Latefee Avoidance

Legal Issues and Various Possible Causes of Action

Possible Causes of Action within Existing Federal Limitations. Federal statutes have substantially reduced the potential for successful lawsuits concerning interest, late fees, transaction charges and other fees and charges made by banks and credit card companies. Subject to these formidable obstacles, there are various possible counts or causes of action that can be included in a complaint against banks, savings and loan associations, credit card companies, credit cards issued by department stores and other merchants, leasing companies, small-loan companies, landlords, and others, including:

  1. Fraud and misrepresentation
  2. Breach of contract - express
  3. Breach of contract - implied
  4. Breach of contract - implied in law
  5. unjust enrichment
  6. injunctive relief under state and federal law to prohibit further illegal conduct by the defendant
  7. Breach of state statutes such as New York's General Business Law Section 349, outlawing fraud in consumer transactions
  8. Breach of state statutes such as New York's General Business Law Section 350, outlawing false and deceptive advertising
  9. State usury statutes and rules limiting the amount of interest that can be charged (which has been preempted as to banks, credit card companies and various other financial institutions by various federal statutes and court decisions
  10. State statutes and case doctrine prohibiting unfair competition - but probably not applicable to a consumer's action for fraud; also, some state statutes may give a cause of action only to the state attorney general or a department of consumer affairs
  11. RICO (federal anti-racketeering statute), although in most instances the use of such statute is not encouraged or suggested. This statute is easier to believe applicable from its wording than judges are willing to apply, and is generally considered overkill and excessive when used by an attorney (and more so when used by a plaintiff without an attorney). Yet, there are situations where its use would seem to be warranted, and I include the statute in this list for such reason.