New York Judge Says Purchasing Crypto with A Bank Card Isn’t A Cash Advance

  • Chase Bank has been charging customers a cash advance fee for the purchase of cryptocurrency with their bank and credit cards.
  • The judge has denied the motion to dismiss.

The Chase company has been exploring a venture into the cryptocurrency industry, but recent actions have been upsetting the customers that they already serve. According to court documents, the company was charging multiple customers fees for purchasing cryptocurrency with their Chase accounts, justifying the charge by considering cryptocurrency to be a cash advance.

The charges ultimately led the plaintiffs – Brady Tucker, Ryan Hilton, and Stanton Smith – to file a class action lawsuit against the financial institution. Southern District of New York Judge Katherine Polk Failla has been overseeing this case, and she stated that the whole claim is based on the statement that purchasing cryptocurrency can’t be considered a cash advance, due to their contracts. Chase clearly disagrees, saying that the activities are “cash-like transactions,” so they should be considered cash advance.

As Judge Failla said,

“The parties’ dispute thus boils down to a difference of opinion concerning the proper interpretation of the term ‘cash-like transaction.’”

At this point, the judge has ruled that this type of purchase isn’t necessarily the same as a cash advance, based on Chase’s contract. Much of the reason that the dismissal motions by Chase haven’t worked is because the Judge only sees that the plaintiffs have provided a reasonable interpretation of this tern.

In the court document, Judge Failla says that the plaintiffs see the word “cash” as meaning fiat money exclusively, while “cash-like” is only a reference to items that are claims on cash, like checks and money orders. However, cryptocurrency is not one of those items, as the plaintiffs explained. However, the defendants believe that this term should be applied to absolutely any means of payment.

At this point, it is worth noting that the judge hasn’t actually sided with the plaintiffs. Instead, she simply commented that the interpretation they came up with was realistic enough for the class action case to go through.

Failla stated,

“At this point in the proceedings, however, it is irrelevant whether Chase’s interpretation of ‘cashlike transactions’ is more reasonable than Plaintiffs.’. […] Because Plaintiffs have identified a reasonable interpretation of ‘cash-like transactions' that would exclude purchases of cryptocurrency, the breach of contract claim survives the motion to dismiss.”

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