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Decline Dispute if No Evidence of Invalid Error?

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Our customer says "I canceled my account with the merchant" but does not provide any documents showing the account was canceled or says "my bill was suppose to be $23.00 but I was charged $37.00 and does not provide a receipt. Can the bank, since there is no evidence the error was invalid, decline the dispute?

A thousand times no. Reg E 1005.11(b) requires that the customer provide their name, account number and describe why they believe an error existed. It is the burden of the bank to obtain documentation to demonstrate that an error did not occur, not the customer's responsibility to prove that an error did occur. The bank can request, but not require supporting documentation from the customer to aid in the investigation.

The CFPB put it best in their Fall 2014 Supervisory Highlights.

"Regulation E also sets forth the timing and content requirement to assert an error, specifically, sufficient information to identify the consumer’s name and account number and why the consumer believes an error exists, including, to the extent possible, the type, date, and amount of the error. A financial institution cannot deny an error claim on the basis of a consumer failing to provide additional information, or require the consumer to contact the merchant involved first."

First published on 06/09/2019

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