Free Consultation
The office is open as per the NYS Covid-19 guidelines. We are now doing both in-person and telephone consultations. Please call the office at 718-855-6840 to schedule a time to speak with one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys.

How to Challenge Charges on Your Credit Card Bill

Finding a questionable or incorrect charge on a credit card statement probably happens to most New Yorkers at least once. Most people’s natural inclination is to call the creditor and try to work it out over the phone. If that doesn’t work, the law is on your side, but it’s a slow process involving the federal Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA). Here’s what you need to do.

First, you will need to write the creditor asking for an explanation of the charges. In your letter, include your name, address, account number, a copy of the statement containing the error, and a concise explanation of your side of the story. Next, send this to the creditor within 30 days of receiving the notice. This may be one of those instances when using certified mail with a return receipt request is a good idea. That way you have proof that you sent the letter advising the creditor of the charge within the 30-day period.

Step three: Hang tight. Once the creditor has received your letter, it has a 30-day period off its own to respond in writing. If you receive a response that is not in writing, or it’s too late, then the creditor is in violation of the FCBA. In its letter, the creditor will explain the error, and it must remove all financial charges and late fees it added to your credit card bill in the meantime. Although, it is free to dispute the remaining charges. Keep the letter it sends you.

Finally, the creditor will investigate the charges, and you will continue paying all non-disputed and subsequent charges. If your creditor initiates collection proceedings on your account, freezes your assets, or threatens to report your non-payment of the disputed charge to a credit agency, it is in violation of the FCBA. The creditor has a 90-day limit to resolve the dispute after receiving your letter.

A few things can happen from here. If the creditor concludes that you are right and it is wrong, the charges will be removed from your bill and life will go back to normal. If it disagrees and thinks it’s correct, then it will send you a letter delineating its reasons. You are entitled to ask for documentation, but you will need to pay the amount, plus other charges incurred during the process.

You are still allowed to dispute the creditor’s findings from its investigation. You must send it a letter informing it of your reasons within 10 days of receiving its findings.

For more questions about dealing with credit card companies and other creditors, please feel free to contact experienced Brooklyn Bankruptcy Law Firm Bruce Weiner for a free initial consultation.

Rosenberg, Musso & Weiner, L.L.P
26 Court St # 2211
Brooklyn, NY 11242, USA

Recent Posts

Beware Grace Periods, Debtors

Too often, debtors see grace periods offered by lenders as free benefits. “Grace” makes it sound so innocent. However, debtors who routinely rely on grace periods when making payments will find themselves facing financial difficulties that might lead to bankruptcy. The reason is that although creditors offer grace periods to debtors, they also use them

Read More »

Bankruptcy May Not Rescue You From Vicious Personal Disputes

Bankruptcy is a technical process that assumes everyone working within it is mostly rational. To the extent that it expects parties to deviate from irrational behavior, the Bankruptcy Code and its accompanying rules include incentives to keep parties in line. Creditors are usually large and impersonal, and they rarely care if their debtors file bankruptcy.

Read More »

Non-Lawyers’ Explanations of Bankruptcy May Be Wrong

Do you have financial problems? Do you tend to ask your friends for advice? Is one of your friends an experienced New York bankruptcy lawyer who will explain the process for you? Are your friends otherwise knowledgeable people? The answer to these questions may be, “Yes but you don’t know it.” Although many bankruptcy lawyers

Read More »

6 Steps to Take Before Filing Bankruptcy

Leaving your case to an experienced New York bankruptcy lawyer is not the only step on the to-do list before filing bankruptcy. There are many things debtors should do (and not do) before they file, and the more organized and mindful debtors are, the easier the process will be and the more effective the result.

Read More »

Social Security Number Not Necessary for Bankruptcy

A question that’s commonly asked about New York bankruptcy is whether a debtor needs a Social Security number to file. Debtors ask because they sometimes run across the bankruptcy form title, “Your Statement About Your Social Security Numbers” (B 121), which asks debtors to list their current and prior Social Security numbers. The new bankruptcy

Read More »

How Can a Debtor (or Creditor) Get a New Trustee?

The trustee in a New York bankruptcy case is usually not the debtor’s ally. His or her purpose is mainly to administer the bankruptcy estate or ensure the debtor’s repayment plan goes according to plan. Trustees pursue preference payments, fraudulent conveyances, and other malfeasance committed by debtors. They frequently initiate adversary proceedings against debtors. In

Read More »
Scroll to Top