Fair Credit Billing Act
- September 30, 2016
- By: Greenpath Financial Wellness
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) gives people the right to dispute errors on accounts, such as credit cards. It does not cover loans or extensions of credit you repay on a fixed schedule. It covers things like:
- Unauthorized charges. It 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 weren’t delivered as agreed.
- Failure to post payments and other credits, such as returns.
- Failure to send bills to your current address.
- Charges for which you ask for a written proof of purchase.
Contacting the Creditor
You must write to them at the address for billing inquiries. This may not be the same address as where you send your payments. Send your letter so that it reaches the creditor within 60 days after first error. Send your letter by certified mail and ask for return receipt, so you have proof they received it. Include copies of documents that support your position. Keep a copy of your dispute letter.
The creditor must affirm your complaint, in writing, within 30 days after receiving it. Then the creditor must resolve the dispute within two billing cycles after receiving your letter. This is not allowed to take more than 90 days.
You don’t have to pay the disputed amount during the investigation. But, you must pay any part of the bill not in question. This includes finance charges on the undisputed amount. The creditor may not take any legal action or attempt to collect the disputed amount during the investigation. The creditor may not threaten your credit rating or report you as overdue while your bill is in dispute. However, the creditor may report that you are challenging your bill.
Disputes about flawed goods and services are not billing errors, so the dispute process doesn’t apply. But if you buy faulty goods or services with a credit card, you can take the same legal actions against the card issuer that you can take under state law against the seller. This works if:
- The purchase is at least $50.
- You made the purchase in your home state or within 100 miles of your current billing address.
- You first make a good faith effort to resolve the dispute with the seller.