up for a no-interest payment plan directly with their providers, and others thought their information was only being used to check their credit-worthiness. GE rejected the cardholders’ complaints.

“This agreement will help New Yorkers by stopping providers from charging large, upfront fees for future services and from glossing over the huge interest rates associated with CareCredit,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, GE will improve its disclosures regarding the credit card. The company could pay $2 million to about 1,000 cardholders as a result of their ignored complaints.

GE spokeswoman Dori Abel said the company has cooperated with the investigation and that cardholder refunds should be "substantially lower" than $2 million.

Read Bloomberg and Reuters for more information.

For more InsideCounsel stories related to credit cards, read:

California sues JPMorgan over debt collection practices

Retail association opts out of billion-dollar settlement

MasterCard faces EU antitrust probe

13 arrested for one of the largest-ever credit card fraud schemes

Ashley Post

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