Disputing Credit Card Charges

Have you ever been billed for merchandise you either returned or never received ? Has your credit card company always charged you doubly for the lapp item or failed to credit a payment to your bill ? While frustrating, these errors can be corrected. It takes a fiddling solitaire and cognition of the dispute settlement procedures provided by the Fair Credit Billing Act ( FCBA ) .
The law applies to “ capable end ” credit accounts, like credit cards, and revolving charge accounts, like department shop accounts. It doesn ’ t cover installment contracts — loans or extensions of credit you repay on a fixed schedule. People frequently buy cars, furniture, and major appliances on an episode basis, and repay personal loans in installments, equally well .

Billing Errors

The FCBA village procedures apply merely to disputes about “ bill errors. ” For case :

  • unauthorized charges. Federal law limits your responsibility for unauthorized charges to $50;
  • charges that list the wrong date or amount;
  • charges for goods and services you didn’t accept or that weren’t delivered as agreed;
  • math errors;
  • failure to post payments and other credits, like returns;
  • failure to send bills to your current address — assuming the creditor has your change of address, in writing, at least 20 days before the billing period ends; and
  • charges for which you ask for an explanation or written proof of purchase, along with a claimed error or request for clarification.

Exercise Your Rights

To take advantage of the jurisprudence ‘s consumer protections, you must :

  • write to the creditor at the address given for “billing inquiries,” not the address for sending your payments, and include your name, address, account number, and a description of the billing error. Use our sample letter.
  • send your letter so that it reaches the creditor within 60 days after the first bill with the error was mailed to you. It’s a good idea to send your letter by certified mail; ask for a return receipt so you have proof of what the creditor received. Include copies (not originals) of sales slips or other documents that support your position. Keep a copy of your dispute letter.

The creditor must acknowledge your complaint, in writing, within 30 days after receiving it, unless the trouble has been resolved. The creditor must resolve the quarrel within two bill cycles ( but not more than 90 days ) after getting your letter .

The Investigation

You may withhold requital on the disputed amount ( and related charges ) during the probe. You must pay any part of the bill not in question, including finance charges on the undisputed sum .
The creditor may not take any legal or other action to collect the disputed sum and related charges ( including finance charges ) during the investigation. While your account ca n’t be closed or restricted, the quarrel total can be applied against your credit limit .
The creditor may not threaten your accredit rat, report you as delinquent, accelerate your debt, or restrict or close your explanation because your beak is in quarrel or you have used your FCBA rights. however, the creditor may report that you are challenging your bill. In addition, it ’ s against union jurisprudence for creditors to discriminate against recognition applicants who exercise their rights in good religion under the FCBA. For exemplar, a creditor can ’ t traverse you citation just because you ‘ve disputed a bill .
If it turns out that your bill has a error, the creditor must explain to you — in writing — the corrections that will be made to your bill. In summation to crediting your score, the creditor must remove all finance charges, late fees, or early charges related to the error .
If the creditor determines that you owe a part of the challenge amount, you must get a written explanation. You may request copies of documents proving you owe the money .
If the creditor ‘s probe determines the bill is correct, you must be told promptly and in writing how much you owe and why. You may ask for copies of relevant documents. At this degree, you ‘ll owe the disputed amount, plus any finance charges that accumulated while the total was in quarrel. You besides may have to pay the minimum come you missed paying because of the challenge.

If you disagree with the results of the probe, you may write to the creditor, but you must act within 10 days after receiving the explanation, and you may indicate that you refuse to pay the challenge sum. At this point, the creditor may begin collection procedures. however, if the creditor reports you to a credit reporting company as derelict, the report besides must state that you do n’t think you owe the money. The creditor must tell you who gets these reports. The creditor besides must promptly report any subsequent settlement of the report delinquency, to everyone who got a report .
Any creditor who fails to follow the settlement routine may not collect the total in dispute, or any related finance charges, improving to $ 50, evening if the bill turns out to be discipline. For model, if a creditor acknowledges your complaint in 45 days — 15 days besides late — or takes more than two charge cycles to resolve a quarrel, the punishment applies. The punishment besides applies if a creditor threatens to report — or improperly reports — your bankruptcy to pay during the dispute period .

Complaints About the Quality of Goods and Services

Disputes about the quality of goods and services are not “ billing errors, ” so the challenge procedure doesn ’ triiodothyronine enforce. however, if you have a problem with goods or services you paid for with a credit or charge calling card, you can take the like legal actions against the card issuer as you can take under state law against the seller .
To take advantage of this protective covering, you must have made the purchase ( it must be for more than $ 50 ) in your home state or within 100 miles of your current charge savoir-faire, and make a good religion feat to resolve the challenge with the seller first .
The dollar and outdistance limitations do n’t apply if the seller besides is the wag issuer — or if a extra business kinship exists between the seller and the card issuer .

Additional Billing Rights

Businesses that offer “ open end ” credit besides must :

  • give you a written notice when you open a new account — and periodically — that describes your right to dispute billing errors
  • provide a statement for each billing period in which you owe — or they owe you — more than one dollar or on which you have been charged a finance charge
  • send your bill at least 21 days before your payment is due (for credit cards), before any grace period expires and finance charges are imposed (for open end credit), and at least 14 days before a minimum payment is due to avoid being late (for open end credit even if no grace period exists)
  • credit all payments to your account on the date they’re received, unless no extra charges would result if they failed to do so. Creditors are permitted to set reasonable rules for making payments, say setting a reasonable deadline for payment to be received to be credited on the same date, but the time cannot be earlier than 5 p.m. on the due date.
  • promptly credit or refund overpayments and other amounts owed to your account when your account is owed more than one dollar. If you prefer a refund, it must be sent within seven business days after the creditor receives your written request. The creditor also must make a good faith effort to refund a credit balance that has remained on your account for more than six months.


The Federal Trade Commission ( FTC ) enforces the FCBA for most creditors except banks. If you think a creditor has violated the FCBA, file a charge with the FTC .
You besides can sue a creditor who violates the FCBA. If you win, you may be awarded damages, plus doubly the total of any finance charge — deoxyadenosine monophosphate long as it ‘s between $ 500 and $ 5,000, or higher amounts if a convention or exercise of violations is established. The court besides may arrange the creditor to pay your lawyer ‘s fees and costs .
If possible, hire a lawyer who is uncoerced to accept the sum awarded to you by the court as the stallion fee for representing you. Some lawyers may not take your case unless you agree to pay their tip — win or lose — or add to the court-awarded amount if they think it ‘s excessively low .

reference : https://epicentreconcerts.org
Category : How To

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