Bankruptcy Law Questions? Ask a Bankruptcy Lawyer Now.
Research into the collection practices of the lender revealspages and pages of complaints, including some with the BBB regarding making promises to modify/ restructure loans in exchange for making payments on delinquent loans.
Buyer was considering returning the vehicle as part of the chapter 7, but seller rep promised to modify loan after certain number of payments were made. The lender did not honor this promise, and that is what started the stalemate. The lender stated that modification of loans was a practice of the company they acquired, and the buyer was given that information in error, but they do not currently engage in this practice. Would this be actionable in small claims court for the return of monies paid under the promise of modification? Again, buyer was told the lender would modify loan after payments were made. That is the only reason the car was kept during the chapter 7.
As for reporting the vehicle stolen, this is a civil dispute,not a criminal matter. How does this scenario equate to theft?
A: Unless payments were actually made in reliance upon the lender's promise, there is no detrimental reliance, and so no consideration for a modification of the original contract. Without consideration, the lender's actions, while perhaps a false promise, does not rise to the level of a legally actionable claim, because the debtor was not injured. Only by making payments would the debtor be able to show an injury for which a claim could be made in small claims court.
Payments were made on two separate occasions totalingapproximately seven thousand dollars to the lender to reach a certain number ofpayments made on the account to modify the loan. Only after the buyer had reached the statednumber of payments was the buyer told that the lender did not engage in thispractice. Four separate representativestold the buyer that the loan would be modified after 36 payments were made.
The monies paid to the seller would have been used topurchase another vehicle had the buyer known the seller had no intention ofmodifying the loan. This seems to be acommon practice for the lender as noted in the literally hundreds of complaintsalleging the same.
In small claims court with a different burden of proof,would there be a reasonable cause of action with evidence corroborating theclaim of misrepresentation by the lender associates? Again, the point of contention being thepayments made were only done so based upon the information provided by thelender.
I have found the complaints from hundreds of consumers onvarious websites, including the BBB alleging similar behavior to myincident. Would that type ofcorroboration be admissible in small claims?
Secondly, who would be the person to serve if one were to pursuea case against the lender?
Thank you so much for your assistance. How do I find out who to serve for a corporation? The lender is Santander Consumer USA?
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).