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Credit, ATM or Debit Cards: What to Do

(continued from Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards: Protecting Your Cards)...

BUYING A REGISTRATION SERVICE

For an annual fee, companies will notify the issuers of your credit card and your ATM or debit card accounts if your card is lost or stolen. This service allows you to make only one phone call to report all card losses rather than calling individual issuers. Most services also will request replacement cards on your behalf.

Purchasing a card registration service may be convenient, but it's not required. The FCBA and the EFTA give you the right to contact your card issuers directly in the event of a loss or suspected unauthorized use.

If you decide to buy a registration service, compare offers. Carefully read the contract to determine the company's obligations and your liability. For example, will the company reimburse you if it fails to notify card issuers promptly once you've called in the loss to the service? If not, you could be liable for unauthorized charges or transfers.

For More Information

The following federal agencies are responsible for enforcing federal laws that govern credit card and ATM or debit card transactions. Questions concerning a particular card issuer should be directed to the enforcement agency responsible for that issuer.

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Regulates state-chartered banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System, bank holding companies, and branches of foreign banks:
Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Stop 801
20th and C Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20551
202-452-3693
www.federalreserve.gov

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Regulates state-chartered banks that are not members of the Federal Reserve System:
Division of Compliance and Consumer Affairs
550 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20429
877-ASK-FDIC (275-3342) toll-free
www.fdic.gov

National Credit Union Administration
Regulates federally chartered credit unions:
Office of Public and Congressional Affairs
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3428
703-518-6330
www.ncua.gov

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
Regulates banks with "national" in the name or "N.A." after the name:
Office of the Ombudsman
Customer Assistance Group
1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3710
Houston, TX 77010
800-613-6743 toll-free
www.occ.treas.gov

Federal Trade Commission
Regulates other credit card and debit card issuers:
Consumer Response Center
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580
877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) toll-free
www.ftc.gov

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) provides nonprofit credit counseling, debt reduction programs and debt relief services to help consumers nationwide figure out how to pay down debt and how to get out of debt quickly. Our professional credit counselors provide free credit counseling to help individuals and families find the right debt solutions to help with credit card debt and avoid debt in the future. Our debt management programs provide help with debts by consolidating payments on credit card debt and other unsecured loans, with credit card negotiation services to reduce credit card debt interest rates and finance charges, helping consumers to pay off debt more quickly.

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