Most Michigan consumers know that a credit card charge can be disputed if an unauthorized purchase is involved. Under the Truth in Lending Act, liability for fraudulent purchases is caps at $50. However, you may be wondering about purchases that you’ve actually made. Can you ever dispute these credit card charges? Under certain circumstances, you absolutely can. Of course, you have to be careful and follow the correct procedures. Otherwise, it may look like you’re committing credit card fraud. The Fair Credit Billing Act (“FCBA”), provides you with rights to protect your credit card.
Reasons Why Michiganders May Choose to Dispute Credit Card Charges
Simply deciding that you don’t want to pay for an item you’ve purchased is NOT a good reason for disputing a credit card charge in Michigan or in any other state. On the other hand, if there’s a billing issue or a problem with the quality of the goods or services purchased, you may have sufficient grounds to reverse a charge. Here are a few of the most common credit card billing errors that might occur:
- A consumer does not receive items purchased online.
- A consumer does not receive credit for returned items.
- Duplicate charges show up for the same transaction.
Under the FCBA, if you notice a billing error on your credit card statement, you have 60 days in which to send a dispute letter to your credit card issuer. Once it has received your dispute letter, the credit card company will then have 90 days or two billing cycles (whichever comes first) in which to conduct an investigation.
More Tips on when and if You should Dispute Credit Card Charges
You may stop making payments on the amount of the bill you’re disputing. However, you may not stop paying your credit card bill altogether. For all other charges, you must continue to make the minimum payment required every month. Otherwise, the credit card issuer may charge you late fees, bump up your interest rate, and eventually send your unpaid account into debt collections.
If you’re just unhappy with the quality of goods or services, you may or may not be able to eliminate the charges. If an item is defective or completely different than promised, the Fair Credit Billing Act offers you protections. Under this federal statute, you may dispute the charge.
For example, the goods or services in question must have cost you at least $50. Also, for Michigan consumers, the FCBA only covers purchases made in Michigan or within 100 miles of your mailing address. This is helpful for Michiganders who live close to Ohio and frequently shop in the Buckeye state. In addition to these restrictions, you are also required to contact the seller before attempting to dispute the credit card charge. This will give the merchant an opportunity to issue a refund or exchange for the faulty product, and a dispute with the credit card company can be avoided altogether.
Why Michigan Consumers should be Careful with Credit Card Charge-Backs
Michigan consumers who successfully dispute a credit card charge should be aware that a merchant might turn around and try to reclaim payment. Some retailers have been known to bill a customer directly after a charge-back occurs. Normally, these requests for payment come with a warning that ignoring the notice will result in the charge being sent to debt collections.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit
Don’t let debt collections and errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in cases that are settled. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (248) 353-2882 or contact us on our contact page.