FCBA (Fair Credit Billing Act) Lawyers

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Credit Card Fraud or Unauthorized Charges? Protect Your Rights and Repair Your Finances with a Credit Card Fraud Lawyer.

In the world of consumer credit, there is almost nothing more deflating, disempowering, and upsetting than realizing you’ve fallen victim to credit card fraud. It’s a hit to your finances, your sense of self, and your reputation. And it’s exponentially worse when credit card companies and other financial institutions don’t follow the law to help protect you.

If you’re searching for a credit card fraud lawyer or a credit card theft lawyer “near me,” then you have likely already been victimized by this pervasive crime, and now you need help. For better or worse, you’re certainly not alone in this situation. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported receiving fraud reports from 2.4 million people in 2022. New FTC Data Show Consumers Reported Losing Nearly $8.8 Billion to Scams in 2022.

And there’s likely also a large amount of fraud that goes unreported to the FTC. Fraudsters continuously perfect their scams to blur the line between seemingly legitimate opportunities and nefarious criminal activities. It is difficult for even the most diligent and security-conscious consumer to keep up and stay safe.

So, what happens if you find yourself the victim of credit card fraud? Who can help guide you back to financial repair and protect your rights? We can! With seventy-five years of combined practice experience and a nationwide presence, the highly skilled and knowledgeable consumer protection lawyers at Consumer Attorneys are your best asset for fighting back!

I'll explain what the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) is and how it protects you, what to do if you’ve experienced credit card fraud, what a credit card fraud attorney is, how they can help, and why you’ll pay nothing out of pocket for our legal services if we file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Keep reading to get informed, be empowered, and make the best decisions to protect and repair your financial and emotional health!

What Is FCBA?

The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) is federal legislation passed as part of the Truth in Lending Act, both form part of our nation’s comprehensive consumer protection regulations. Along with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, this legislation works with comparable or complementary state regulations to help balance the incredible power disparity between corporate interests and consumers.

The FCBA gives consumers several key protections and places certain legal burdens on credit card companies to do the right thing when fraud strikes. See below for a thorough explanation of your rights under the FCBA.

For now, it is important to know the FCBA protects consumers from fraud on open-ended credit accounts (e.g., credit card accounts, charge accounts, open lines of credit, or similar). In other words, it applies to any credit account in which you have ongoing access to a line of credit but for which there isn’t already a set loan amount and payment plan (such as with a mortgage or auto loan). So, credit card fraud falls directly within the purview of the FCBAA. 

What to Do if You Have Experienced Credit Card Fraud

If you experience or suspect you have experienced credit card fraud, you will need to do the following important things:

  1. Notify the fraud department. Immediately inform the fraud department at the credit card company or lender that holds the account that has been compromised. If the credit card or charge account is affiliated with a business (such as an airline or retail store), you will contact the bank that issues the card, not the business. For instance, if you have an Amazon Prime card issued by Chase, you will need to contact the fraud department at Chase.
    • Before calling, review your credit card statement for the account on which you noticed suspicious activity. Identify any instance of unknown, unauthorized, or confusing entries. Look at the details like store names, dates, locations, amounts, etc.
    • Take notes during or immediately after your conversation to preserve your understanding of what they tell you about the next steps, your rights, their actions, etc.
    • Note: this is not the dispute! This contact with the fraud department is simply meant to put an end to any ongoing fraud. It puts the credit card company or lender on notice that fraud has been committed with this card. Frequently, the outcome is that the card is canceled, and a new one is issued. (See below for more information on this topic.)
  2. File a written dispute by certified mail. As soon as possible, and within 60 days from the date on the billing statement on which the fraudulent charges are posted, you must file a formal dispute of all fraudulent charges in writing. Under the FCBA, you cannot dispute fraudulent charges by phone.

    In addition, you must send your written dispute to the address identified on the back of the billing statement. We highly recommend sending everything via certified mail.

