With the drive by companies to obtain ever-higher levels of profit, examples of consumer fraud occur every day. Something as simple as misrepresenting the price of an item to get a customer through the door is a violation of state law. Other examples of fraud are less obvious, such as those that involve the issuance of loans at illegal rates or not fully disclosing fees that apply to a financing agreement.
People who believe that they have been the victim of these unfair practices when purchasing a car or other vehicle should reach out to an auto consumer fraud lawyer immediately. An experienced consumer protection attorney is prepared to evaluate your current situation, explain the laws that are relevant to your case, and suggest appropriate legal action that could both stop the illegal acts and demand fair compensation for your losses.
Any business that attempts to sell a product to a customer could potentially be committing consumer fraud. Perhaps the most visible example in the automotive industry is when a dealer offers financing terms to those needing help paying for a new vehicle. In this situation, predatory lenders might:
Even the tactics that dealers use to get customers through the door may run afoul of consumer protection laws. This could include practices such as a bait-and-switch to get customers in the door or not keeping proper inventory lists on a website. Speaking with an auto consumer fraud attorney could help you evaluate your current situation and determine if the actions of a lender or car dealer have been legal or not.
Companies that engage in illegal activities may be held liable for the losses of their victims. An auto consumer fraud attorney is prepared to take the lead in investigating these matters and filing lawsuits on behalf of individual clients. This could include seeking out a remedy in a local courthouse or joining with other similar victims to demand compensation through a class action lawsuit.
If enough people bring allegations forward against the same company, it may be possible for these people to join together in a class-action lawsuit. These cases function as a way for multiple people to demand compensation against a common defendant in a single legal action. An attorney could help to determine if your specific situation fits into any current class action litigation
A final option is to reach out to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This agency has the power to investigate apparent violations of federal consumer protection laws and take legal action on behalf of customers. This could include filing lawsuits in a United States District Court or conducting administrative hearings. These actions could result in a court ordering the payment of damages to a customer or formal sanctions against a car dealership or other company.
Every allegation of fraud must include evidence of the business’s wrongdoing. Customers can be of great help during this process by being aware of their rights from the outset and providing documents and testimony concerning the actions of fraudulent companies.
For example, a case that alleges a bait and switch scheme can benefit from a copy of a print ad or internet screenshot that shows a business’s willingness to sell a specific car at a set price. If a sales contract later shows a transaction at a different price for the same car, this can be powerful evidence of fraud. Customers can also help by providing their recollections of conversations, copies of emails, and their sales or loan contacts. An automobile sales fraud attorney works to analyze this evidence for any helpful information that could support a claim of fraudulent practices.
Consumers have significant rights under both state and federal law. This includes the right to be free from the deceptive or fraudulent trade practices of companies, including auto dealers. Illegal loan rates, scams to sell a car, and aggressive loan collection techniques are all examples of this fraud that could have a significant impact on your finances and emotional well-being.
An auto consumer fraud lawyer is prepared to fight for your rights and the compensation that you deserve. This could include filing lawsuits in state and federal courts or submitting formal complaints to the relevant local and federal authorities. If you believe that you have been the victim of a scam when looking to buy a car or any other type of vehicle, contact us now to schedule a consultation. We only get paid if you win, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out and describing your situation.