Resolving identity theft often requires significant time and effort, and both creditors and credit reporting agencies often incorrectly determine that debts are valid. However, identity theft victims shouldn’t assume the worst. In many cases, an experienced identity theft lawyer can help to resolve the problem without litigation.
In one recent case, Schlanger Law Group (“SLG”) helped a client to resolve more than $80,000 in fraudulent credit card charges using a detailed, well-constructed letter and supporting exhibits.
The client, a successful businessman, was traveling internationally during the summer of 2017 when he noticed approximately $5,000 in unauthorized charges on his credit card. He immediately contacted the issuing bank to advise that the card had been compromised.
The bank favorably resolved the client’s dispute and removed the charges. A few months later, the client’s wallet was stolen. Although the theft of the credit card and the client’s driver’s license were reported to the bank the day after the theft and the police the following day, the bank determined that more than $75,000 in charges incurred the day after the theft were valid. They also revisited the earlier disputed charges and reversed the initial removal of the charges.
The second round of unauthorized charges included several lavish retail purchases that were inconsistent with the client’s past spending habits. Nonetheless, his dispute was denied and the bank insisted that he was responsible for the more than $80,000 in unauthorized purchases.
In early December, SLG attorney Dan Schlanger sent a detailed letter pursuant to the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), setting forth the facts, disputed charges, and relevant law.
The FCBA is a federal statute, introduced as an amendment to the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) with the purpose of protecting the consumer “against inaccurate and unfair credit billing and credit card practices.” The statute requires a credit card issuer to investigate disputed charges and to promptly correct errors or provide an explanation as to why the charges have been deemed valid.
The letter was accompanied by supporting documents such as the client’s police report, affidavits showing that the client was occupied elsewhere when the charges were made, and photographs demonstrating the same.
Within a few weeks, the client received notice from the credit card company that the charges were not his responsibility, and the charges were reversed.
If your credit card was stolen or you’ve been the victim of identity theft and creditors are refusing to reverse fraudulent charges, you have options. Contact us at 212-500-6114 or complete the contact form on this site to learn more.