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Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 57738
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
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Hi. I have a situation where I am unable to pay my credit card

Resolved Question:

Hi. I have a situation where I am unable to pay my credit card bills and am having collectors call. One of the collection agencies is claiming fraud on my part due to the credit card being under my mothers name and not mine. I had applied for the card using her information but my name on the application. I have her full approval and knowledge for this. 1) Is this fraud even if I have her approval? 2) How can I document this to the collection agency? Thanks.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 8 years ago.
If you acted with her knowledge and her authority and it is in her name you have done nothing wrong. Best not to respond to their complaints. They are merely looking to scare you. They are looking to be paid so if you can enter into a payment plan arrangement to repay it over a long period of time you can afford.   
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Just to clarify, they are claiming that I illegally used her SSN to apply for this card. I don't recall doing this - it is not something I would do especially without her knowledge, but I do recall that the application came from American Express to her home for her and we filled it out together as a card for me and my business. It might be that her SSN was on their and I didn't use mine (I had bad credit at the time). It also might be that the SSN they had on file was hers since the application came to her and not to me.

Is this iffy or again, since I had her full permission and agreement, there is no fraud involved?

Also, what can I do in writing both for my own protection (in case she passes on or something happens to her), or potentially to send to them to prove she authorized the card?

ps. You WILL get paid for your assistance.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Can you reply to my clarification?
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 8 years ago.
The number should match the applicant's. Again, if there is a payment plan in place and they are repaid, they wont pursue it further.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you.

Can you please reply to the second part of my clarification (what can I do in writing both for my own protection) as there is no payment plan in place right now?
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 8 years ago.
Do nothing in writing as that may be used against you. negotiate by phone and if a settlement is reached get that in writing.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you again.

Actually what I meant is what can I get in writing from my mother for my own files just in case they do decide to file a case against me down the road? My mother is elderly and on dialysis with a heart condition and I would like to document her approval in case I can't get a payment plan in place for a few months and they decide to take it to court.
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 8 years ago.
You can have her write a note that she authorized you to open the account.   These cases are rarely pursued beyond seeking repayment of the debt on the account.
INFOLAWYER and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
That is good to hear. I hope you are right they are rarely pursued.

I plan to take the following to a notary. Would you recommend any adjustments in case I need to refer to this a year or two from now?

This is to document that I (her name) duly authorized my son (my name) and his company (its name) to obtain American Express credit cards with my identification and my good credit. The debts incurred on these cards are his own however.

I desire this fact documented in writing.

Acknowledged (her name)                    Date

SSN                                                        CDL

Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 8 years ago.
clarify in the document who is responsible for the debt. The card company will hold whoever signed for the card liable for the debt.   
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I did. Are you saying that it needs more clarification, or you just missed reading the clarification?
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 8 years ago.
"The debts incurred on these cards are his own however."   use names.    
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Ah. OK. Thank you so much. You've been great.

Have a nice day.
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 8 years ago.
Good luck and take care.