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Category: Consumer Protection Law
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I purchased a vehicle (1 year old) from a small dealer/leasing

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I purchased a vehicle (1 year old) from a small dealer/leasing company in NYC. I paid for the vehicle in full ($30k+), but the dealer has not provided the vehicle nor returned my money, and is now (1 month later) siting financial issues as the reason.

What can i do/ what are my options?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm going to assist you with your question.

Please bear with me if you believe my answer isn’t coming fast enough because I’m also working with other customers too. I apologize for any seemingly late response.


Sorry for your situation.

Now just to be sure of my facts - you bought a specific vehicle for cash:

Did you get a title to the vehicle?

Where does the dealer say the vehicle is?

Did you actually see and test drive the vehicle?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It's an auto leasing firm that buys its vehicles from a Manheim, PA dealer auction. They offer broker services to purchase vehicles for customers. I engaged their broker service. I did not physically see the vehicle, but they sent me vehicle details prior to the vehicle auction purchase/bid. They also sent me the Auction Simulcast showing that they had won the vehicle with my initial $4000 deposit. I was then given 1 week to provide remain balance, which i did with 2 certified cheques. I received a Bill of Sale showing vehicle VIN# XXXXX other vehicle details (Honda Odyssey Touring Elite Minivan)

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
I know of that auction - I think it's the largest in the country.

I know the situation you're in now.

Then although you got a bill of sale - you don't have the title to the vehicle yet.

I would inform the dealer that they have 3 days to get you title and the vehicle or that you will be filing complaint with the District Attorney's office in the matter and pursuing criminal charges for theft and fraud against them.

Yes, there are financial issues - the dealer spent your money and potentially didn't pay off the vehicle to the auction.


So, I would contact the dealer today (or tomorrow because today is Sunday if they're not open) and inform them you want title in 3 days and the vehicle OR you will have no alternative but to pursue any and all legal remedies available including filing criminal charges at the District Attorney's office for theft, theft by deception, and fraud.



Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The financial transactions took place 5/29/2013. They gave me the run around for about 1.5 weeks. I then reported it to the Dept of Consumer Affairs and the Brooklyn DA's office - no response received yet. My real question is, whilst I can sue for all of the above, (1) what sort of further approx costs would i be looking at? (2) for 2 weeks now they proposed paying me back in installments over the next year, but they don't seem to getting to the details + not calling me. Can suing them somehow enforce this? (3) If they really don't have any money what are the possible outcomes?

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
I then reported it to the Dept of Consumer Affairs and the Brooklyn DA's office - no response received yet. My real question is, whilst I can sue for all of the above, (1) what sort of further approx costs would i be looking at? (2) for 2 weeks now they proposed paying me back in installments over the next year, but they don't seem to getting to the details + not calling me. Can suing them somehow enforce this? (3) If they really don't have any money what are the possible outcomes?


Because they not only breached the contract with you - they stole your monies and committed fraud too. (I knew they took your monies and didn't buy the vehicle when I read your original post about the matter/event).

You not only can recover the monies you paid, your court costs, attorney's fees - but get punitive damages too because of their fraud and theft of your monies. Fraud is a "tort" action - which allows for punitive damages to be imposed because of their very wrongful conduct in the matter.



I think you should file a criminal complaint with the District Attorneys office where they are located if they are in PA. If they are local where you reside - then I would be going back and complaining to the DA's office why criminal charges haven't already been brought. This is clear theft of your monies given they have offered to pay you back your monies over installment payment plan.


That criminal charges would be in addition to your civil remedies against them.



Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!



Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Last few questions Fred, and thank you so much for your help thus far. My situation feels somewhat desperate, but its a breath of fresh air speaking with you.


 


(4) I left messages for about 9 attorneys that i pulled off the internet. 2 called back - i told them the above, and none of them called back. Anything hopeless about this case?


 


(5) You didn't address the question re: Approx costs (range) in getting the matter to court? ... a range would be fine.


 


(6) If they have no assets i.e. they claimed the business account was frozen due to the owner going through divorce - is it possible that such a matter can freeze a business account?