    • Include a letter stating that you are writing to dispute certain charges on your billing statement(s). Be sure to clearly identify which charges you are disputing. Include the dates of the statements and all identifying information about the charges, such as dates, locations, amounts, and items or services purchased.
    • It helps to include a copy of the billing statement(s) that contain the fraudulent charges so that you can circle, underline, or highlight the charges and make specific notations. Providing this alternate method of identifying the disputed charges is helpful to make sure there is complete clarity.
  3. Review your credit reports. Conduct a review and place a fraud alert on your credit reports at all three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You can set a fraud alert online or by phone using the number provided on the website for each credit bureau.
    • Importantly, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each credit bureau weekly. We recommend regularly reviewing your credit reports. There are three ways to request a copy: online at annualcreditreport.com, by phone at 877-322-8228, or by mailing a request form, which can be printed at annualcreditreport.com. Online requests should only be made through the above government-verified site.
  4. Review statements for other credit cards and banking or financial institutions. Identify any suspicious activity and follow the same procedures to notify the companies and dispute fraudulent charges.
  5. File a police report. Depending on the extent of the criminal activity, you may need or want to report credit card fraud to the local police or your state Attorney General’s office. They may also suggest reporting it to the Federal Trade Commission.
    • We recommend doing this for any ongoing, invasive, or substantial fraud. In other words, instances of fraud that appear across multiple accounts, prove to be continuous or add up to a substantial amount of money should be reported to the appropriate authorities.
  6. Contact a consumer protection lawyer. Lawyers like those at Consumer Attorneys can be contacted at any time during this process. While it may seem straightforward, several federal and state regulations heavily influence consumer protection law, and having an ally who knows the legal landscape will make the entire process better for you.

    It is incredibly helpful to have legal guidance throughout the process, and working with an FCBA lawyer is the best approach.

A Note About Card Cancellations

The credit card company will want to cancel any compromised credit card, and for most consumers, this is the best option. If you have other means to pay for the necessities of life, such as other credit cards, ATM cards, or cash, then we recommend allowing the credit card company to cancel the compromised card. You must then update credit card information on any sites that store and use that card for payment and purchases.

If, due to your financial circumstances, you are incapable of meeting your basic necessities while awaiting a new credit card, canceling the compromised card may not be a viable option. For instance, if you do not have access to another credit card, charge account, or similar line of credit, do not have a partner or spouse with a card that can be used in the interim, do not have access to an ATM, banking, or checking account, and do not have access to cash, then this may apply to you. In these very rare and limited circumstances, we recommend discussing the best alternative options with the credit card company and contacting a lawyer.

What Do Credit Fraud Lawyers Do?

Credit fraud lawyers help consumers navigate the legal landscape when they’ve fallen victim to this crime. We can guide and advise you on different aspects of the process throughout, including seeking compensation for financial and emotional repair through a lawsuit if necessary.

Consumers searching for us online after being victimized have a lot of different ways of trying to find us: credit card fraud attorneys, Fair Credit Billing Act attorneys, and other variations. Regardless of what you call us, we are consumer protection lawyers, and we are the professionals that the law entrusts to take care of consumers injured by these types of financial crimes.

Credit card fraud can also quickly spill over into credit reporting problems. This means that several federal regulations may come into play, including the FCBA and the FCRA, along with comparable state laws. Notably, under the FCBA and the FCRA, lawyers are entrusted to help guide consumers to relief and compensation.

How do I know this? Because the FCBA and the FCRA state that if you work with a lawyer to protect your rights and seek repair, correction, and compensation under these regulations, the companies you sue have to pay for the costs and fees of your lawyer when you win.

This means that you will pay nothing out-of-pocket for working with a skilled and experienced consumer protection lawyer like the ones on our team at Consumer Attorneys.  

When Do I Need a Lawyer for Credit Card Fraud?

You can contact a consumer protection lawyer as soon as you realize that this type of fraud has victimized you. However, you really need a credit fraud attorney when you’ve gone through all of the steps of the process to correct your credit card statements and remove fraudulent entries but you’re still having problems getting things back to good.

Some of the consequences that result from credit fraud are:

  • Credit card accounts, charge accounts, or lines of credit have increased, high, or maxed out balances due to fraudulent activity. This alone can drastically wound your credit score.
  • Credit card companies or lenders engage in inadequate or insufficient investigations, refuse to remove fraudulent charges or fail to uphold your rights or their legal obligations under the FCBA and other relevant state laws.
  • Credit card companies or lenders report you as delinquent to the credit bureaus for payments that are in dispute, and your credit score and reputation are further destroyed.
  • Debt collectors engage in harassing or abusive practices for repayment of money that you do not rightfully owe because the charges were fraudulent.

