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One of the benefits of using credit and charge cards is that they come with built-in consumer protection. A federal law called the Fair Credit Billing Act gives people who use “open end” credit accounts the right to dispute fraudulent and unfair credit charges. This law does not apply to installment contracts (loans) or debit cards.
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) offers quite a bit of consumer protection for credit and charge card users, including:
To dispute a charge, make sure you follow the process as outlined in the FCBA:
During the investigation:
If the investigation finds that your bill does contain an error, the creditor will write you a letter explaining which corrections they will make to your account, and credit you with any finance charges, late fees or other error-related charges.
However, if the creditor finds the bill to be correct, you will be responsible for the disputed amount plus any accumulated finance charges, as well as the minimum amount you missed paying because of the dispute.
If you want to contest the results, write to the creditor within ten days of receiving the letter. Explain that you wish to continue disputing the charge. If you still see no results, and want to continue to fight the decision, you may file an appeal with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency at www.occ.treas.gov/customer.htm.
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