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Sample Billing Dispute Letter

As you handle your debt, false credit or debit card charges can be a surprising challenge. If you spot an unfamiliar credit transaction on your credit card statement, it's important to act fast and let your financial institution know.

Creditors sometimes make mistakes, or credit card theft may have occurred without your knowledge. Suppose you believe there is a fraudulent charge on your credit card account. In that case, you should withhold payment of that amount and any finance charges until your credit card company investigates the disputed charge.

This article will discuss your rights to dispute an unauthorized charge. There is a sample letter at the end of this article that you can use to write to your financial institution about a billing dispute.

Your Rights Under Federal Law

Federal law grants borrowers the right to dispute such charges, safeguarding your consumer credit. Several government agencies help protect borrower's rights and fight against financial fraud and scams.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) ensures your ability to question inaccuracies on your credit reports. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) oversees fair credit practices. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforces the Fair Credit Billing Act, which protects consumers against billing errors on their credit card statements.

Another important piece of legislation is the Truth in Lending Act, which requires lenders to disclose key terms and costs associated with loans and credit. It also ensures that consumers have accurate information about the terms of their credit agreements. FindLaw's article "Federal Consumer Credit Laws Checklist" is an excellent resource for more information on your rights under federal law.

If you are in a billing dispute with your credit card company or financial institution, it may be wise to consult an attorney for legal advice. An attorney can ensure your federal rights under the law are respected.

Creditor Requirements in Billing Disputes

When disputing false charges or a billing error, promptly contact your credit card issuer or lender. You can find their contact details on your credit card statement or their website.

Notify them in writing, using certified mail with a return receipt for proper documentation. Your letter should clearly state the disputed amount. It should also provide information about the charges in question. If you are in a billing dispute, following federal requirements is important.

Written notice to most creditors forces them to follow federal regulations in resolving billing disputes. Some of these requirements place time limits on the creditor, such as:

  • The creditor must acknowledge receipt of an error notice within 30 days
  • The creditor must correct or explain an account within two billing cycles (90-day maximum)

Other requirements prevent the creditor from taking certain actions. Actions can't happen until the creditor complies with the requirements of resolving a billing error claim. The creditor may not:

  • Close your billing account
  • Make (or threaten to make) a bad credit report on your nonpayment of the debt
  • Attempt to collect the amount in dispute

Send In a Written Notice for Billing Disputes

To trigger federal requirements, the written notice must provide the creditor with the following:

  • Account identification information
  • Identification of the specific bill (or bills) in dispute
  • A statement that you believe the bill is in error
  • The reason(s) you dispute the bill

The notice must be sent within 60 days of getting the bill containing the error. You can use this billing dispute letter template:

Date ______________

Creditor Name

Address, City, State, Zip

Re: Account Number _______________________

To Whom It May Concern:

I am disputing a charge on my bill dated ___________. The charge date is _____________ and is in the amount of ____________. The reference or transaction number is ___________________. The amount is in error because:

Please remove this charge from my account. Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.



Your Name

Address, City, State, Zip

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