Man Bites Bank

Neon

ネオン
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Mar 23, 2008
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#1
Fucking face!

Guy does to bank what banks usually do to other people

The idea of beating the banks at their own game may seem like a rich joke, but Dmitry Agarkov, a 42-year-old Russian man, may have managed it. Unhappy with the terms of an unsolicited credit card offer he received from online bank Tinkoff Credit Systems, Agarkov scanned the document, wrote in his own terms and sent it through. The bank approved the contract without reading the amended fine print, unwittingly agreeing to a 0 percent interest rate, unlimited credit and no fees, as well as a stipulation that the bank pay steep fines for changing or canceling the contract.

Agarkov used the card for two years, but the bank ultimately canceled it and sued Agarkov for $1,363. The bank said he owed them charges, interest and late-payment fees. A court ruled that, because of the no-fee, no-interest stipulation Agarkov had written in, he owed only his unpaid $575 balance. Now Agarkov is suing the bank for $727,000 for not honoring the contract's terms, and the bank is hollering fraud. "They signed the documents without looking. They said what usually their borrowers say in court: 'We have not read it,'” Agarkov's lawyer said. The shoe's on the other foot now, eh?
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
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#2
You forgot to include "In Soviet Russia..." in the title.
 

Ego

The Only Thing Bigger Than My Head
Feb 15, 2005
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#6
Read anything you sign your name to.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#9
A contract isn't valid unless it is agreed to by both parties. If they issued a credit card based on the revised terms, it should be understood that those terms are in effect. How can fraud only be a one-way street? No one is obligating the bank to issue credit. All they had to do was tear up the revised contract and say the terms were not acceptable and the offer is void.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#10
A contract isn't valid unless it is agreed to by both parties. If they issued a credit card based on the revised terms, it should be understood that those terms are in effect. How can fraud only be a one-way street? No one is obligating the bank to issue credit. All they had to do was tear up the revised contract and say the terms were not acceptable and the offer is void.
They didn't know that the contract was revised, because they were mislead by the guy. That's what fraud is. It's not a one way street, if the bank mislead a customer into signing a contract thinking there were different terms in it, it would also be fraud.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#11
I would be interested to see if this held up in our courts or if it would be considered fraud. There are strong cases for both sides.
From wikipedia:
In the United States, common law recognizes nine elements constituting fraud:[7][8]
a representation of an existing fact;
its materiality;
its falsity;
the speaker's knowledge of its falsity;
the speaker's intent that it shall be acted upon by the plaintiff;
the plaintiff's ignorance of its falsity;
the plaintiff's reliance on the truth of the representation;
the plaintiff's right to rely upon it; and
consequent damages suffered by the plaintiff.
All nine have to be proven. Let's take them in order. The guy was clearly trying to deceive by misrepresenting an existing fact: the false fact here is that the document is the one the bank sent out, and the guy achieved that misrepresentation by making it look like the document the bank sent out). He did so intentionally and for material gain. The bank was ignorant of that falsity, and relied on it being true. The bank suffered damages as a consequence.

That leaves "the plaintiff's right to rely upon it;". The bank does have a right to expect documents containing its own letter-head to not be falsified. In other words, they have the right to expect a document with their own letter-head to contain what they put into it.

So that applies as well, and with that all conditions are satisfied.
 

Hoagie

I suggest you tread lightly
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Mar 24, 2004
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#12
From wikipedia:

All nine have to be proven. Let's take them in order. The guy was clearly trying to deceive by misrepresenting an existing fact: the false fact here is that the document is the one the bank sent out, and the guy achieved that misrepresentation by making it look like the document the bank sent out). He did so intentionally and for material gain. The bank was ignorant of that falsity, and relied on it being true. The bank suffered damages as a consequence.

That leaves "the plaintiff's right to rely upon it;". The bank does have a right to expect documents containing its own letter-head to not be falsified. In other words, they have the right to expect a document with their own letter-head to contain what they put into it.

So that applies as well, and with that all conditions are satisfied.
I agree it wouldn't hold up civilly as changing the terms without notification would be considered bad faith. Legally however where your breakdown falls short is the material gain part. It could easily be argued that the way he rewrote the contract there is no material gain as long as the contract is honored as he still left himself contractually liable for the principal of the loan. What he did wasn't legal but it wasn't exactly illegal either.
 

OilyJillFart

Well-Lubed Member
Sep 26, 2008
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#13
It seems he used the card for two years and racked up 1300 in fees and interest.

If he had any faith in his contract terms, he would have contested the first fee or charge the
bank assessed. It would have been settled and he would have found out whether or not his
modified terms were enforceable.
 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
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#18
They didn't know that the contract was revised, because they were mislead by the guy. That's what fraud is. It's not a one way street, if the bank mislead a customer into signing a contract thinking there were different terms in it, it would also be fraud.
How were they misled, if they don't review their own contracts to confirm that everything is acknowledged? What if it was signed by "Mickey Mouse"? Are they still going to issue the card and complain that this guy defrauded them? My company is changing terms and conditions on unsigned or partially signed contracts (by us) and returning them for review and acceptance all the time. Why isn't this fraudulent as well?
 

Psychopath

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Dec 28, 2008
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#19
A contract isn't valid unless it is agreed to by both parties. If they issued a credit card based on the revised terms, it should be understood that those terms are in effect. How can fraud only be a one-way street? No one is obligating the bank to issue credit. All they had to do was tear up the revised contract and say the terms were not acceptable and the offer is void.
It's Russia! Duh.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#20
How were they misled, if they don't review their own contracts to confirm that everything is acknowledged? What if it was signed by "Mickey Mouse"? Are they still going to issue the card and complain that this guy defrauded them? My company is changing terms and conditions on unsigned or partially signed contracts (by us) and returning them for review and acceptance all the time. Why isn't this fraudulent as well?
I posted a list of conditions that must be met for something to be fraud. The reason why what you're describing isn't fraudulent is because it doesn't meet any of them. Not even a single one.
 

mascan42

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#21
How were they misled, if they don't review their own contracts to confirm that everything is acknowledged? What if it was signed by "Mickey Mouse"? Are they still going to issue the card and complain that this guy defrauded them? My company is changing terms and conditions on unsigned or partially signed contracts (by us) and returning them for review and acceptance all the time. Why isn't this fraudulent as well?
Because presumably they tell the other party that the terms and conditions have changed.
 

whiskeyguy

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#22
The binding part of a contract is not a signature, it's a consensual agreement between all involved parties. That's why a contract signed while at gunpoint is completely invalid, as is one where either party was misled. If a banker goes over the terms of a contract with you, and then when you look away swaps it with a different contract and you sign that one, that contract is void.

This guy didn't write his own contract and present it to the bank as such, he edited their own contract so they wouldn't notice the changed terms. That's fraud, and in the US that contract would be void.