Fair Credit Billing Act
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) is a
United States federal lawenacted as an amendment to the Truth in Lending Act(codified at usc|15|1601 et seq.). Its purpose is to protect consumers from unfair billing practices and to provide a mechanism for addressing billing errors in "open end" credit accounts, such as credit cardor charge cardaccounts.cite web | title = Facts for Consumers; Fair Credit Billing | publisher = Federal Trade Commission | date = August 1999 | url = http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/fcb.htm | accessdate = 2008-01-27]
Examples of billing errors
The following are examples of billing errors under the FCBA [usc|15|1666] :
* Charges not actually made by the
* Charges in the wrong amount
* Charges for goods not received by the consumer
* Charges for goods not delivered as agreed
* Charges for goods that were damaged on delivery
* Failures to properly reflect payments or credits to an account
* Calculation errors
* Charges that the consumer wants clarified or requests proof of
* Statements mailed to the wrong address
Correction of billing errors
The FCBA allows consumers to dispute billing errors by sending a written notice of the dispute to the creditor. To trigger duties under the Act, you must send a written dispute via mail (US Postal Service) to the "billing inquiries" address on your credit card statement. This dispute must be received by the creditor within sixty days of the statement date on the account statement that first contained the billing error. This usually leads to a
chargebackto the vendor.
After receiving notice of a dispute, the credit issuer must acknowledge the dispute, investigate the claim and, within ninety days, either make appropriate corrections to the account or send a letter to the consumer explaining why the creditor believes there was no error. If the creditor responds that they believe there was no error, the consumer can request copies of documentation supporting the validity of the disputed items.
Other regulations of the FCBA
In addition to creating a mechanism for dealing with billing errors, the FCBA contains additional regulations, including the following:
* Billing statements must be sent at least fourteen days before the payment is due for credit accounts that have a grace period prior to adding finance charges.
* If banks report payments as delinquent to credit bureaus they must also report a charge is disputed.
* Credit card companies may not prohibit merchants from offering discounts to people who pay with cash or check.
* Banks may generally not use money in checking or savings accounts to pay a delinquent credit account with the same bank.
* The FCBA also gives a consumer the right to sue or assert defenses against the credit company (instead of the actual merchant) in a dispute about the quality of goods or services received, to the dollar extent of the amount of the charge(s) involved.:"(The dollar amount of the charge must exceed $50, and the purchase must have been made in the consumer's home state or within 100 miles of their address (unless the creditor is affiliated with the merchant, in which case these restrictions do not apply). The consumer must also make a
good faithattempt to resolve the dispute prior to invoking this right.)"
Enforcement of the FCBA
Federal Trade Commissionis the "overall enforcing agency" for purposes of administrative enforcement, though compliance by banks is enforced under section 8 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act. [usc|15|1607]
A consumer may also file a private lawsuit in any state or federal court with
jurisdictionover the parties to recover actual damages, statutory damagesof double the erroneous finance charge(s), and his or her costs and attorney fees (if the claim is successful). If the alleged unlawful conduct is widespread, the consumer can also seek to file a class action suitand seek damages up to the lesser of $500,000 or 1 per centum of the net worth of the creditor. [usc|15|1640]
Fair Credit Reporting Act(FCRA)
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act(FCDPA)
ources and external links
* [http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fcb/fcb.pdf Full text of the FCBA in pdf format] - Federal Trade Commission
* - WikiSource
* [http://www.creditorweb.com/definition/fair-credit-billing-act.html Fair Credit Billing Act Definition] Creditor Web
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Fair Credit Billing Act — (FCBA) An amendment to the Truth in Lending Act that gives consumers the right to challenge errors on their credit card statements. Once notified of an error, the company must either correct it or explain why it believes the statement is correct… … Law dictionary
Fair Credit Billing Act — Federal Act designed to facilitate settlement of billing error disputes and to make credit card companies more responsible for the quality of merchandise purchased by cardholders. 15 U.S.C.A. No. 1666 et seq … Black's law dictionary
Fair Credit Billing Act - FCBA — A federal law designed to protect consumers from unfair credit billing practices. The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) provides guidelines for both consumers and creditors including procedures to manage disputes regarding billing statements. In… … Investment dictionary
Fair Credit Reporting Act — The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is an American federal law (codified at usc|15|1681 et seq.) that regulates the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer credit information. ( [http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf Full Statute] … Wikipedia
Credit CARD Act of 2009 — CARD redirects here. For other uses, see CARD (disambiguation). Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 Full title An Act to amend the Truth in Lending Act to establish fair and transparent practices relating to the… … Wikipedia
Credit card — Personal finance Credit and debt Pawnbroker Student loan Employment contract Salary Wage Empl … Wikipedia
Credit bureau — A credit bureau (United States), or credit reference agency (United Kingdom) is a company that collects information from various sources and provides consumer credit information on individual consumers for a variety of uses. It is an organization … Wikipedia
Credit card interest — Finance Financial markets Bond market … Wikipedia
consumer credit — Short term loans to individuals for purchase of consumer goods and services See also Consumer Credit Code Consumer Credit Protection Act consumer credit sale consumer credit transaction credit card Equal Credit Opportunity Act … Black's law dictionary
USA PATRIOT Act — Full title Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 Acronym USA PATRIOT Act, also Patriot Act Enacted by the 107th United States Congress … Wikipedia