Using a credit card comes with a lot of responsibility and can carry certain risks, yet recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York revealed that credit cards are being opened at an alarming rate. As of June 2016, Americans have over 440 million credit card accounts and that number keeps growing. Fortunately for credit card consumers, there are several laws in place to guard them against some of the risks credit cards can carry. Five federal laws in particular protect consumers from fraud, deceptive practices, and even harassment.
TRUTH IN LENDING ACT (1968)
The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) of 1968 enforces accurate disclosure of credit card and loan terms so that consumers could make informed decisions when choosing a credit card company or loan. It also protects against inaccurate and unfair credit billing practices. Lenders and creditors are forced to disclose the annual percentage rate (APR), all terms of the loan or card, and the total costs to the consumer. This law also regulates what lenders and creditors can advertise about the benefits of their products.
FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT (1970)
Consumer financial data is relayed to the top credit bureaus in the country on a daily basis to keep your credit score updated. When creditors, banks and lenders send this data, this act ensures the accuracy of the data, in addition to providing consumers with the right to dispute inaccuracies and access their credit files.
FAIR CREDIT BILLING ACT (1975)
The FCBA of 1975 protects consumers against inaccurate billing charges and limits the financial responsibility for unauthorized charges to $50. In addition, consumers are not required to pay for merchandise they ordered but never received, for goods or services that were not as promised or not accepted, as well as goods or services that were ordered but never received. It protects consumers from being double charged or incorrectly charged and makes paying with a credit card a more sensible option for large purchases simply by offering all these protections.
FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT (1977)
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers from the harassment typical of abusive debt collectors. Under this act, there are dozens of rules debt collectors must follow. For instance, debt collectors may not contact consumers by telephone between 8 AM and 9 PM. They must also cease contact upon request. For more information, contact a debt collection harassment attorney who will fight for the rights of consumers who experience unlawful harassment and deceitful conduct from debt collectors. Consumers are entitled to damages of up to $1,000 and attorneys only collect when they win your case.
FAIR AND ACCURATE CREDIT TRANSACTIONS ACT (2003)
FACTA passed in the early 2000s to safeguard the sensitive data credit cards carry. Under FACTA, retailers cannot display more than the last 5 digits of your credit card number on printed receipts. They also cannot print the expiration date in any form. In addition, consumers can now access a free credit report annually from all three credit bureaus.
Under FACTA, consumers can sue if the law has been violated by any place of business. Merchants can face penalties of up to $1,000 per violation for printing more sensitive data than is accepted.
If you have had your credit card data exposed by a retailer, you can receive statutory damages for the harm done to you. Jibrael S. Hindi is a Florida consumer rights attorney who specializes in FACTA violations and debt harassment. Each violation worth up to $1,000 can result in a hefty reward. For a free consultation, call 1-(844)-JIBRAEL or contact us online to get started on your case.