Billing Error Disputes
There are laws that protect you (the “consumer”) with regard to billing on your credit accounts. The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) is a federal law that covers credit billing disputes between you and your creditors, giving a step-by-step procedure to resolve disputes. The general procedure is as follows:
- If you believe there has been a billing error, you must give written notice to the creditor of the error within 60 days of receiving the bill with the error.
- The creditor must respond to you within 30 days. The creditor then has two billing cycles, but not longer than 90 days, to resolve the dispute. At the end of that time, the creditor must either explain to you why the bill is correct or it must correct the error.
- During that 90 day period, the creditor cannot try to collect on the amount in dispute and no finance charges may be imposed on that disputed amount. The account may not be reported as delinquent, nor can it be closed or restricted because of your failure to pay the disputed amount and/or related charges.
- If you still believe the billing to be in dispute after the resolution period, you must again notify the creditor in writing. During this period, the creditor may not report the account delinquent without also reporting that the amount is in dispute. The creditor must also report to you the name and address of each person to whom the creditor is reporting information about the delinquency (for instance, a credit reporting agency such as Experian, Equifax or TransUnion).
- The creditor must also report the matter’s resolution to anyone who received a report on the delinquency.
- Creditors must include an address on your statements that tells you where to address your billing questions.
Legal Editors: Richard Klass and C. Jaye Berger, August 2015 (updated October 2018)
Changes may occur in this area of law. The information provided is brought to you as a public service with the help and assistance of volunteer legal editors, and is intended to help you better understand the law in general. It is not intended to be legal advice regarding your particular problem or to substitute for the advice of a lawyer.
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