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Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974

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Citation

Fair Credit Billing Act, Pub. L. No. 93-495 (Title III), 88 Stat. 1511 (Oct. 28, 1974), codified at 15 U.S.C §1666 et seq.

Overview

Althought the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) is not an identity theft statute per se, it provides consumers with an opportunity to receive an explanation and proof of charges that may have been made by an impostor and to have unauthorized charges removed from their accounts. The purpose of the FCBA is "to protect the consumer against inaccurate and unfair credit billing and credit card practices."[1] The law defines and establishes a procedure for resolving billing errors in consumer credit transactions.[2]

Under the Act, consumers are able to file a claim with the creditor to have billing errors resolved. Until the alleged billing error is resolved, the consumer is not required to pay the disputed amount, and the creditor may not attempt to collect, any part of the disputed amount, including related finance charges or other charges.[3] The Act sets forth dispute resolution procedures and requires an investigation into the consumer's claims. If the creditor determines that the alleged billing error did occur, the creditor is obligated to correct the billing error and credit the consumer's account with the disputed amount and any applicable finance charges.[4]

References

  1. 15 U.S.C. §1601(a).
  2. For purposes of the FCBA, a "billing error" includes unauthorized charges, charges for goods or services not accepted by the consumer or delivered to the consumer, and charges for which the consumer has asked for an explanation or written proof of purchase. 15 U.S.C. §1666(b); 12 C.F.R. §226.13(a).
  3. 15 U.S.C. §1666(c); 12 C.F.R. §226.13(d)(1).
  4. 15 U.S.C. §1666(a); 12 C.F.R. §226.13(e).

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