Cohen Introduces Postmark Payment Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN-9) today introduced the Postmark Payment Act of 2012, a bill that would require that any payment of a bill or invoice, if sent by U.S. mail, be considered sent on the date its envelope was postmarked. The bill would exempt any payment where another method, such as electronic payment, is required by regulation, contract, or law.

Each month, thousands of Americans are charged late fees and penalties for bills they believed in good faith they had paid on time, through no fault of their own,” Congressman Cohen said. “This bill would make sure consumers are held to the same payment standards used by the Internal Revenue Service.

Last December, the United States Postal Service announced changes in its service standards that would, for the first time in 40 years, eliminate the possibility for first-class stamped mail delivered from a home mailbox to arrive the next day. First-class mail in the United States usually arrives within one to two days, but the changes would move first-class mail to a two to three day standard. Senior citizens and consumers living in underserved or rural communities will be most severely impacted by the cuts.

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