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Credit Cards - Disputes

What do I do if my bill (credit card / personal line of credit / home equity line of credit) is wrong? How do I file a billing dispute?

For any charges that you believe are in error, notify your bank in writing. Use the billing error instructions that appear on the back of the periodic credit card statement.

Please note: Send your letter to the address specified after “Send Billing Inquiries to:” on the back of the statement. This address usually differs from where you send your payment.

The credit card company must receive your letter within 60 days of its sending you the first statement on which you noticed the billing error.  

My credit card / home equity line of credit / personal line of credit is involved in a billing dispute/error. Can the bank apply late fees and interest while this is being investigated?

Generally, if you have filed a proper billing dispute with the bank, you would not need to pay—and the bank cannot try to collect—any portion of any required payment that you believe is related to the disputed amount while the dispute is being investigated. This includes related finance or other charges.

However, the bank can act to collect any undisputed portion of the item or bill.

How long can the bank take to resolve my billing error/dispute on my credit card / personal line of credit / home equity line of credit?

Generally, the bank shall mail or deliver written acknowledgement to you within 30 days of receiving your written billing error notice. If the bank determines that a billing error has occurred, it shall resolve it within two complete billing cycles—but no later than 90 days after receiving a billing error notice.

If the bank determines that no billing error occurred, it shall mail or deliver to you an explanation with the reasons why the error you believe occurred is incorrect.

I currently have a billing dispute regarding my credit card / personal line of credit / home equity line of credit. While the dispute was under investigation, the bank reported my account negatively to the credit-reporting agencies. Can it do this?

No. Generally, if you have filed a proper billing error dispute with a national bank, the bank shall not make an adverse report to any person about your credit standing.

The bank also should not report that an amount or account is delinquent because you failed to pay the disputed amount—or related finance or other charges—while the investigation proceeds.

If your bank has made a negative report despite your having filed a billing error dispute, you should file a written complaint.

Can the bank charge a fee for actions such as making a payment over the phone?

Generally, yes. Federal law allows banks to charge non-interest charges and fees, including deposit account service charges. Three points about these charges and fees:

National banks are required to disclose any fees associated with their accounts when the account is set up. Therefore, you may want to review your agreement with the bank. (If your question is about a credit card, please review your Account Agreement.)

My bank told me it would report my loan to the credit bureau if it ever was more than 60 days past due but they reported the loan at only 30 days past due. Can the bank do this?

Generally, yes, as long as the information is accurate, the bank can report its experience with your loans to a credit bureau at any time. This includes loans that are paying as agreed as well as those that are delinquent.

Copyright 2007 by Mark McCracken , All Rights Reserved