Over the years, our law firm as seen a surge in credit card disputes. Its no wonder that these have grown over the years since the rise in identity theft and online shopping continue to surge. We have filed numerous lawsuits against banks such as American Express, Bank of American, Capital One and others directing them to return our clients’ money. Here are our top 5 tips for making your credit card dispute work.
Make your dispute timely.
Keep an eye on your credit card statements because you only have 60 days from the date that a bogus credit card transaction appears, to dispute it. This is not a lot of time. If you miss that 60 day window, then your claims against the bank will expire. Your only recourse is to sue the merchant. Unfortunately, you will have to sue the merchant in the state where it conducts business. In an online transaction, this can be anywhere in the world. By making a timely dispute with your bank, you can eventually sue the bank in the state where you live. It’s a whole lot easier to sue the bank than the merchant.
Make your dispute in writing.
The law requires that your dispute must be in writing to the bank. While banks invite you to make your dispute over the phone, just know that by doing so, you are potentially waiving your rights to sue the bank. The banks wont tell you that. We have dealt with a few defense attorneys who made a point of defending cases on the basis that the our client only called the bank and did not follow up in writing. We believe (know), that banks want you to make your claims over the phone so you cannot sue them. We also believe that by subsequently conducting an investigation into the disputes, the banks waive the right to written notice, but this theory has not been tried yet. Your best bet…make your dispute over the phone and then follow it up with a letter or an email. Be sure to keep a copy.
Be sure to get a copy of the acknowledgment of your dispute.
Under the law, banks are required to acknowledge receipt of your dispute, in writing. This can come to you via email or U.S. Mail. Just be sure that you get an acknowledgment of your dispute within 1 week of making it. It will be your proof that the bank received your dispute. Once it receives your dispute, the bank must conduct a reasonable investigation. This means that the bank has to get the merchant’s side of the story. The bank may even ask you for more information to document your dispute. Be sure to get it to them, quickly. Always keep a copy and receipt of what you send to the bank.
When your dispute is declined by the bank, file your lawsuit within 1 year…or else.
The banks are notorious for ruling against consumers on disputes. They know that most people do not know their rights and will not do anything to enforce them. But as you are reading this, you are not one of those people. You must file your lawsuit against the bank within 1 year of its ruling against you. If you fail to do so, your only recourse is against the merchant who may be located anywhere in the world. You do not want to lose rights against the bank because you can sue them in the state where you live. If can only sue the merchant, you must sue it in the state where it is located which, in most instances, will be difficult if not impossible to do.
Hire the right lawyer so that the lawsuit costs you nothing out of pocket.
A Consumer Rights lawyer will not charge you anything out of pocket. Under the law, you are entitled to attorneys fees and costs of your action along with actual damages. Your actual damages can include damage to your credit standing, loss of income, emotional or physical damages you suffered because the bank would not remove the bogus charges from your credit card account.
Suing banks can be very tricky. Their attorneys get a steady diet of consumers who think this is a “DIY” project. They almost inevitably lose their cases. We have also seen what happens when lawyers who do not regularly do this kind of work dabble in it. The results are usually catastrophic to the client. Worse yet is when a client is forced to pay his or her lawyers’ monthly invoices when there is no reason to do so.
Call us today. Our help costs you nothing out of pocket
If you have fraudulent charges on your credit card statement, visit us Credit Repair Lawyers of America or more information We have been helping consumers with credit issues since 2008. Call us at (404) 528-2058 or email us at Gary@crlam.com when you are ready to fight back. We are happy to help you through the maze of disputing your credit card issues all at no out of pocket charge to you. Contact us today for your free, no obligation consultation.