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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 8814
Experience:  30 years of corporate, litigation and international law
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Our youngest daughter purchased a car in August. During early

Resolved Question:

Our youngest daughter purchased a car in August. During early October the car was returned to the dealer in dispute of the purchase and finance contract because several counts of misrepresentation and concealment of factual information took place prior to the sale, misleading our daughter into a purchase decision. We also discovered that the finance contract was altered after the sale. I asked for copies of the Bill of Sale and also of the Finance contract at the time that the sale concluded. It took over six weeks to get a copy of the alleged finance contract. Although the car was returned in early October it was paid through to November 1st. When the car was returned to the dealership I hand delivered a letter in which it was clearly stated that the car purchase is rejected and the car is being returned in dispute of the sale and finance. In the letter I also informed that we are filing complaints for misrepresentation, concealment of factual information, and fraud. We just received a letter from the lender claiming that during mid October (seven days after the car was returned to the dealership in dispute) reposed the collateral, and is scheduled to be sold in an auction on November 07, 2013. The questions are:

1- Can a lender claim repossession of a vehicle that was return in dispute, during a period in which the car's payment had the account in good standing?

2- Can a lender sell in an auction a car that is the subject of a legal dispute in which strong evidence of misrepresentation, concealment of factual information, and fraud took place?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 11 months ago.

Richard :

Hello, I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for. What are the nature of the misrepresentations which led you to revoke the purchase? Also, in what way was the finance contract altered after the purchase and how did that effect your daughter?

Richard :

I will check back in 10 minutes to see your response.

Customer:

Misrepresentation: The dealership advertised the vehicle as a 2004, it was a 2003; The sales man told us that the car had only one previous owner, a car history review (carfax) indicated that the car had three previous owners, our daughter is the fourth owner .. the third owner put 41,000+/- miles in 20 months; The salesman denied our request to test drive the car, allegeing that the dealership was getting ready to close for the day (we drove from Naples FL to Miami FL to see the vehicle), he told us that the car was in excellent condition and recently serviced ... the car had several existing problems and needed to be serviced.

Richard :

What did the paperwork you signed say about the year of the vehicle? Did you take delivery of the car at the time you bought it? Were the representations made oral or in writing? Did the car come with any kind of warranty or did you purchase "as is"? Why did it take two months to return the car?

Customer:

Fraud: The salesman stated that our daughter's credit score was -1 at the time of the purchase, a research review several weeks later revealed that a code of 9003 was issued because she had just turned 18 in May and her credit history was insufficient. A 28% interest rate was imposed to her loan, for a period of 24 months. Later, six weeks later we received documents in which a 28.49 interest rate was listed, and the finance term was also increased from $260.00 per month for 24, to $260.00 per month for 34 months.

Customer:

The salesman informed our daughter just before signing that the car's year model was 2003, 2004 was entered by mistake. Both communicated back and forth several times throughout the day before we drove over to the dealership.

Customer:

The representations were made oral, the salesman claimed that there was no secretarial support at the time to execute copies of the contract, when I requested copies.

Richard :

Did you have a copy of the finance agreement that showed the true interest rate? Something is wrong because a .49% increase in the interest rate would not result in an extra year of payments. Did the amount financed remain the same on your copy of the contract and on the one you received later?

Customer:

The car had no warranty, the dealership did not post Buyers Guides information documents on the car (as well as other cars visible).

Customer:

For over six weeks I kept on asking for copies of he contracts signed during the afternoon of the purchase. Only a copy of the alleged finance contract was sent to me after I contacted the State of Florida Attorney General Office to inform them about the concealment of factual information, and request assistance to get copies of the documents.

Customer:

Several charges that were not presented for discussion and approval to us at the time of discussion were added to the itemization list, that is why the finance term was bumped up from 24 months to 34 months.

Customer:

The additional items added to the list would have led our daughter to reject the sale and financing of the car because she was already at the top of her budget, at $260 per month for 24 months.

