Consider the following scenario:
- Consumer opens a credit card account with bank, signs cardmember agreement
- Consumer uses card regularly, pays bills
- Consumer calls bank and closes credit card account
- Bank does not disclose that account has a balance at time of closure
- Consumer fails to pay balance as a result of (4)
- Bank reports account to credit bureaus as delinquent
What causes of action against the bank for (3)? Negligent misrepresentation?
The consumer relied on the misrepresentation, but it did not induce them to enter into the contract, as it occurred after the contract was signed.
The contract states the customer "will receive billing statements" and that the customer agrees to "pay the minimum payment by the due date [on the statement]". The statement is furthermore the "official" record of the account. This suggests that the consumer's duty to pay by a particular date is conditioned upon receipt of a billing statement.
The account agreement also states "You will receive a billing statement, if one is required, each month It will show your minimum required payment." "Required" is not defined in the agreement. Presumably it is a reference to the provisions of the Fair Credit Billing Act (statement required if balance >= $1).
Customer claims they never received statements, before or after the account's closure. Customer notified bank that they did not receive statements repeatedly, with a record of such a notification occurring as late as one week prior to the account's closure.
The customer is ultimately liable for the balance, of course. But that is not what is reported to the credit bureaus. Payments were reported, e.g., as "30+ days late". Can a payment be "late" when the due date is on a statement that the customer does not have?