Blumenthal warns of fees in layaway programs
HARTFORD, Conn.—U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is warning consumers to beware of the full costs of layaway programs that are making a comeback with some major retailers.
Consumer advocacy groups joined Blumenthal on Friday in calling for retailers to prominently display layaway fees.
The former Connecticut attorney general said retailers are "exploiting hard-hit customers" and shoppers should make informed choices. He said the service fees charged for layaway plans amount to "outrageous sky-high interest rates" and he urged retailers to display layaway fees as an APR equivalent.
Others have expressed concern that layaway plans could cost consumers far more than credit cards. Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York asked major retail associations to direct their members to more clearly present their layaway fees to customers.