How To Handle Problem Payments from Your Bank or Credit Union Account

Posted on: March 4, 2023
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You should check your bank statements carefully every month. Contact your bank or credit union right away if you see a problem. A problem could be money taken out without your permission or purchases you did not make.

When should I tell my bank or credit union?

Do not wait. Contact the fraud department of your bank or credit union right away. If you wait too long, you might be stuck with the bad charge.

You may have more rights to challenge the problem if you tell the bank or credit union within 60 days after the statement that shows the problem. If you report it later, you still may be able to get a charge removed unless your bank has a reason why notice within 60 days would have made a difference.

What does the bank or credit union have to do after I report the problem?

Your bank or credit union must look into the issue within ten business days after you tell them about the problem. They have 20 days to look into it if your account has been open for less than 30 days.

If they find a mistake, they one business day after that to fix the error. They have 3 business days after that to contact you and report their findings. If they on time, they must give you a temporary credit.

This temporary credit is for the amount of the bad charge, minus no more than $50. It stays there while the bank or credit union looks into the problem.

The bank or credit union doesn’t always have to issue a temporary credit. If you alert the bank or credit union by phone, they can make you send this information in writing. If they say to report it in writing and you don’t send the information within 10 business days, they don’t have to give you the temporary credit.

The bank or credit union has at least 45 days to resolve the problem. They get up to 90 days if the money changed hands in a foreign country, if the problem happened within 30 days of opening the account, or if the problem deals with a debit card purchase.

The bank or credit union may find that the transaction was correct. They must tell you in writing that they are taking back the money credited to your while they looked into it.

Do I need to contact the store involved with the problem on my account?

Yes, it is a good idea to contact the store and dispute the purchase.

What if I think my debit card or pin was stolen or lost?

Tell your bank or credit union right away or at least within two business days of finding out about the loss or theft. If you meet the deadline, they cannot charge you for more than $50 that gets charged after the card was stolen or lost. If you miss the deadline, you could be responsible for up to $500 of the charges.

You cannot be charged for any of the charges if you report your card as lost or stolen before it is used by someone else.

Never write your PIN on your debit card. Do not keep the PIN in your wallet. This can help protect you if your card or wallet is lost or stolen.   Use a PIN that only you can remember and no one else would know.

Most credit card companies will not make you responsible for any charges after loss or theft.

What if my bank or credit union is still paying these charges out of my account?

Contact your bank or credit union as soon as you can and contact the merchant to cancel the service. Tell them that you are taking back authorization for these charges.

Include information to help the bank identify the charges. Tell them the name of the merchant, your account number with the merchant, and the amount(s) and date(s) of the charge(s).

You can also ask your bank to place a stop payment on a pre-authorized transaction at least 3 business days before the next payment is scheduled to be made. They may charge a fee. You should ask for the stop payment in person at the bank or in writing.

What if my bank or credit union does not resolve this for me?

You can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB is a federal government consumer protection agency.

More info is here:

If your bank is licensed in Louisiana, you can also file a complaint with the state here:

Other resources:

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