Understanding the FCBA and your rights as a consumer
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) is a federal law that provides consumers with the right to dispute billing errors and unauthorized charges on their credit card statements. The FCBA sets forth specific procedures that credit card issuers must follow to investigate and correct billing errors.
Here is a detailed overview of consumer rights under the FCBA:
● Right to Dispute Billing Errors
Under the FCBA, consumers have the right to dispute any billing errors on their credit card statements. A billing error may include unauthorized charges, charges for goods or services that were not received, charges for goods or services that were not as described, or mathematical errors on the statement.
To dispute a billing error, the consumer must notify the credit card issuer in writing within 60 days of receiving the statement. The notification should include the consumer's name and account number, a description of the billing error, and the amount in question.
● Right to Investigation
Once the credit card issuer receives the written dispute, they must acknowledge receipt of the dispute within 30 days and investigate the matter within 90 days. During the investigation, the credit card issuer must review the consumer's account and billing records to determine if there was a billing error.
If the credit card issuer finds that there was no billing error, they must notify the consumer in writing and explain why. If the credit card issuer finds that there was a billing error, they must correct it and send the consumer a written explanation.
● Right to Correction
If the credit card issuer determines that there was a billing error, they must correct it and send the consumer a written explanation. The credit card issuer must also adjust any finance charges, late fees, or other charges that were applied as a result of the billing error.
If the credit card issuer does not correct the billing error, the consumer has the right to take legal action to enforce their rights under the FCBA.
Right to Withhold Payment
Consumers have the right to withhold payment on the disputed amount and any related finance charges while the dispute is being investigated. However, consumers must still pay any portion of the statement that is not in dispute.
● Right to No Retaliation
Credit card issuers are prohibited from retaliating against consumers who exercise their rights under the FCBA. Retaliation may include cancelling the consumer's credit card, reporting negative information to credit reporting agencies, or taking any other adverse action against the consumer.
In conclusion, the FCBA provides consumers with important rights to dispute billing errors and unauthorized charges on their credit card statements. If a billing error is found, the credit card issuer must correct it and adjust any related charges. Consumers should review their credit card statements regularly and exercise their rights under the FCBA if they find any errors or unauthorized charges.