 


(7) If they have no assets currently, can the courts force them to pay over time? i.e. if the owner goes to jail, how would i get my money back.


 

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Last few questions Fred, and thank you so much for your help thus far. My situation feels somewhat desperate, but its a breath of fresh air speaking with you.

 


(4) I left messages for about 9 attorneys that i pulled off the internet. 2 called back - i told them the above, and none of them called back. Anything hopeless about this case?


NO, TO THE CONTRARY, THIS IS A VERY CLEAR CASE. I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY DIDN'T RETURN YOUR CALLS. I WOULD CONTINUE CONTACTING OTHER ATTORNEYS TILL YOU GET ONE.


(5) You didn't address the question re: Approx costs (range) in getting the matter to court? ... a range would be fine.


 

THIS IS FAIRLY SIMPLE LITIGATION - THEY STOLE YOUR MONIES SO THERE ISN'T THE NEED FOR ALOT OF ONGOING LITIGATION. I WOULD THINK THAT THE TOTALCOST THROUGH TRIAL WOULD BE $5K AT THE VERY MAXIMUM - BUT THAT'S RECOVERABLE FROM THEM.


(6) If they have no assets i.e. they claimed the business account was frozen due to the owner going through divorce - is it possible that such a matter can freeze a business account?


YES, THEIR ACCOUNTS CAN BE FROZEN BUT YOUR MONIES SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLACED IN AN ESCROW ACCOUNT BECAUSE IT WASN'T THEIR MONIES. SO THAT'S WRONGFUL BUSINESS PRACTICE OR A LIE ON THEIR PART.


(7) If they have no assets currently, can the courts force them to pay over time? i.e. if the owner goes to jail, how would i get my money back.

 

AS PART OF THEIR PROBATION THEY WOULD HAVE TO PAY YOU BACK - THEY WOULDN'T GET OFF PROBATION AND WOULD HAVE CONTINUING CRIMINAL SENTENCING IF THEY DIDN'T PAY YOU BACK.

 

IF CRIMINALY CONVICTED EVEN IF ONLY A MISDEMEANOR - THE CRIMINAL COURT WOULD OVERSEE AND MANDATE THAT THEY PAY YOU BACK MOST CERTAINLY.

 

ACTUALLY, THIS IS A CRIMINAL MATTER - THE DA SHOULD BE PURSUING THIS AND THERE SHOULD BE NO PROBLEM GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK. MOREOVER, THEY CAN'T EVEN DISCHARGE THE DEBT THROUGH BANKRUPTCY - THEFT AND FRAUD (CRIMINAL OR CIVIL) ARE NOT DISCHARGEABLE DEBTS IN BANKRUPTCY.

 

 

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If theoretically I engaged an attorney tomorrow, in terms of setting expectations, how long does it take for a such a matter to get to court?

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
It all depends - anywhere from 6 months to a year.

But I think your attorney could file a motion for summary judgment and have the matter resolved in about 4 months at most.



Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

One thought that concerned me a little was that I posed the same question to one of the attorneys that i spoke with, and he claimed that it is not possible to freeze an account. I'd like to think that it is possible as it means that my monies could still be there, never-the-less, i realize that different attorneys could have differing perspectives based on experience and information. Is there anyone that you could recommend in the NYC/Brooklyn area (where the dealer is located)?


 


Is it important to retain an attorney that operates in the same county as the dealer?

Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
It all depends on the account - if an individual account (most definitely, yes, it can be frozen) or corporate account (doubtful). But given the situation you're in - I think they spent your monies and the account not frozen.

Yes, it's best to get an attorney who practices in the same court where the defendant's business is - that make it easiest and most cost effective.


We are not allowed to make referrals. What I can suggest is that you contact the county bar association and they can give you a list of attorney's who practice business law or contract law or consumer proctection law - any would be fine to assist you.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
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Experience: 20 years experience in consumer advocacy, debt collection violations, contracts, construction
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Expert:  Law Pro replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

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