Liability for Unauthorized Purchases on Your Credit Card

Thu, Mar 26, 2015

Bankruptcy, Debt Mitigation

 Some rights reserved by natloansYou’ve found a fraudulent charge on your credit card. Now what do you do?

The FCBA, Fair Credit Bill Act, can often help you. According to, this law “applies to “open end” credit accounts (credit cards) and revolving charge accounts, i.e., department store accounts. It doesn’t cover installment contracts — loans or extensions of credit you repay on a fixed schedule.”

The FCBA can help with improper billing, as well as the fraudulent charges. Acquaint yourself ahead of time with the procedure your particular creditor has for disputing items on your bill. Then you will be prepared. Some companies may have different procedures and contact methods, though the FCBA does regulate this also. Sometimes the company may be able to mediate the problem in a quicker fashion depending on their particular procedures.

Of particular importance is that unauthorized charges are kept at a $50 responsibility. However, you have to know about the charge, so make sure you check your account regularly. It might be a good idea to set up an online account with your credit card company to catch the errors prior to waiting for the statement to come out.

The website we reference above has some detailed steps to take to dispute errors on your bill. Check these against your credit card company’s procedures. Explanation of the investigation and its findings must be submitted in writing per the FCBA. So even if you have a phone conversation about it, they should be sending you detailed info in writing via mail. Make sure you are documenting your efforts in writing as well.

Lastly, prepaid cards are often not regulated by anything to prevent unauthorized use. However, some legislation has been suggested for prepaid cards that would make them safer. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is working towards this by proposing that prepaid cards be subject to rules that a regular credit card must follow.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more.  SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

Image: Some rights reserved by natloans


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