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Collecting Compensation for Auto Dealer Fraud

100 dollar bill

Used car dealer fraud occurs when a dealership attempts to take advantage of consumers through the use of deception and unfair practices. While both state and federal law protect consumers from this type of behavior by requiring dealerships that don’t comply with these rules to compensate wronged parties for their losses, filing a claim can be difficult. To ensure that your own claim is filed properly and that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to recover damages as a result of an avoidable error, please contact a dedicated Philadelphia used car fraud lawyer who can assist and advise you.

Proving Fraud

Most victims of auto dealer fraud are encouraged to file a tort action in court as a means of obtaining compensation for their losses. Filing this type of claim, however, requires consumers to show that a specific dealer omitted or actively misrepresented a material fact, which resulted in a financial loss to the consumer. In order to qualify as material, the information in question must pass the “but for” test, which means that if the omitted or misrepresented facts had not existed, the customer would not have agreed to purchase the car. Once this burden has been met and the injured party has demonstrated that he or she suffered a financial loss as a result of the dealer’s actions, the wronged party could be entitled to a number of different remedies, including an award of damages.

Class Action Lawsuits

It is rare for a used car dealer to commit an isolated act of fraud. Instead, the type of unfair or deceptive practices that harm a consumer usually represents an ongoing scheme perpetrated by the dealer against multiple customers. When fraud occurs on an especially large scale, other customers may come forward with similar experiences and complaints, in which case, the parties could opt to join a class action lawsuit. These suits are specifically designed in such a way that one party represents a collective group, all of whom were wronged in a similar way. For single victims, class action lawsuits are not always the best way to go. If you were defrauded by a dealership as part of a much larger scheme, it is critical to speak with an experienced attorney before deciding to join a class action suit.

Recovering Damages

Plaintiffs who are able to prove that a dealership failed to abide by state and federal laws are often entitled to a variety of remedies, which are tailored to a person’s specific circumstances. For instance, a successful plaintiff could be permitted to surrender an unwanted vehicle back to the dealership and also receive a full refund of all payments made towards the purchase, while other plaintiffs might be permitted to cancel any outstanding loan obligations and to receive compensation for wrongful repossession of their vehicle. Courts costs and attorney’s fees might also be available and in cases of especially serious conduct, the victim could be awarded punitive damages.

Used Car Fraud Lawyer in Philadelphia

For help determining whether you have a valid legal claim against a used car dealer, please contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com in Philadelphia today. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact us online at your earliest convenience.

Resources:

ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/dealers-guide-used-car-rule#comply

fox43.com/2017/01/03/ags-announces-filing-29-legal-actions-against-car-dealers-for-deceptive-business-practices/

https://www.consumerlawpa.com/odometer-fraud-on-the-rise/

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