If you’re struggling to keep up with credit card bills due to losing a job, dealing with an illness, facing an emergency or coping with unexpected expenses, you have options when dealing with your credit card company. If you act quickly and try to work with your company, the better your chances are for avoiding a debt in collections, damage to your credit report, or a potential lawsuit or bankruptcy.
WAYS TO WORK WITH A CREDIT CARD COMPANY
Be cautious of Debt Settlement Companies, which are for-profit companies that charge a fee, which are often 20-25% more of the debt they settle. Individuals can work with the credit card company directly, as these groups do not have special relationships with the credit card company. Link here for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website page with more information on Debt Settlement Companies.
For information on Credit Card Debt Collections and what you need to know, link here for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website page, https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/category-debt-collection/
CREDIT CARD DISPUTE INFORMATION
The following information is summarized from the websites of the Connecticut State Department of Banking: http://www.ct.gov/dob/site/default.asp and the Federal Trade Commission (Fact Sheets on “Credit, ATM and Debit Cards”: (www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre04.shtm) and “Electronic Banking”: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) offer procedures for individuals and businesses to use if their cards are lost or stolen.
WHAT IS THE FAIR CREDIT BILLING ACT?
The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) helps consumers resolve disputes with creditors over errors which appear on bills for their “open end” credit arrangements which include credit cards, revolving charge accounts (such as department store accounts) and overdraft checking.
WHAT IS THE ELECTRONIC FUND TRANSFER ACT?
The Electronic Fund Transfer Act provides consumer protection for all transactions using a debit card or electronic means to debit or credit an account. It also limits a consumer’s liability for unauthorized electronic fund transfers.
WHAT ARE THE TYPE OF BILLING ERRORS THAT CAN OCCUR?
The term “billing errors” includes:
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CARD IS LOST OR STOLEN?
Note: If your credit card is lost or stolen, contact your financial institution as soon as possible to report the loss or theft and to learn about your liabilities.
TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT’S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by agency name:
Federal Trade Commission
SOURCES: 2-1-1 Database; State of Connecticut Department of Banking website; Federal Trade Commission; Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
INTERNET PAGE PREPARED BY: 211/pt
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: September2019