If you notice unexpected charges or billing errors on your credit card statement, you can dispute the claim with your credit card issuer.

However, dispute claims are not always successful. If your credit card provider declines your dispute, you remain responsible for paying the disputed amount. A denied dispute means the funds go back to the merchant, and the seller has no obligation to refund you or make things right. Left unpaid, disputed amounts can damage your credit score if you fail to pay on time.

In this article, we’ll explore what happens when your credit card issuer rejects your dispute. By understanding the dispute process and potential consequences, you can be better prepared if your claim gets denied.

If you would like assistance from attorneys experienced in credit card disputes, our firm stands ready to help you at no out of pocket charge to you. We only get paid if you win.

Contact us by phone at (404) 591-6680, or contact us at Credit Repair Lawyers of America for more information

Reasons Credit Card Issuers Decline Disputes

There are several common reasons why credit card issuers deny disputes and leave charges on your account:

  • You missed the dispute deadline: Banks dont have to process your credit card dispute if its older than 60 days from the date that you received your bank statement that includes the charge.  Waiting too long disqualifies the claim.
  • Lack of documentation: Strong evidence is required to back up your dispute. Insufficient proof, like not having a return shipping receipt for merchandise, makes banks more likely to deny the case.
  • Valid and authorized transaction: The credit card issuer verified that the charge was legitimate and allowed under the terms of the cardholder agreement. Things like recurring gym memberships or automatic subscription renewals, or online shopping purchases where you entered your credit card details and confirmed the transaction, are good examples.
  • Outside purchase protection window: Benefits like return guarantees or price matching often have short eligibility periods of only 30-90 days. Disputing older transactions misses the cutoff.
  • Ineligible reason: Not all disputes align with approved criteria per card network rules. Non-covered reasons include dissatisfaction with goods or services rendered as agreed upon.

Many times, a bank will decline your credit card dispute without a good reason.

Citibank loves to use the excuse “Your credit card has a chip in it, so you must have been present when it was used.”  Its as if the Uber driver physically handled your credit card, right?  Another b.s. exxcuse they use is that they think the charge was authorized by you, when it wasn’t  The bank has the burden of proving that the bogus charge was authorized.

Enabling transaction alerts and monitoring your statements regularly are important credit card security measures that allow improper charges to be identified and disputed quickly. But even then, credit card issuers can still deny your claim if the transaction is deemed valid and authorized under the account terms.

Consequences of a Declined Dispute

If your credit card dispute is declined, it’s important to keep several things in mind.

1.    You’re Still Responsible for the Charge

If your dispute is declined, the charged amount remains on your credit card account. You must still pay the entire balance, including the disputed amount.  Ignoring or refusing to pay this balance can have significant financial repercussions. You may face late fees, increased interest charges, and damage to your credit score.

2.    Your Credit Score May Be Impacted

Since the disputed charge remains on your account, it gets reported to the credit bureaus and can negatively affect your credit score. The unpaid balance also increases your credit utilization ratio, a key factor in credit scoring.  Multiple declined disputes signaling potential payment problems or credit management issues could further hurt your creditworthiness. Too many disputes on your account can also lead your credit card issuer to reduce your credit limits or even close your account altogether.

 3.    The Seller Keeps Your Money

When the card issuer denies your dispute, the funds for the contested transaction are returned to the merchant.

Declined disputes mean the seller gets to keep your payment. The merchant has no further obligation to issue a refund, provide an exchange, or continue working with you on the matter.  You have limited options to recoup the money directly from the merchant apart from taking them to small claims court or filing a lawsuit.

 4.    You May Have Difficulty Disputing Again

If the card issuer denied your dispute once, disputing the same transaction a second time is an uphill battle. The issuer will likely stand by its initial decision.  Frequently disputing the same charge after repeated denials can prompt flags on your account for abusive disputes. This makes successfully overturning a decision even harder.  Issuers can outright block additional attempts to reopen a dispute case once closed. You need new evidence not already submitted with the oiginal claim to have any chance.

 Next Steps If Your Dispute is Declined

If your credit card issuer rejects your dispute, you still have recourse options, including:

  • Initiate a chargeback: You can file a formal chargeback to continue contesting the transaction. The chargeback process provides cardholders a way to further dispute a charge when the standard dispute is denied. You’ll need to submit a claim form to your credit card issuer explaining the reason for the chargeback and providing supporting documentation.
  • Request investigation results: Ask your card issuer to mail you their investigation report detailing why they denied the claim. Review the reasoning thoroughly.
  • File CFPB complaint: Submit a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explaining the dispute issue and denial. They assist consumers with credit card fraud, identify theft and card disputes.
  • Consult an attorney: Get in touch with an experienced attorney who can recommend your best legal options and help navigate credit card dispute appeals.
  • Pursue merchant action: Take legal action via arbitration or small claims court against the seller if grounds exist under your state’s laws.
  • Monitor credit reports: Check your credit reports and scores for any negative changes from the disputed charge or denial—dispute inaccuracies.

Your best bet is to hire an attorney and sue the bank.

While you only have a 1 year time period to sue the bank starting from the date that it declines your dispute, you should file that lawsuit.  This is not a DIY project because the banks have really good and high paid lawyers who will eat you alive in court.  The law can be a bit tricky in this area.  Just know that a law firm that does this kind of work routinely, such as ours, will not charge  you any out of pocket fees.  We collect our fees and costs from the the Defendants that we sue.

The nice thing about suing the bank is that you can sue them in the state of your residence.  If you blow that 1 year statute of limitations, then your only recourse is against the merchant.  You will have to sue the merchant in the state that this merchant conducts business.

We Can Help You at No Out of Pocket Chrge

f you are in a tough spot with a credit card dispute, our team at Credit Repair Lawyers of America is here to help. We know the ins and outs of credit repair and can provide the help you need at no out of pocket charge to you. We only get paid if you win.

For a free consultation call us at (248) 353-2882 or email us at [email protected] for a free, no obligation consultation.

Let’s solve your credit card issues together.

Attorney Gary Nitzkin

Licensed in Michigan only

We have attorneys in several states to help you.