From our private database of 26,900+ case briefs...
Household Credit Services v. Pfenning
United States Supreme Court
541 U.S. 232 (2004)
Sharon Pfenning (plaintiff) was the holder of a credit card issued by Household Credit Services, Inc. (Household) (defendant). Pfenning had a credit limit on her credit card of $2,000. However, Pfenning was able to exceed the $2,000 cap, subject to a $29 over-limit fee for each month she surpassed the allowable limit. Household billed Pfenning according to a regular billing cycle. When Pfenning exceeded the $2,000 limit during a specific billing cycle, Household added the $29 over-limit fee to her billing statement. However, Household did not list the over-limit fee as a finance charge. Pfenning sued Household in district court, alleging that by failing to include the over-limit fee as a finance charge, Household was misrepresenting the true cost of the credit in violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq. Household moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that fees for exceeding a credit limit were specifically excluded from the definition of finance charges by the Federal Reserve Board (Board) in Regulation Z, 12 C.F.R. § 226.4(c)(2). The district court agreed with Household’s argument and granted the motion to dismiss. Pfenning appealed, and the court of appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Thomas, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 541,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 541,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 26,900 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.