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Credit Protection

Maria receives two new credit cards on May 1. She had solicited one of them from Midtown Department Store, and the other had arrived unsolicited from the High Flying Airlines. During the month of May, Maria makes numerous a credit card purchases from Midtown Store, but she does not use the High Flying Airlines card. On May 31, a burglar breaks into Maria's home and steals both credit cards, along with other items. Maria notifies the Midtown Department Store of the theft on June 2, but she fails to notify High Flying Airlines. Using the Midtown credit card, the burglar makes a $500 purchase on June 1 and a $200 purchase on June 3. The burglar then charges a vacation flight on the High Flying Airlines card for $1000 on June 5. Maria receives the bills for these charges and refuses to pay them. Discuss Maria's liability in these situations.

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Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, the maximum liability on the unauthorized use of a credit card before you report it missing is $50 (although it could be waived by the credit card company) if it is reported missing within a reasonable period of time which is usually 30 days. If you ...