Late fees are piling up as bills get stuck in Postal Service backlog

By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Widespread mail delays are to blame for some people not receiving their bills and companies not receiving payments.

Ultimately, getting a bill paid on time is the consumer’s responsibility, said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst with Bankrate.com.

“Sign up for online statements, email notifications and in some cases you can even get text alerts when your statement is ready. Do not rely on the mail arriving as your trigger to make the payment,” McBride said.

Since the mail backlog is unprecedented, McBride said If you’ve been charged a late fee, call the company and ask for it to be waived.

“More than 80% of card holders who call up and ask that a one-time late fee be waived have some success in getting the late fee reduced or waived entirely,” he said.

If a payment is less than 30 days late, it won’t affect a credit score.

PECO has told all pay-by-mail customers that they will not be charged late fees for bills that are delayed in the mail.

Looking ahead to tax season, McBride suggests paying your taxes online or mailing them long before the April 15 deadline.