Credit billing & EFT statements – know my rights

It is important to check credit billing and electronic fund transfer (EFT) account statements regularly. These documents may contain mistakes that could damage your credit status or reflect improper charges or transfers. If you find an error or discrepancy, notify the company and contest the error immediately.

The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) establish procedures for resolving mistakes on credit billing and electronic fund transfer account statements, including:

  • Charges or electronic fund transfers that you – or anyone you have authorized to use your account – have not made.
     
  • Charges or electronic fund transfers that are incorrectly identified or show the wrong amount or date.
     
  • Computation or similar errors.
     
  • Failure to reflect payments, credits, or electronic fund transfers properly.
     
  • Not mailing or delivering credit billing statements to your current address, as long as that address was received by the creditor in writing at least 20 days before the billing period ended.
     
  • Charges or electronic fund transfers for which you request an explanation or documentation, due to a possible error.
     

The FCBA generally applies only to "open end" credit accounts – credit cards, revolving charge accounts (such as department store accounts), and overdraft checking accounts. It does not apply to loans or credit sales that are paid according to a fixed schedule until the entire amount is paid back, such as an automobile loan. The EFTA applies to electronic fund transfers, such as those involving automatic teller machines (ATMs), point-of-sale debit transactions, and other electronic banking transactions.

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