DirectTV robs single mother at Christmas

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Feb 9, 2016
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#21
The DirecTV contract is pretty clear on this:

"By giving us your credit or debit card account information at any time, you authorize us to apply this method of payment, in accordance with applicable law, to satisfy any and all amounts due upon cancellation."

I agree with @technomage1 on this - when this debt was incurred is going to be pretty key.
I just dont see how I could do a favor for a friend by paying their direct tv bill, and then have direct tv utilize my account at a later date to pay the bill, again. How is that even possible when the wife didnt sign anything with the originating company?
 

technomage1

Verified Member
Jan 5, 2015
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#22
I just dont see how I could do a favor for a friend by paying their direct tv bill, and then have direct tv utilize my account at a later date to pay the bill, again. How is that even possible when the wife didnt sign anything with the originating company?
Exactly this. Under normal circumstances, a third party wouldn't be held liable. However, as I noted Texas is one of 9 community property states. That means spouses are held jointly liable even if one doesn't sign the contract (with a very few exceptions).

The other states are common law property states, where if only 1 spouse signs a contract or incurs a debt, then only that spouse is liable.

I highly suspect this is less a contract issue then a community property one.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#23
@ProtectiveMommie -- just for good measure, you may want to go back and edit your original post, taking out all the extraneous personal commentary.
If your primary goal now is to get the word out to others, then this is accomplished without putting yourself in any legal jeopardy.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#24
Thank you all for your suggestions. I will let her know of these avenues. I have covered her funds for now and the bank has advised her that they do intend to refund her soon. People do need to know that this can happen to them also and to take care with who they pay bills to and for. As far as defamation, everything I wrote was completely true and can be proven easily. Thank you for your concerns.
Very glad to hear that the bank will put that money back in her account and you're able to cover her over the holidays. Enjoy Christmas, then she can follow all the excellent suggestions we've made to publicize this very unfair situation.
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
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#25
I just dont see how I could do a favor for a friend by paying their direct tv bill, and then have direct tv utilize my account at a later date to pay the bill, again. How is that even possible when the wife didnt sign anything with the originating company?
Here's my understanding as a legal layperson (here in CA). If you pay a creditor from your bank or credit card account, you created "agency" between them. It's rather irrelevant whether or not you signed anything directly with the creditor. By authorizing payment, you establish and consent to a relationship for payments from your account(s). There's several legal experts on here, they can add to or correct this.
 
#27
By giving us 'your' credit info 'you' allow us to charge a delinquent bill.

First off. Community property is irrelevant to this.

Who is 'you?'

If YOU give them a credit card number then they charge it. But the contract definition of YOU is likely only the signatory. Spouses may be liable derivatively if they are still spouses. But this person was not.

A simple phone call to direct tv collections with a claim against them for violation of the fair credit act, and explaining it exactly as above, will get the money back in 24 hours or less.

So would a credit / debit challenge to the withdrawal.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#28
Here's my understanding as a legal layperson (here in CA). If you pay a creditor from your bank or credit card account, you created "agency" between them. It's rather irrelevant whether or not you signed anything directly with the creditor. By authorizing payment, you establish and consent to a relationship for payments from your account(s). There's several legal experts on here, they can add to or correct this.
This is a seriously scary premise, Kenish. I fervently hope that you're incorrect or I'm not understanding. By 'helping someone out' once, you become liable for their account/debt? I know that we are overrun with crazy bureaucracy in this country, but this seems a little extreme to me.
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
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#29
By 'helping someone out' once, you become liable for their account/debt? I know that we are overrun with crazy bureaucracy in this country, but this seems a little extreme to me.
Short answer is yes. And that's been part of consumer contracts for decades. If you want to help someone, give them the cash.
 
Dec 25, 2016
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#30
@ProtectiveMommie The other thing is that in most states, if the service was in her home (regardless of who's name it is in) if she benefited from the service she can be held responsible for the balance. If/when the bank refunds the amount, if the service is in her home, DirecTV could sue her for the balance due since she received the service.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#31
By giving us 'your' credit info 'you' allow us to charge a delinquent bill.

First off. Community property is irrelevant to this.

Who is 'you?'

If YOU give them a credit card number then they charge it. But the contract definition of YOU is likely only the signatory. Spouses may be liable derivatively if they are still spouses. But this person was not.

A simple phone call to direct tv collections with a claim against them for violation of the fair credit act, and explaining it exactly as above, will get the money back in 24 hours or less.

So would a credit / debit challenge to the withdrawal.
@kenish so how does what joe says play into your thinking then?
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
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#32
@kenish so how does what joe says play into your thinking then?
@Joe Farrell is the expert, and I think our posts "dovetail". I pointed out the general situation- if you make a payment to a 3rd party even once, that establishes the right for them to withdraw money from that account in the future. Joe's comments reinforce this and clarifies the meaning of "you".

Joe commented to LW's specific case. If LW's daughter is legally divorced or separated from her -ex AND she did not sign the DirecTV contract AND she closed any joint account and opened a new one in her name only then DirecTV is in violation as she isn't a signator as Joe explained. (Note Joe commented on credit cards but LW's issue involves a checking account, I believe that doesn't change the premise).

@William Leeper has an interesting comment in Post #30.