Credit Card Disputes

Fair Credit Billing Act: The Power to Correct Billing Errors

Few things are more frustrating than receiving your monthly credit card bill and not understanding all the charges. While you recognize most purchases, such as fuel, groceries, and dining out, irregular charges can be confusing. Did you take a vacation and rack up extra dining charges? Or go on a shopping spree at a local outlet mall?

Billing errors can occasionally occur on your statement. Sometimes these errors are innocent mistakes, while other times they are intentional charges for products or services you never used. The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) empowers you to fight back against these errors.

What Constitutes a Billing Error Under The FCBA?

The FCBA defines and provides examples of billing errors that can be disputed, including:

  • Charges not made by the consumer, such as those from a stolen card.
  • Inaccurate charge amounts, like an overcharged restaurant bill.
  • Charges for goods or services not received.
  • Charges for goods or services not delivered as agreed.
  • Charges for damaged goods.
  • Failure to properly reflect payments or credits.
  • Calculation errors.
  • Charges needing proof or clarification.
  • Statements sent to the incorrect address.
  • Charges for products significantly different from their description.

Financial liability is central to the FCBA. You should not be held responsible for incorrect, inaccurate, or falsified charges and have the right to dispute these with your creditor.

Correction of Billing Errors Under The FCBA

If you notice errors on your credit accounts, the FCBA provides a way to dispute these charges. The first step is to send a written notice to your creditor’s "billing inquiries" address. Telephone inquiries are not valid under the FCBA, but online notifications are acceptable if the creditor's website supports them.

Once received, the creditor has 30 days to acknowledge your dispute, investigate, and either correct the errors or explain why the charges are valid. They have 90 days to make corrections or uphold their evaluation. If the charges are upheld, you can request the documentation supporting the validity of the disputed charges.

Who Enforces The FCBA?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) primarily enforces the FCBA, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Act for bank compliance. You also have the right to pursue private litigation in state or federal court to recover damages, statutory damages, and attorney fees. For widespread illegal billing practices, you can file a class action lawsuit seeking up to $500,000 or 1% of the creditor's net worth, whichever is less.

Seek Help With The FCBA Through Consumer Law Professionals!

The Fair Credit Billing Act is complex, and understanding your rights can be overwhelming. If you’ve noticed billing errors on your credit accounts, contact the lawyers at Consumer Law Professionals. We specialize in the FCBA and can advise you on your options and represent you in court if necessary. Contact us today to challenge billing errors by your creditors.

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