How do I dispute an electronic transaction?
If you believe your account has been subject to an incorrect, unauthorized, or unrecognized electronic fund transfer, you can ask the bank to investigate.
Contact your account officer or call us at 617-912-1900 to get started. You may also contact us in writing at Boston Private, Ten Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109.
What information will I be asked to provide?
For debit card or similar disputes/errors, be prepared to provide the following information:
For remittance transfer errors, be prepared to provide the following information:
Is there a time limit or deadline for reporting errors?
This depends upon the type of transaction.
Lost or stolen cards/passwords
In order to limit your liability for the loss or theft of stolen cards or passwords, you must notify us within two business days after you learn of the loss or theft.
Transaction errors (unauthorized, incorrect amount, merchant errors)
If you identify a transaction error on your statement, such as an unauthorized and/or incorrect amount, you must notify us no later than 60 calendar days after we send you the FIRST statement on which the transaction error appears.
Remittance transfer errors (involving sending money from the U.S. to other countries)
Notice of a remittance transfer error, oral or written, within 180 days after the disclosed date of availability of the remittance transfer is considered to be timely. But if the notice of error is based on documentation, additional information, or clarification provided by us, then notice is timely if it is received within 60 days after we sent the documentation, additional information, or clarification that had been requested.
What is my liability for unauthorized transfers?
We do our best to protect you from liability related to unauthorized transfers, but there are instances when you may be held liable.
Lost or stolen cards/passwords – Based on the error notification requirements, you can lose no more than $50 should someone use your card or code without your permission, provided that you notify us within two business days after learning of the loss or theft. If you do NOT notify us within two business days, and we could have stopped someone from using your card or code without your permission if you had told us, you could lose as much as $500.
Transaction errors discovered on an account statement – Based on the error notification requirements, you are not liable for any losses if you notify us within 60 calendar days after the account statement showing the error was sent or made available to you. If you do NOT notify us within 60 calendar days after the account statement showing the error was sent or made available to you, and if we could have reasonably stopped losses to your account had you notified us of the error in time, you many not recover any money you lose after the 60 day period.
How long does an investigation take?
Once we receive your oral or written notice of error, we will investigate and try to resolve your dispute within 10 business days (or 5 business days for Visa Check Card purchases). If we are unable to achieve resolution within 10 business days, we may take an additional 45 days (or 90 days if the error applies to a point-of-sale transaction or a foreign-initiated transaction) to further investigate.
If additional time is required to investigate, we will provide a provisional credit to your account in the amount of the alleged error within 10 business days (or 5 business days for Visa Check Card purchases) of our receiving notice of your error.
If your oral or written notice of error occurred within 30 days after the first deposit to the account was made, we will investigate and try to resolve your dispute within 20 business days. If we are unable to achieve resolution within 20 business days, we may take an additional 90 days to further investigate.
If additional time is required to investigate, we will provide a provisional credit to your account in the amount of the alleged error within 20 business days of our receiving notice of your error.
Once we receive your oral or written notice of error, we will investigate and determine whether an error has occurred within 90 days. We will report the results to you within three business days after completing our investigation.
Is provisional credit considered permanent?
This depends on what we find. If our investigation confirms that an error did occur, we will send you a letter indicating the results and stating that your provisional credit will be considered permanent.
If we find an error did not occur, we will send you a letter outlining the results and stating the date on which the provisional credit will be removed from your account.
What consumer protection laws cover electronic transactions?
The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) of 1978 protects individual consumers engaging in electronic fund transfers and remittance transfers. The EFTA is implemented through Regulation E, which outlines the steps that both consumers and financial institutions need to take to resolve a dispute or error.
What types of transactions are covered by Regulation E?
Electronic funds transfers and remittances transfers. Below are explanations and examples of each.
Electronic funds transfers (EFTs) are transfers of funds initiated through an electronic terminal, telephone, computer (including on-line banking) or magnetic tape for the purpose of ordering, instructing, or authorizing a financial institution to debit or credit a consumer’s account. EFTs include, but are not limited to:
Remittance transfers are electronic transfers of funds requested by a consumer in a state to a designated recipient that is sent by a remittance transfer provider. The term applies whether or not the consumer holds an account and whether or not the transfer is an electronic fund transfer. Remittance transfers include:
What are the requirements for financial institutions under Regulation E?
Financial institutions must provide a summary of various consumer rights under the regulation, including the consumer’s liability for unauthorized EFTs, the types of EFTs the consumer may make, limits on transfer frequency or dollar amount, fees charged by the institution, and error-resolution procedures. These rights are documented in the Boston Private consumer disclosure that is given to clients when a deposit account is opened. These rights are also disclosed in ATM, Visa Check Card, and Online Banking applications and enrollment documents.
What common errors does Regulation E cover?
Common errors include:
Common remittance transfer errors include:
What is not considered an error?
These are not considered remittance errors:
What are the most common reasons for disputing a transaction?
Most errors reported in electronic fund transfers include:
What should I do before I dispute the transaction?
Before you dispute a transaction, consider:
Contact your account officer or call us at 617-912-1900 to get started.
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