Unauthorized Debit Card Charges
Consumers often complain about unauthorized charges on their debit cards. Fortunately, the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) allows you to dispute unauthorized charges. EFTA also limits your liability for unauthorized charges on your account.
To learn how to dispute unauthorized debit card charges, continue reading this page. If you need help, or if you believe your rights were violated, contact BCJ Law. To speak with our credit report attorney, call 1-800-997-5561 or complete our contact form.
How can I dispute unauthorized debit card charges?
The EFTA gives you the right to dispute unauthorized charges on your debit card within 60 days of receiving the statement that shows the unauthorized charge. Your dispute should include the following information:
While EFTA does not require disputes to be written, financial institutions often require written confirmation of disputes if they are made orally. Generally, it is good practice to visit your local branch office to complete a dispute form in writing.
What happens after I dispute an unauthorized debit card charge?
After you dispute an unauthorized debit card charge, your bank must investigate the dispute. The timeline for the completion of the investigation varies:
Once an investigation is complete, banks must determine whether a charge was authorize. The findings must be given to consumers as follows:
Consumers can request additional documents and explanations if banks deny their disputes. Ultimately, the burden of proof is on the bank to prove that a charge was authorized. If the bank doesn’t meet this burden of proof, you can sue to correct erroneous investigations.
Can I be held liable for unauthorized debit charge charges?
Your liability for unauthorized charges ranges from $0 to unlimited liability depending on the circumstances:
What happens if a dispute isn't investigated or liability is imposed improperly?
The EFTA allows you to sue if a bank fails to investigate a dispute properly or if it holds you liable for an unauthorized charge without authority. The EFTA provides consumers with the following relief: