Offering high-quality, cost-effective representation to consumers throughout Maryland

  1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. Consumer Rights
  4.  → Do you have legal protection when you finance or buy items online?

Do you have legal protection when you finance or buy items online?

These days, it is common to find many stores with online shops where you can easily buy items online. Fortunately, the Fair Credit Billing Act protects consumers who use their credit cards online, even if they use them in stores outside of the state.

This includes protection against errors on billing statements, as long as they are reported within 60 days.

Protection for credit cards

How do card issuers handle these reports? First, the Federal Trade Commission states that the company has to perform an investigation of any report to a credit card issuer. This can include computational mistakes or incorrect charges.

A person will experience a reversal of charges if the investigation ends up discovering that the alleged issue is real. Card issuers must provide an explanation of their investigative results by mail.

Protection for buy now pay later loans

CNBC discusses protections offered to people with buy now, pay later loans. These loans allow a person to gain an item and pay for it in portions or as a whole at a later date in time. Unlike credit card purchases, these purchases typically do not get the same level of protection.

Maryland purchasers have protection under Maryland Commercial Law Title 12, however. BNPL providers cannot charge more than 6 percent interest on the unpaid balances remaining per year. They must also follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which forbids anyone from collecting payment via threat or deceptive measures.

Fortunately, this means there is always at least some protection for anyone who chooses to shop online.