Professional Collection Consultants v. Lauron

Without establishing the accrual date of claims for payment of old credit card debt, defendant could not prove the limitations period had expired and so was not entitled to summary judgment.  In this case, the appellate court reverses a summary judgment for the consumer who was sued by a debt collector on debts owed on two JPMorgan Chase credit cards.  The trial court had granted the consumer summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds.  As to one credit card, the appellate court finds there was no proof of any cardholder agreement, so no basis for applying Delaware statute of limitations law.  Also, there was no proof of when the claim accrued.  For both reasons, the consumer failed to establish that the claim was time-barred.  As to the other credit card, a cardholder agreement was introduced.  It contained a choice of Delaware law.  That clause was enforceable.  Whether framed as a breach of contract claim or as a claim on an account stated or open book account, the gist of the complaint was for breach of the cardholder agreement and so was governed by Delaware’s three-year breach of contract statute of limitations.  However, the evidence on summary judgment established only when the last item was posted to the account–the accrual date for a suit on an account stated or open book account.  Plaintiff’s breach of contract claim, however, accrued when the consumer failed to pay as agreed.  As there was no evidence about when payment was due, the accrual date was not shown in the summary judgment papers and so summary judgment could not properly be entered in the consumer’s favor.

California Court of Appeal, Sixth District (Elia, J.); February 16, 2017; 2017 WL 634714


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