Credit Card Case

Date: August 31, 2010
Posted In: DLP Law

Jimmy had just started college as a freshman and was walking through the student union of a school. He was approached by a representative from a credit card company asking if he wanted to open up a credit card. This seemed like a good idea to Jimmy, so he signed up and received in the mail shortly thereafter, a credit card with a $2,500.00 credit allowance.

Jimmy found that the credit card came in useful for buying clothes, books and just generally having a good time. Jimmy did not have a job and had no idea how he was going to pay for the first bill when it came, which amounted to close to $900.00.

ISSUE: Is Jimmy responsible for these charges?

ANSWER: No. Just recently a credit card law was enacted which made it essential for the credit card companies to change their practices. One of the key changes is that now an individual must be at least 21 years old before he can be given a credit card on his own. Anything younger than that would require a co-signature of a parent or natural guardian to be valid.

In this particular situation, since Jimmy was only 18 years old, the credit card company had violated the law and thus could not hold Jim or his parents responsible for the debt incurred.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.