DEFENSES TO DEBT COLLECTION LAWSUITS BY CREDIT CARD ISSUERS
CREDIT CARD HOLDERS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE UNAUTHORIZED USE OF THEIR CREDIT CARDS
The "Unauthorized Use" Defense to a Credit Card Collection Lawsuit
Each month, thousands of consumers are faced with abusive and improper lawsuits by credit card issuers for credit card debt that stems from charges that were not authorized by the consumers. Sometimes, the charges are the result of the card issuer's blatant negligence in failing to detect unauthorized use of the account. In other circumstances, credit card issuers bring lawsuits against consumers that are prohibited by a federal law known as the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA). Under 15 USCS § 1643 of the CCPA, a cardholder's liability for unauthorized charges is limited to $50.00. All credit cards, whether used for business or consumer purposes, are covered by the $50 liability limit
Credit Card Issuer Cannot Bring a Collection Lawsuit If It Has Failed to
Respond to a Consumer's Written Notice of Billing Errors
Credit Card Companies Must Respond to Billing Disputes or the Forfeit Their Right to Collect the Disputed Amounts
Pursuant to Section 15 USCSA § 1643 of the CCPA ("Correction of Billing Errors"), a credit card issuer must respond to a consumer's written notice of billing errors in a credit card statement. If you believe that your credit card statement has errors, the law provides you with sixty days to provide your credit card issuer with written notice that its statement is erroneous. Once you provide this written notice, the credit card company has thirty days within which it must send you a written acknowledgment confirming that you have disputed the charge. Within two billing cycles, the credit card issuer must either correct the billing errors or send a written explanation to the consumer explaining why the issuer believes that the billing statement is correct, after the credit card issuer has conducted an investigation of the charges. In addition, if your credit card issuer refuses to reverse the disputed charges, you are entitled to receive "copies of documentary evidence" that the issuer used in making its determination.
Defense to Credit Card Lawsuit: Purchased Goods Were Not Delivered
If you provide your credit card issuer with written notice that you did not receive merchandise or services that you purchased with your credit card, your credit card issuer must conduct an investigation and it may not uphold the charges unless it "determines that such goods were actually delivered, mailed, or otherwise sent to the obligor and provides the obligor with a statement of such determination."