University of Miami Law Review


Notwithstanding the legislative and judicial trend toward greater protection for consumers, the late charge billing systems of public utilities have escaped consumer regulation. Consumer advocates have argued, inter alia, that the late payment charge is really a form of interest and therefore subject to statutory usury limitations. Courts and commissions have resisted this attack by classifying late charges in other ways, thereby increasing confusion among jurisdictions about the real nature of the late payment charge. The author proposes to unravel this complexity by examining and comparing the different judicial perceptions of the late payment charge, as well as by providing a comprehensive analysis of the interest classification.