What to do if a friend of mine gave me her credit card more than a year ago to catch up on some bills but now she denies giving me permission to use them?

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What to do if a friend of mine gave me her credit card more than a year ago to catch up on some bills but now she denies giving me permission to use them?

I did that then when I went to give the card back to her she told me to keep it in case i need to use it. She gave me her log in to her credit card account so that i can manage the account without having to go through her. I have paid every payment before its due date and try to pay more than the minimum due. I have used the card on several occasions and the balance is roughly $7000. She has questioned what the balance was a few time but never indicated that there was a problem. Recently we had a huge dispute over something completely different, she than asked for the card back and filed credit card fraud with the bank. I have recent emails back and forth with her that indicate that she did give me the card and permission to use it but claims that she never thought I would use it that much. I have never broken the law before and am 38 years old but I am very worried about what will happen. Can she do this even though i did not deceive her but the account is in her name?

Asked on October 22, 2012 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if you had permission to use her card, you did nothing criminal; while you will likely have to repay any charges or balance you incurred ($7,000, from what you write) that you have not paid, that should be the extent of your liability. Note, though, that if you do not repay or come to a mutually agreeable payment schedule for this balance, you may be sued to recover it--that is, she does not need to let you keep paying it off slowly, but could insist on payment in full immediately, and take legal action if you do not pay it.

Practically, the issue will be whether or not, if she or the bank wishes to press charges, what does the evidence, including both her and your testimony, show. If legal action is taken against you, retain an attorney, and provide him/her with all the emails or other evidence in your favor.


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