Fair Credit Billing Act

The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) was enacted in 1974 as an amendment to the Truth in Landing Act.  The FCBA protects consumers from unfair credit and charge card billing, and provides ways to contest erroneous charges on your bill.

Among the billing errors covered by the FCBA are:

* Charges that are not yours.

* Charges with an inaccurate date or time.

* Charges with an inaccurate price.

* Charges for items that you refused or were not delivered as agreed.

* Charges for items that were received damaged or not in the condition agreed.

* Failure to include applicable credits for payments and returns.

* Bills sent to the wrong address, if address change had been provided at least 20 days earlier.

* Inclusion of charges for which you’ve already provided written notice of dispute, where the dispute has not yet been resolved.

* Calculation errors.

In response to any of these problems with your credit card bill, the procedure provided by the FCBA is that you are to report the problem in writing to the credit card company within 60 days.  (Your credit card bill must include an address identified as for “billing inquiries.”)  When you write to them, you must identify yourself and your account number, specify what the error is, and explain why you contend that it is an error.

The credit card company’s obligation upon receipt of your notice of dispute is to acknowledge receipt of your dispute letter, conduct a reasonable investigation to determine if there is indeed an error, and suspend your obligation to pay the disputed amount until the investigation is completed.  If the investigation determines that there has been an error, the credit card company is then obligated to correct the error, refund any related charges that occurred as the result of the error (e.g., interest), send a correction notice to you informing you of the correction(s) made, and report the resolution to any credit bureau to which they had erroneously reported a delinquency.  If the investigation determines that there has not been an error, the credit card company must send you a letter explaining why they believe there is no error.

The FCBA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  If you believe that a credit card company has failed to meet its obligations under the FCBA, you or your attorney may report the matter to the FTC.