1. The court conceded that Discover had complied with existing federal regulations regarding disclosures of fees and so forth. Given this fact, is the court sacrificing legal principles in favor of a paternalistic approach? Is this good public policy?
2. Suppose that Owens had chosen to close the account and notified Discover that she was defaulting on the account and could not pay. Would she have been in a better position than if (as she actually did) she kept paying as much as she could afford (the minimum amount due or less) over a period of six years?
3. How could Discover have known that Owens, as the court said, would “never be in a position” to pay the full amount owed?

Discover brought a collection lawsuit against Owens after she defaulted on her credit card agreement that allowed Discover to add fees and increase her interest rate in certain circumstances. When Owens became disabled and experiences severe financial difficulty, she stopped using the credit card and made payments regularly on her original charge of $1,460. Despite never using the credit card and paying $3,492 toward an original debt of $1,900 (her credit limit), with all the fees and accrued charges, Owens nevertheless faced a $5,564.28 outstanding balance at the time of the collection suit.

  • CreatedNovember 06, 2014
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