On behalf of our client (plaintiff), suit was filed again a large auto dealership and a bank in connection with the purchase and financing of an automobile.
The complaint alleges that the plaintiff saw an online advertisement placed by the dealership for a 2010 BMW for approximately $36,995.According to the suit, the plaintiff went to the dealership to inquire about the availability of the advertised vehicle and to test drive it. After deciding to purchase the vehicle at the advertised price, the plaintiff traded in her old BMW, leaving a balance of $16,000 to be financed.
The lawsuit alleged that the dealership requested that plaintiff sign several blank documents without advising her of the contents of the documents. After signing various documents, the plaintiff left the dealership with the vehicle under what is called a “Spot Delivery Condition.”
According to the suit, several weeks later, plaintiff received a notification from her finance company (bank) that her loan was $52,000! She became alarmed and call the dealership for an explanation of the loan amount. After receiving documents from the dealership, plaintiff discovered that the dealership filled out and added charges and fees without her knowledge or consent at some point in time after she left the dealership. Plaintiff never given the sales agreement at the time she purchased the vehicle. Plaintiff discovered that the price of the vehicle was increased from $36,995 to $39,995 without her knowledge. Further, the dealership included more than $5000 for a Service Contract and GAP coverage without plaintiff’s knowledge. Plaintiff also discovered that her signature on the loan contract was forged.
Suit was then brought against the dealership and the bank under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act prohibits any business or person from any unconscionable commercial practice, deception, fraud, misrepresentation in connection with the sale or advertisement of any service or product.
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) covers any person purchasing a consumer product, not just automobiles. It also covers businesses that purchase products for use in its operation.
After suit was brought in this case, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the case and compel arbitration, citing a separate arbitration agreement our client signed. However, the court denied the motion.
After a year of litigation, the defendants decided to settle the case by returning all overcharges, adjusting plaintiff’s loan to the correct amount, reimburse all attorneys’ paid by client, as well as pay all attorneys’ fees incurred in the case, as well as fees for expert, and court filing fees and other costs.