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Horton v. DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas, L.L.C.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Texarkana
262 S.W.3d 1 (2008)


Facts

A dispute existed between Larry Horton (plaintiff) and DaimlerChrysler Financial Services Americas, L.LC. (DaimlerChrysler), represented by its agent Commercial Recovery Systems, Inc. (Commercial Recovery) (defendants). Commercial Recovery offered to settle the dispute on behalf of DaimlerChrysler for the sum of $1,000, with the settlement to include a removal of negative credit information from Horton’s account. The offer, delivered by letter, was made available to Horton “through June 30, 2003” and the terms of payment were “$500.00 due 6/15/03 & $500.00 due 6/30/03.” On June 18, 2003, Commercial Recovery received a $500 check from Horton dated June 14, 2003. On July 2, 2003, Commercial Recovery received a second $500 check from Horton dated June 27, 2003, accompanied by a letter stating that such payment was “in full and complete satisfaction of all sums due and owing” and that it should not be negotiated for any other purpose. Both checks were accepted. In 2005, Horton discovered that adverse credit information relating to his DaimlerChrysler debt remained on his credit report. He sued both DaimlerChrysler and Commercial Recovery for breach of contract. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of DaimlerChrysler and Commercial Recovery who had argued that Horton’s failure to pay the sum due by June 30 meant that no contract was formed. They asserted, further, that their acceptance of Horton’s checks was the acceptance of a counter-offer by Horton, and that the expurgation of his adverse credit information was not a component of the counter-offer. Horton appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Morriss, C.J.)

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