Richard :

I want to take some time to do a little research so I will step away for a while before providing an answer. However, I want to review what you have told me to make sure I have the facts correct. On the phone you were told that the car was a 2004 vehicle with only one prior owner. Before you agreed to purchase the vehicle you were informed that the ad was in error and that the vehicle was a 2003. After the sale you learned that the vehicle had three prior owners. You were not given the contract for the financing terms. You were only told that it would be $260 per month for 24 months with interest at 28%. Later you received the actual financing contract which had items in addition to the cost of the car, taxes and license fees and as a result of those items, the interest rate increased to 28.49% and the loan term increased to 36 months. You were not provided with a Buyer's guide and there was no Buyer's guide on the vehicle. YOur daughter was told her credit score was -1. Is this information correct?

Richard :

What is the significance of the 9003 code on her credit? What were the additional charges that increased the term 1 year?

Richard :

I will be back in about half an hour after I do some research.

Customer:

The car was listed in Craig's list as a 2004 model, during the initial telephone calls between our daughter and the salesman, he confirmed the car as a 2004 modle. Once we drove to Miami to view the car and negotiate the purchase he confessed to her that the car is a 2003 model and was listed as a 2004 model by mistake.

Customer:

The 9003 code is assigned for people with insufficient credit history to determine a credit score, she had turned 18 three months prior to the purchse.

Richard :

OK I will be back in about half an hour.

Customer:

Thanks Richard

Richard :

I wanted to see if the lack of a Buyer's Guide alone would serve as a basis for rescinding the sale. It appears not. It could result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000 but that would have to be brought by the FTC. The first order of business would be to file a complaint with the FTC about the lack of a Buyer's Guide and the transaction as a whole.

Richard :

With respect to the misrepresentation about the year of the car, no liability will attach to that because before you signed the contract you were told the correct age. The misrepresentation about the prior owners, while an issue I do not know that it would rise to the level of material misrepresentation. If the mileage and condition are correctly represented I do not know that having one or more owners affects anything that relates to the condition of the car. The biggest issue is the failure to provide you with a finance contract at the time of sale and then provide one that has both a different interest rate and a different length. This will be the strongest case you will have for rescinding the contract. This portion of the case will be based on the oral representations that were made because you did not get a written agreement at the time you bought the car. Your daughter's credit score whether -1 or insufficient credit history also does not appear to affect anything. The interest rate appears to be the same in either case.

Richard :

The dealer can treat the return of the vehicle as a voluntary repossession even though it is being disputed. You would report the dispute to the credit reporting agencies and inform them the case in court. The dealer can sell the car at auction because you have returned it to the dealer relinquishing your interest in the vehicle. The only question is whether you are entitled to recover all your money paid for the car. That question will be resolved in the court case you filed.

Customer:

Hi Richard, I am back. Maria would have no issues with the car's previous ownership and mechanical condition of the car for the first two owners, but the car's history records indicates that the owner put a lot of miles on the car, and also did not provide the level of maintenance that type of cars require (Audi A4 Turbo).

Richard :

Here is a link to the FTC site about the Buyer's Guide. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/guides/usedcar-comply.shtm Here is the link to the statute on penalties that is referenced in footnote 3 to the FTC link. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/45 If I have answered all your questions, please rate my answer excellent as that is how I am compensated. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.

Customer:

The biggest issues for us are: 1- the way in which our daughter was mislead through a series of deceptive and unfair tactics into a purchase decision; 2- The way in which the finance company altered the contract by increasing the items and cost in the itemization list, and also by increasing the length of time of the finance contract.

Customer:

Thanks for your assistance Richard

Richard :

It is the total mileage that matters on the car. So the fact that one owner put a lot of mileage on the care does not alter the total mileage. The problem with the condition of the car is that the car was sold "as is". It was encumbent on you to check its condition before you purchased it. That is why the strongest case is on the change in the financing terms. The fact that they did not give you the financing contract for six weeks gives you a stronger than usual case than normally applies where the representations about the financing terms are oral and not written.

Richard :

If you have any more questions let me know and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

Customer:

I agree, the concealment of factual information is our biggest weapon.

Customer:

Thanks Richard, you have done great.

Richard :

You are welcome, please do not forget to rate my answer. Good luck

Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 8814
Experience: 30 years of corporate, litigation and international law
Richard - Bizlaw and 7 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 11 months ago.
Hi I was just following up to see how you made out. If you have any additional questions or I can help on a different topic let me know.

Richard

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