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The consumer rights and acts summaries listed below were provided by the FDIC.
Consumers' financial rights are protected by federal and state laws and regulations covering many of the services offered by financial institutions.

Watch The FRONTLINE Investigation video: Secret History of the Credit Card

Fair Credit Billing Act
The Fair Credit Billing Act establishes procedures for the prompt correction of errors on open-end credit accounts. It also protects a consumer's credit rating while the consumer is settling a dispute.

Fair Credit Reporting Act
The Fair Credit Reporting Act establishes procedures for correcting mistakes on a person's credit record and requires that a consumer's record only be provided for legitimate business needs. It also requires that the record be kept confidential. A credit record may be retained seven years for judgments, liens, suits, and other adverse information except for bankruptcies, which may be retained ten years. If a consumer has been denied credit, a cost-free credit report may be requested within 30 days of denial.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is designed to eliminate abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices. It applies to third party debt collectors or those who use a name other than their own in collecting consumer debts. Very few commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, or credit unions are covered by this Act, since they usually collect only their own debts. Complaints concerning debt collection practices should generally be filed with the Federal Trade Commission.

Truth in Lending Act & Truth in Lending Act Amendments
The Truth in Lending Act requires disclosure of the "finance charge" and the "annual percentage rate" and certain other costs and terms of credit, so that a consumer can compare the prices of credit from different sources. It also limits liability on lost or stolen credit cards.


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