Correct Wrong Credit Card Statements

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Consumers often complain about errors in credit card statements, including unauthorized charges, failing to credit payments, or posting inaccurate charges. Fortunately, the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) allows you to dispute credit card errors. You can use your dispute rights if you think your credit card statement is wrong. 

To learn how to fix credit card billing errors, continue reading this page. If you need help, or if you believe your rights were violated, contact BCJ Law for help. To speak with our credit report attorney, call 1-800-997-5561 or complete our contact form.

What rights do I have under the Fair Credit Billing Act?

The FCBA requires credit card companies to investigate credit card billing errors. That said, the FCBA does not give you the right to dispute each piece of inaccurate information on a credit card statement. Instead, your dispute rights apply only to “billing errors,” which include, but are not limited to:

  • Unauthorized Charges: this refers to purchases or charges made by unauthorized third-parties.
  • Inaccurate Charges: credit card companies sometimes post inaccurate charges, payments, fees, or credits.
  • Unidentifiable Charges: the charges on your credit card statement must be identifiable and understandable.
  • Failure to Credit Payments: credit card companies may apply credits or payments erroneously, or not at all.

How do I dispute errors on my credit card statement?

To dispute a credit card billing error under the FCBA, you should follow the following procedures:

  • Write a dispute letter.
  • Get the dispute to your credit card company no later than 60 days after the date of the first billing statement that showed the error.
  • Send the dispute by certified mail with a return receipt so you have proof it was sent and received.
  • Send the dispute to the address your credit card company designates for "billing inquires" (this address should be on the front or back of your credit card statement).

If don’t follow the proper procedures (your dispute is not in writing, not sent within 60 days, and not sent to the proper address) your credit card company may not have any obligation to investigate or fix the problem.

How do I write a dispute letter to a credit card company?

Generally, writing a dispute is straightforward. First, include your name and account number so the credit card company can identify you. Second, include the date and amount of the disputed charge, payment, credit, or calculation. Third, explain why the disputed charge, payment, credit or calculation is wrong. Provide as much evidence as necessary. If you need help, the Federal Trade Commission has a sample dispute letter you can use.

What are my rights after I send a credit card dispute letter?

Acknowledgement and Investigation:

Once your dispute letter is received, your credit card company must acknowledge the dispute in writing within 30 days. After that, the credit card company must investigate the matter. It has two billing cycles, or up to 90 days, to complete the investigation.

While Investigation is Pending:

While an investigation is pending, you don’t have to pay the disputed amount or any related charges or interest. Not only that, the credit card company can’t sue you, put your account into collections, threaten your credit score, threaten to report you as late, accelerate your debt, restrict use of your account, or close your account.

Completion of the Investigation:

If your credit card company denies your dispute, in whole or in part, it must send a written letter explaining how much you owe and why. If your dispute is denied, the disputed information is treated as accurate. That means you’ll owe any charges you believe aren’t authorized and you won’t be credited with payments you think you made.

Appeals and Actions After Investigations:

You have 10 days after a dispute is denied to send a letter to your credit card company if you believe the investigation was flawed. If you produce additional evidence in a follow-up letter, your credit card company may be obligated to further investigate the matter. You also can request documents and evidence the credit card company relied on during its investigation.

What are my rights if my credit card company fails to comply with the FCBA?

Credit card companies that violate the Fair Credit Billing Act’s billing error resolution procedures may not be able to collect disputed amounts. They also may be liable for statutory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.

  • Bar From Collecting Disputed Amounts: failure to comply with the FCBA often bars collection of dispute amounts.
  • Actual and Statutory Damages: credit card companies may be liable for actual damages caused by FCBA violations, and automatic damages between $500-$5000 for each FCBA violation.
  • Attorneys' Fees and Costs: if you retain an attorney for FCBA violations, credit card companies may owe your attorneys' fees and costs.

Does the FCBA give me any other rights?

In addition to disputing credit card billing errors, the FCBA provides these additional rights:

  • You must be notified of your right to dispute billing errors.
  • Credit card companies must send periodic statements for each billing cycle.
  • You must receive credit card statements 2-3 weeks before payment is due.
  • All payments on your account must be credited the date they're received.
  • Unreasonable restrictions on your ability to make payments can't be instituted.
  • Any amounts owed on your account must be credited or refunded promptly.

Hire BCJ Law to help!

If you’re having credit card problems, or credit report problems, contact BCJ Law LLC for help. To speak with our credit report attorney, call 1-800-997-5561 or complete our contact form.

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