How to Handle a Credit Card Dispute

After carefully reviewing your most recent credit card bill, you noticed a charge that was not authorized by you and you have no interest in paying. It is time to file a credit card dispute with your cardholder in the hopes that they rectify the situation by not only removing the charge, but any other fees or penalties associated with it.

When it comes to the language of credit cards, a dispute is not an argument, but the legal term signifying your disagreement of a charge or fee imposed by your credit card company. There are federal regulations as part of the Truth in Lending Act and the Fair Credit Billing Act that require a dispute to be handled a specific way.

The first step is to make a phone call to the credit card company immediately after finding the item you disagree about. Sometimes a quick phone call can be enough to correct the situation, but many times it is not enough and then proper protocol must be followed.

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Disputes must be presented in a written document within 60 days of when the creditor mailed your bill. Sending a professional letter with your name, account number and a concise description of the charges in question will benefit you greatly. It is best to send the letter via certified mail so there will be proof that you did indeed issue your inquire within the legally required time frame. To find out the correct mailing address for your dispute, look on your statement for the “billing inquiry address” and mail your document there.

Once you follow the proper protocol for submitting a dispute, your consumer rights are legally protected. The creditor must respond to you within thirty days of receiving your letter. Upon that time (and until it is settled) you do not have to pay the charge or finance fees and the creditor cannot negatively impact your creditor. You are legally entitled to a decision no more than ninety days after the creditor received your letter.

After following the proper steps either you will win, lose (the creditor has to prove why) or you will compromise on a settlement. To make your best case, make sure your claim is accurate and that you follow the proper dispute process.