Credit Card FAQ
Where To File Credit Card Complaints?
Credit card companies are known to cause errors, raise interest rates without obvious reasons, add additional fees to card statements, and do all sorts of sordid business. So the question is, if you have complaints against credit card issuers, where do you file them?
Unfortunately, this question does not come with an easy answer. The most straightforward one being talk to the credit card company – speak to the supervisor and keep escalating the complaint until you get a satisfactory result. This works in theory. But whether it truly has any effect - considering that there are hundreds of thousands of credit card complaints every year and very few companies seem to actually do something about them – is anybody's guess.
Where To File A Credit Card Complaint?
Again, it is unfortunate that there is no single government body to call in case of credit card complaints. While the legislation to form such a body is in the cards, whether Congress actually ratifies it is up to their political machinations. Depending on the credit card issuing bank's charter, the consumer may have to file a credit card complaint with one of five agencies that handle such affairs.
The Federal Reserve – This institution regulates state banks. It is also responsible for other banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Credit card complaints for credit cards from State banks can be mailed to:
The Federal Reserve Board Division of Consumer and Community Affairs
Mail Stop 801
Washington, DC 20551
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) – This institution is in charge of regulating the national banks; The banks have the word "national" or the "N.A." initials attached to their name. If the complaint regarding the credit card is from such a bank, you can write to the OCC at:
Comptroller of the Currency
Office of the Ombudsman, Customer Assistance Unit
1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3450
Houston, TX 77010
The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) – They are in charge of regulating the "federal" credit unions. They are located in Delaware, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Washington D.C. For credit card complaints relating to such credit unions you can write to:
National Credit Union Administration Office of External Affairs
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3428
The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) – They are in charge of regulating thrifts, savings and loan associations. They also regulate Federal Savings Banks (FSBs). If you have a credit card complaint to file when your card is issued from a federally chartered bank, you can contact this office at:
Office of Thrift Supervision Consumer Programs
1700 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20552
For state chartered banks or Credit Unions, each state has its own banking regulatory authority. The contact details of such authorities can usually be found in the state directories.
There is also the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) which has the Office of the Ombudsman for Consumer Protection. This institution investigates all types of complaints relating to the banks and other financial institutions insured by them. You can reach them at:
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Consumer Response Center
2345 Grand Boulevard, Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64108
For filing credit card complaints related specifically to debt collection practices, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The credit cards can be issued by any finance company or store and the debt collection practices can be for mortgages or loans. They also deal with matters related to credit bureaus and auto company dealers. You can write to them at:
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Response Center
6th and Pennsylvania, NW
Washington, DC 20580
These authorities can be contacted if the credit card companies refuse to respond to your calls and letters or you are not satisfied with their responses. The first step to resolving any credit card complaint is to write to the credit card companies themselves. Make sure you write to the "Billing Inquiries" rather than the "Payments" address. Also ensure that you file your credit card complaint in written format, save a copy for your files, mail the letter through Certified Mail, and request return receipts.
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