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Who do I contact regarding unfair billing practices?

I received a bill from a department store a few days ago. The bill stated I was 90 days past due and was scheduled to go to collections. The same day I received a bill from a collection agency about the debt. This was the first bill I’ve ever received! I am thinking this is unfair billing practices and I do not want a payment to a collection agency on my credit report. My question is who do I complain to? I have written a letter to the department store explaining my side and asking that they rescind any negative credit info. -Lori


You do have rights under the Fair Credit Billing Act. This Act applies to "open end" credit accounts, such as credit cards and revolving charge accounts. To take advantage of the law's consumer protections, you must write to the creditor at the address given for "billing inquiries," not the address for sending your payments, and include your name, address, account number and a description of the billing error. Send your letter so that it reaches the creditor within 60 days after the first bill containing the error was mailed to you. The creditor must acknowledge your complaint in writing within 30 days after receiving it, unless the problem has been resolved. To read the Fair Credit Billing Act, visit

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