Appeals court rules Wells Fargo had right to accelerate credit card balance to nearly $25,000

By Charmaine Little | Feb 12, 2019

HOUSTON – An appellate court has found Wells Fargo properly proved a man owes nearly $25,000 in credit card debt.

The 14th Court of Appeals affirmed on Feb. 7 the summary judgment issued by the 458th District Court of Fort Bend County's in the bank's favor.

Justice Tracy Christopher wrote the opinion and Justices Kevin Jewell and Meagan Hassan sat on the panel.

Wells Fargo sued Charles J. Germany over allegations he breached a credit card agreement for his Core Platinum account. While Germany answered, Wells Fargo then moved for traditional summary judgment and Germany failed to respond. The trial court subsequently granted summary judgment to Wells Fargo its motion, and Germany appealed.

Justice Tracy Christopher  

In its motion, the Appeals Court said Wells Fargo gave more than enough evidence to back its point, including an affidavit from a loan adjuster that consisted of a copy of the credit card agreement that Germany entered. The loan adjuster included two credit card statements for Germany’s account, one for 2016 and one from 2017. 

Since Germany allegedly failed to make any further payments after this, the adjuster said Germany’s account was accelerated based on the agreement. Wells Fargo alleged Germany owes $24,809.38, which the Appeals Court said is the same number on the total balance of his account (despite his statement showing he has a minimum balance of $3,579.38).

“There is uncontroverted evidence that Wells Fargo had a right to accelerate the balance of Germany’s account,” Christopher wrote. “The credit card agreement provided that if Germany defaulted by ‘fail[ing] to pay a minimum payment by the payment due date,’ then Wells Fargo’s rights included, but were not limited to, ‘requiring the immediate payment of the outstanding balance.'”

Christopher added that there is no evidence Wells Fargo told Germany that the account balance had been accelerated. Germany attempted to use this as proof that Wells Fargo didn't satisfy its burden of showing balance was accelerated. 

The court disagreed and said this proof was not needed “because Wells Fargo pleaded that all conditions precedent had been performed and Germany failed to specifically deny that notice had been given.”

The Appeals Court also countered Germany’s complaint that the evidence was inconsistent and pointed out that the 2017 statement he challenged doesn’t interfere with the loan adjuster’s statement that Germany’s balance was accelerated because of his lack of payment. 

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