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Citibank South Dakota, N.A. v. Razvi

A-6714-06T3 and A-1084-07T3 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2008) (Unpublished)

CREDIT CARDS — A credit card company does not need to present the original credit card agreement as part of a suit to collect monies owed by the credit card holder.

Two credit card companies sought payment from the same cardholder for unpaid balances. One of the creditors obtained a default judgment against the debtor and the other won a judgment against him following trial. The debtor appealed both judgments, arguing that federal law required the creditors to produce the original contracts that bore his signature in order to collect the unpaid balances. He also argued that federal law required counsel for the creditors to produce the original signed agreements which authorized them to represent the creditors.
On appeal, the Appellate Division noted that the creditor at trial presented ample evidence, accepted by the lower court, proving that the debtor agreed to be bound by the terms of use for the credit card issued and that his payments on his monthly statements verified his identity. The debtor’s argument that he received notice of the motion for summary judgment but that he did not respond because he claimed to not understand the language contained in the notice also was rejected by the Court. The debtor’s argument that federal law only allowed the original contract and not photocopies to be presented was found by the Court to contradict the language of federal debt collection regulations. His argument that the burden was on the creditors to show that use of the card was authorized was found inapplicable because the debt collector complied with federal law. Based on the findings and conclusions of the Court, the judgments against the debtor were affirmed.

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