The Second Department determined plaintiff bank (Citibank) was not entitled to summary judgment on its account stated cause of action. Defendant's credit card balance increased substantially every month when he failed to pay, The bank increased the interest rate from 3.99 and 6.99% to 29.99%. Between May and November, the credit card balance increased from under $24,000 to over $27,000. Defendant made a $75 payment at some point:
Citibank … failed to establish its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on its cause of action for recovery on an account stated. An account stated is an agreement between parties, based upon their prior transactions, with respect to the correctness of the account items and the specific balance due … . Although an account stated may be based on an express agreement between the parties as to the amount due, an agreement may be implied where a defendant retains bills without objecting to them within a reasonable period of time, or makes partial payment on the account … . The “agreement” at the core of an account stated is independent of the underlying obligation between the parties … . Here … Citibank alleged an account stated of $26,985.85. In support of its motion, Citibank submitted proof that it mailed regular monthly statements to the defendant through October 7, 2009.
Citibank failed, however, to establish that the defendant retained this final monthly statement without objecting to the “total new balance” contained on the statement within a reasonable time. In her affidavit, the Citibank employee averred that the “attached Account Statement does not reflect any outstanding disputes on the account.” However, the fact that the final statement did not reflect a protest does not prove that the defendant did not dispute the statement, since any protest would necessarily come after the statement was received by the defendant. Moreover, the record does not establish when the defendant sent a partial payment of $75, and, in any event, that payment was so small in relation to the alleged amount due that it does not give rise, prima facie, to an inference of assent to the total amount alleged to be due … . Citibank (South Dakota), N.A. v Abraham, 2016 NY Slip Op 03133, 2nd Dept 4-27-16