What is a “cause of action?” A cause of action is a fact or a combination of multiple facts that would give a plaintiff the right to sue and is the basis of a lawsuit. In a credit card lawsuit or debt lawsuit case, the most common types of causes of action are: Account Stated, Unjust Enrichment, and Breach of Contract. There are others, but a vast majority of debt lawsuits consist of a combination of these.
Account Stated is a balance that is agreed upon by both parties either expressly or through an implication. When used in a credit card lawsuit it usually refers to the credit card company sending you monthly invoices. If you don’t object to the statement amount, the debt collectors claim that you accepted the balance implicitly.
Breach of Contract is a promise between two or more parties creating an obligation between those parties. When used in a credit card lawsuit, the allegation is that you entered into an agreement with the credit card company to pay back the amount you use on the credit card. Although a written contract is not legally required, for these cases there usually needs to be one.
Unjust Enrichment is the retention of a benefit conferred by another, without offering compensation, where compensation is reasonably expected. When used in a debt lawsuit, the claim is that you received money from a credit card company and never paid it back, when you were expected to pay it back. This is often included in a credit card lawsuit because no contract is required to prove the claim and all that needs to be shown is that you received the money and never made repayment.
Why a debt collector would use certain combinations of these depends on the facts of each case. If the debt collector has a contract, then they would often bring a claim under that theory. However, often times they would not be able to locate a contract so they would have to sue using another cause of action that doesn’t require a contract.
As a Miami Debt Defense attorney and Debt Harassment attorney, I am able to fight debt collector lawsuits. My office aggressively fights these cases and can sometimes sue for harassment putting you on the offensive in these lawsuits! If you, or someone you know, has been sued or is receiving phone calls from debt collectors contact my office for a free consultation. (786)529-2176.