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Can Fraudulent Charges On Your Credit Card Ruin Your Finances?


If you visit your parents this holiday season, ask them how different life was before the age of debit cards and ATMs.  They will tell you about balancing checkbooks with pen and paper, marking your calendar as to when to send checks for the utilities and other monthly bills, and having to buy money orders when you ran out of checks but before the bank mailed you a new checkbook.  Avoiding late fees required considerable feats of time management.  Meanwhile, today, you can make payments online, which means that if you only remember, minutes before midnight on the due date, that a bill is due, you can just log into your account and pay it and avoid late fees.  Even better, you can just set up automatic payments to be debited from your account.  Of course, it also means that days or weeks can go by without you checking your bank account or credit card transactions, which means that you might not notice fraudulent or erroneous transactions until after fraudsters have cleaned out your account.  A Jupiter debt lawyer can help you deal with financial problems caused by fraudulent charges on your account.

About the Fair Credit Billing Act

The good news is that several laws protect victims of credit card fraud from suffering heavy financial losses at the hands of fraudsters.  Pursuant to the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), the credit card company cannot hold you responsible for paying for fraudulent charges if you report the charges as fraudulent in a timely manner.  The deadline for reporting fraudulent charges is 60 days from the date of issuance of the credit card billing statement on which the fraudulent charge appears; to do this, you must send a written notice to the credit card company, telling them which charge you are disputing.  The credit card company then has 90 days to resolve the matter; they can resolve it by refunding the money to you or explaining to you in writing why they do not believe that the charge is fraudulent.

About the Electronic Funds Transfer Act

If someone steals your credit or debit card, they can use up all your money or credit before you even notice that the card is gone.  Pursuant to the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (ETFA), if you report the card missing within 48 hours of someone else accessing it, then the bank or credit card company cannot require you to pay for more than $50 of the purchases the thieves made.  If you wait more than 48 hours but report the card missing within 60 days, your maximum liability is $500.  If you wait more than 60 days, you are responsible for paying for the fraudulent charges.

Contacting a Lawyer Is the First Step Toward Getting Out of Debt

When you are in a precarious financial situation, credit card fraud is just one of the types of emergencies that can send your finances into a tailspin.  Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Jupiter, Florida to discuss your case.



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