Home Members Tools Credit Cards
   

  • Steps to Dispute Credit Card Statement Errors

    Credit card billing statements are handled electronically, but that doesnít mean theyíre error free. Billing errors - including uncredited payments or returns, finance charge calculations, and unauthorized charges - are more common than you might think. In a November 2011 report, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that credit card billing disputes were the top complaint received from consumers. So, if youíre dealing with a billing error, youíre not the only one. But, before you go straight to the top, first try to resolve the error with your creditor.

    The Fair Credit Billing Act gives you the right to dispute billing errors directly with the creditor. The law applies to any type of open-end or revolving credit accounts that you can pay and reuse over time.

    The Right Way to Make Your Dispute

    When you spot an error on your billing statement or you have an issue with a product you charged on your credit card (one that you canít resolve with the merchant), write a letter your creditor explaining the situation. Many creditors will handle your issue over the phone, but sending a letter is the only way to ensure your rights are protected under the FCBA. If you only make a phone call, you could ultimately be liable for the charges.

    In your letter, list the amount of the error and explain why that amount is incorrect. If you have proof that supports your dispute, send copies but keep the originals for your records. Your letter should reach the creditor within 60 days from the time the creditor first mailed the inaccurate billing statement. After 60 days, the creditor isnít required to handle your dispute so be sure to send your letter immediately after you spot the error.

    The address for sending billing disputes probably isn't the same address for sending payments. Look at your billing statement, or call your creditor, for an address specifically for ďcorrespondenceĒ or ďbilling inquiries.Ē Use that address for your billing error letter.

    For extra insurance that your rights will be respected, you should mail your letter via certified mail with return receipt requested. This gives you proof of the date your letter was mailed and received, and the signature of the person who received it. If the creditor doesnít respond in time or allege you didnít send your letter in time, those receipts will come in handy.

    What the Creditor Is Required to Do

    Within 30 days of receiving your dispute, the creditor has to acknowledge your complaint, if the dispute hasnít already been resolved by that time. Then, the creditor has between two billing cycles and 90 days to resolve your dispute. Creditors are required to follow this timeline perfectly. Otherwise, you donít have to pay the disputed amount or any finance charges or late fees related to the amount.

    If the creditorís investigation shows that there was indeed an error on your billing statement, theyíll send a letter telling you that your account was corrected. If there were any interest charges or late fees associated with the disputed amount, these charges should be removed.

    Youíll also get a written explanation if, for some reason, you owe the disputed charges. You can ask for proof if you still have doubts about owing the money, but at that point, youíll have to send payment to avoid further fees or penalties.

    Your Right to Withhold Payment

    Youíre not required to pay the disputed charges as long as the creditor is still investigating. However, you're still responsible for making timely payments on any undisputed credit card balance.

    The creditor canít report a delinquency to the credit bureaus when you donít pay disputed charges, but they can report that youíve made a dispute. You disputing these billing errors wonít affect your credit rating. Furthermore, itís illegal for other businesses to turn you down for credit or other services because youíve disputed a billing error.

    What to Do When You Still Have an Issue

    When a creditor doesnít handle your dispute properly, you can complain to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau via their website: ConsumerFinance.gov. The bureau helps facilitate a resolution between you and the creditor.

    You have the right to sue a creditor who violates your rights under the FCBA. If you win, you can receive between $100 and $1,000 in actual and punitive damages and have the creditor pay your legal fees. Make sure you keep all documentation related to your dispute in case it ever has to be resolved in court.

    Sources: ConsumerFinance.gov, FTC.gov
  • Disclaimer

    Information in these articles is brought to you by Finance Globe. Banks, issuers, credit card, and other companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles and is further subject to our terms and conditions.
  • Recent Headlines and Articles

    ChrisB

    Donít Wait Any Longer to Plan your Summer Vacation

    Now that winter is almost in the past, it is time to start thinking about the spring and summer seasons. For many, this means one thing: vacation.

    If you have yet to plan your summer... read more
    ChrisB March 2nd, 2015, 11:34 AM
    ChrisB

    Want a Promotion? Do these Three Things

    There is nothing better than these words: you are getting a promotion. Not only does this mean more responsibility, which is something many workers crave, but it could mean more money as well. Talk about the best of... read more
    ChrisB February 26th, 2015, 09:56 AM
    ChrisB

    Donít make these 3 Tax Filing Mistakes

    When tax season rolls around, it is time to start thinking about your final return. It doesnít matter if you are filing your own return or hiring a tax professional to do the work for you, there are mistakes... read more
    ChrisB February 24th, 2015, 10:09 AM
    ChrisB

    Budgeting Challenges that are Easy to Overcome

    In a perfect world, you would never run into issues related to your budget. Unfortunately, this is not the way things work out.

    You will be presented with many budgeting challenges on a regular basis. Some... read more
    ChrisB February 23rd, 2015, 10:16 AM
    ChrisB

    Mistakes that Kill your Chance of Self-Employment Success

    Do you have dreams of working as a self-employed professional? Are you ready to take the leap and prove to yourself that you have what it takes?

    As excited as you may be, you will be faced with... read more
    ChrisB February 20th, 2015, 09:50 AM
    ChrisB

    Here are 3 Ways you are Wasting Money at the Office

    When you head to the office, you know one thing to be true: you are going to make some money. But is there a chance you are wasting money along the way as well?

    Believe it or not, some people spend hundreds... read more
    ChrisB February 19th, 2015, 10:05 AM
    ChrisB

    Ask your CPA these Questions During Tax Season

    With tax season in full swing, there is a good chance you have already contacted your CPA about filing your final return. If you havenít, you will (or should) be doing so in the near future.... read more
    ChrisB February 18th, 2015, 09:58 AM
    ChrisB

    5 Top Reasons to File a Tax Extension

    With the April 15 tax filing deadline bearing down on you, there is no better time than now to get organized. If you donít, you could find yourself up against the deadline, rushing around and... read more
    ChrisB February 17th, 2015, 10:18 AM

 

 

 

Credit Cards | Finance Social Network | Credit Card Reviews | Markets
About Us | FG on the Web | Sitemap | Privacy | Terms | Contact


Copyright © 2015 Finance Globe. All rights reserved.