Sunday, October 17, 2010

How to: Dispute A Credit Card Problem

The Virgin Credit Card, issued by Virgin Money...Image via WikipediaYou can dispute billing errors, fraudulent purchases and even charges for damaged items paid for with a credit card. If you know your rights under the law you will have an easier time. The federal Truth in Lending Act is what gives you the rights you need to act. 
 
The first problem you may have with your credit card is unauthorized use. In case of unauthorized use of your credit card, the Truth in Lending Act limits your liability to $50. There is no time limit to report a lost or stolen card, but if you alert the credit card company before someone uses the card you won't have to pay anything. If it's a debit card it's different. You have to report a lost or stolen card within 2 business days to limit liability to $50. 
 
The second problem you may dispute is billing errors. These consist of purchasing items that were never delivered, the issuer didn't credit a payment or return of goods, or your statement contains duplicate charges for the same transaction. 
 
The law gives you a limited amount of time to catch such errors. You must send a dispute letter within 60 days of the first statement that contained the mistake to the address for billing errors. The creditor must do an investigation and resolve it within two billing cycles or 90 days, whichever comes first. 
 
The letter must contain your name,account number, the statement the error is on, the dollar amount and the reason for the dispute. You may not have to write the letter because some billing statements have a form printed on the back of them for this purpose. 
 
During this process you must still continue to make the minimum payment. If you don't you will incur late fees and it may adversely affect your credit report. Any overpayment will be refunded at the conclusion of the investigation. 
 
The third thing you may dispute is the quality of goods or services purchased on your credit card. You have the right to dispute and withhold payment on that portion of the bill. But still remember you must always pay the minimum payment. This right let's you raise claims with the merchant and raise them against the credit card company also. The restrictions are the goods or services must have cost at least $50 and the purchase had to have been made in your home state or within 100 miles of your mailing address. Check with your credit issuer about purchases over the phone or Internet. 
 
Remember you have significant rights to dispute problems with your creditors. Also these companies are well motivated to make you purchase experience a good one, so you will continue to use their product. 


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