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How to Dispute a Credit Card Charge (1)

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2014 | Consumer Protection

Have you ever received your monthly credit card statement and
seen an error, billing discrepancy or charge you are positive does
not belong to you?  You do have a right to dispute the
inaccuracy and request an investigation.  Under the Fair
Credit Billing Act (“FCBA”) you have the right to dispute an error
with your credit card company and have the inaccurate information
changed.  The FCBA
applies to credit card accounts such as a credit card, revolving
charge account or department store account.

The FCBA applies to disputes about billing errors.  A billing
error can be an unauthorized charge on your card, charges for the
wrong amount or wrong date, charges for goods or services that you
refused or did not agree to, computation errors, failure to post
payments including returns, failure to send an itemized bill to
your correct address and failure to provide you with a written
proof of purchase at your request.

To launch a dispute, you must first write a letter to the
billing inquiries department of your credit card company.
Your letter must include your name, address, account number and
explanation of your dispute, and it must be sent  within 60
days of receipt of the monthly statement that first contained the
error.  Just as recommended under the Fair Credit Reporting
Act, send your letter certified mail, so you know exactly when it
was received.  It is also helpful to send supporting documents
with your dispute, such as proof of payment or credit card
receipts.  Under the FCBA, you must receive a response to your
dispute within 30 days and a final decision of the dispute must be
resolved within two billings cycles after receiving your dispute

During the investigation, you may withhold your payment of the
disputed amount, but any additional amounts must be paid on time to
avoid additional negative reporting.  During the
investigation, the credit card company may not report the disputed
debt or try to collect the debt until the dispute is
resolved.  The credit card company may however, report that
the debt disputed and under investigation.  The company is
permitted to include the disputed dollar amount owed against your
credit limit during the investigation

Upon resolution, the credit card company must provide you with a
written explanation of its decision.  If the charge was a
mistake, all negative reporting, finance charges and additional
fees that may have been charged to your account must be
removed.  On the contrary, if charge was accurate, you will be
responsible for paying the disputed amount plus any additional fees
and interest that accumulated during the time of the dispute.
If you still disagree with the creditor, you may respond within 10
days of the final decision, however the credit card company may
begin collection efforts at that time.  Should the credit card
company report the debt on your credit report, it must include a
statement that the amount is disputed.

If you believe your rights were violated under the FCBA and you
would like to discuss your situation with a licensed attorney, contact SmithMarco P.C. for a completely
free case review.