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Fair Credit Billing Act

I Didn’t Know There was a Fair Credit Billing Act!

2010 brought about a flood of new consumer protection acts complete with the Fair Credit Billing Act. Have you ever taken a look at your credit card bill and been shocked at your balance only to find out you were billed twice or three times for an item or transaction? Well this is where this Act comes into place. Before this act you were at the mercy of the credit company to take your word that you were overbilled and hope that they would fix the problem. Now there are official steps you can take to ensure you aren’t overbilled at the mercy of these companies.

If you find that you have been overcharged or double-charged, the first step is to contact the company that made the mistake. If they are unwilling to fix the problem, follow these steps to protect your rights:

  • Write a letter explaining the billing error to the “billing inquiries” address listed on your statement. Include all of your account information as well as the best contact address and phone number
  • Send your letter certified so you have proof that it was sent, and send that letter so that the credit company has received it before 60 days after your statement with the error was sent out.

To be clear the Credit Billing Act covers these types of errors:

  • Unauthorized charges over $50.
  • Charges for the wrong amount or on the wrong date (could an impact on interest rates).
  • Charges for something you didn’t agree to or weren’t delivered as agreed.
  • Missing postings such as payments or returns made on your account.
  • Charges when you request for proof of this transaction – such as a copy of vender receipt.
  • Miscalculation of math.
  • If your statement was sent to the wrong address – be sure to notify a company at least 20 days prior to your statement date.

Your obligations: While the dispute is being processed you must pay your bill as usual for all parts not including the disputed amount. If it is part of a credit card payment, be sure to at least make your minimum payment so you don’t end up with a late on your credit history. Creditors Obligations:The credit company must respond to your request within 30 days of you reporting the error. If the response is any longer you are not required to pay the disputed amount. You must be able to prove this information so be sure to send your letter certified to prove when the company received your statement.

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