When you’re struggling to stay afloat through this type of criminal financial ordeal, it can be traumatizing. This is especially true if the damage spreads like wildfire rather than cooling off quickly.

If your credit score also takes a big hit, know that consumer protection lawyers are not only the professionals who know the FCBA, but we’re also fraudulent credit report lawyers who can guide you through the legal landscape of the Fair Credit Reporting Act as well.

Can I Solve Credit Card Fraud Without a Lawyer?

The answer to this depends on how things go.

Some people have good luck and relative ease putting their financial profile back together and working without a lawyer for credit card fraud. Others encounter stumbling block after stumbling block and find that their situation quickly goes from bad to worse. So, you might not know whether you need to work with attorneys who handle credit fraud until your situation has spiraled. Thankfully, even if you don’t reach out right away, you can reach out anytime during the process, and we’re here to help.

However, if the fraud perpetrated against your accounts is extensive or broad and involves unresponsive or uncooperative companies, debt collections, credit reporting agencies, or other similar issues, we recommend working with a Fair Credit Billing Act lawyer as soon as possible.

If you encounter any resistance, including stalls, delays, inadequate investigations, or refusals to make corrections, you should immediately engage an lawyer. Finally, if the credit card company or lender advises you that its investigation confirmed the authenticity of the charges, but you know that this is false, you should contact a credit card theft attorney immediately.

Consumer Rights Under the FCBA

The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) does two important things simultaneously. It gives you affirmative rights to enforce during any credit card fraud dispute with the credit card company. And it gives the credit card company-specific legal obligations. These are basically two sides of the same coin, but they are both important. 

Your rights under the FCBA

  1. You have the right to dispute any fraudulent charges on your credit card, charge account, or loan statement that are $50 or greater. You must initiate the dispute within 60 days of receiving your bill.
  2. You have the right to a $50 liability limit for any confirmed fraudulent charges. This is true even when the fraud amounts to thousands of dollars. We note that many credit card companies and lenders waive your obligation to meet this limit. So, if you are successful in disputing fraudulent charges, you most likely will not have to pay anything.
  3. You have the right to dispute charges for undelivered goods and inaccurate amounts (e.g., purchases that are legitimately made but billed incorrectly or repeatedly).
  4. You have sixty days to dispute charges initially and ten additional days to dispute the credit card company's post-investigation determination.
  5. You have the right to payment and debt collection forbearance during the dispute and investigation process.

In other words, you cannot be forced to pay the disputed amount or be sent to collections for failure to pay until the investigation is fully resolved. We recommend that you directly state this to the credit card company or other lender in your dispute, whether via phone or by mail.

The Credit Card Company’s Obligations Under the FCBA

  1. The company must respond within 30 days of receiving your dispute to confirm receipt.
  2. The company must complete its investigation within 90 days and inform you of its determination.
  3. The company must provide documentation supporting its findings if it determines there was no fraud. In other words, it must provide documentation supporting its position that you legitimately authorized the charges.

Trust Our Attorneys Who Work under the FCBA

The top-tier team of lawyers at Consumer Attorneys has helped thousands of consumers salvage and revitalize their financial lives after data errors, credit card fraud, and similar events temporarily derailed them.

With over seventy-five years of combined experience and a nationwide presence, we are everywhere you need us to be. Our lawyers represent credit card fraud victims and understand how best to protect your rights under the FCBA.

Fair Credit Billing Act Lawyers Fees

When you contact Consumer Attorneys, no matter what phase of the credit card fraud dispute you are in, your legal consultation with one of our skilled lawyers is 100% free of charge. We do not charge you anything to discuss your case with us.

If you bring a lawsuit against the credit card company or lender for violations of your rights or their obligations under the FCBA and you win, the law requires that they pay your lawyer’s fees and costs.

So, there are no out-of-pocket costs or fees to you if you work with a lawyer to protect yourself, revitalize your emotional and financial health, correct your credit, and get compensation.

Contact Us When You Need Credit Fraud Attorney

With an option to suit every need, we make it easy for you to contact us. You can call (+1-877-615-1725), email ([email protected]), fill out an online intake form, or use the virtual chat option to speak with us now.

The consultation is free, and if we work together, you pay nothing out-of-pocket. Connect with us now!

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