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Consumer Fraud Complaints, Auto Dealership Fraud

Consumer Fraud Complaints in New Jersey 

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act’s prohibits defect deceptive acts and practices. Jonathan Rudnick’s law firm has been litigating fraud and consumer fraud claims for many years against various business entities. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act applies to many industries including but not limited to the automotive sales industry. The reach of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act is excellent about this industry. It applies to various and specific part of the sales and servicing process.

  •     Advertising – bait and switch
  •     Service
  •     Marketing
  •     Credit
  •     Finance
  •     Damaged Cars
  •     Pre delivery services
  •     Aftermarket products
  •     Salesman statements
  •     Product condition
  •     Warranty contents

Each of these products and the sales process behind these products are areas for litigation when and if a consumer has sustained an ascertainable loss associated with a deceptive practice. The basic requirement is that there must be a deceptive practice and affirmative misrepresentation or in other violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act associated with or related to an indirect fashion to an ascertainable loss sustained by consumer. In short:

  •     Deceptive practice
  •     Measurable Loss
  •     Measurable Loss related to the practice

Very frequently in my experience a car dealership or an employee of the car dealership is involved in a deceptive practice. What a significant portion of my practice is related to car dealerships and the salesman this concept of deceptive acts and practices are not limited to the auto sales business. Recently you might have read significantly about Wells Fargo in the news about opening accounts in consumer’s name without the consumer’s consent. Again, in my opinion, this would be a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act for which there would be recovery if the consumer sustains a measurable or ascertainable loss.  

There are other areas of litigation against finance companies including the fair credit reporting act and the fair debt collection practices act. While these are consumer laws resulting in consumer litigation is separate and apart from the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. However, just because you litigated a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act claim would not bar you from litigating a claim under the fair credit reporting act or fair debt collection practices act. The remedies and rights under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act are in addition to, cumulative of the other rights guaranteed in either state or federal statutes.

You need an experienced attorney to navigate the areas of consumer law in New Jersey and under the federal statutes. Various attorneys have a varying experience in certain areas of litigation. Jonathan Rudnick at Esq. has significant experience in litigating in the automotive industry against car dealerships. Not only is he represented consumers against car dealerships, but he has represented many salesmen a car dealership about salesmen and/or finance manager pay plan litigation. Pay plan litigation is asserting that the dealership failed to pay their employees properly in violation of a written or non-written pay plan. The concepts are the same.

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and the consumer laws associated with the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act are an excellent source of remedies for those who have been damaged.

Consumer Fraud Act plaintiffs filed suit against car dealerships for many types of claims. These claims include claims of prior damages. These claims include claims for selling salvage and rebuild vehicles. There are also lemon law claims however they are not consumer fraud claims but rather other statutory claims which may be categorized as breach of warranty claims. Lemon Law claims also provide for attorney's fees for successful litigants. However, this is different than the Consumer Fraud Act because of these claims not triple damages. New Jersey Lemon Law claims a refund those who have purchased damaged vehicles.

The first step is to file a complaint. Plaintiffs filed and Superior Court and then served on the defendant. The defendant has 35 days to answer the complaint. The defendant as a corporation must hire a lawyer. The lawyer filed a complaint, affirmative defenses and jury demand. If there are any facts which are relevant in the answer, affirmative defenses or other items of the facts must be plead under various circumstances. The interest filed in Superior Court and Is provided the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney.

Then discovery served on the defendant. Defendant can receive discovery with the complaint which is what I do in my office. The defendant then propounds discovery in the plaintiff and the discovery part of the case starts. There are then depositions and motions if a party deems them appropriate. These are all steps in most civil litigation cases however there are certain steps in Consumer Fraud Act cases and Lemon Law cases. One a case is filed, and interest filed with affirmative defenses and the case proceeds through litigation with discovery and date and depositions that that conducted down the road when the attorneys are involved

New Jersey law requires the jury demand to be filed with the complaint. The New Jersey Constitution guarantees a jury trial in civil and criminal cases. However, the court rules have set the procedure to determine the method by which a plaintiff must demand for jury trial. Generally, a jury demand is included in the initial pleading by the plaintiff. It is not uncommon for the defendant, dealership, also to include a jury demand. Jury demands can be waived but they must be waived by both parties. This would include an arbitration clause which the court deems as an agreement to waive a jury trial. This issue has been addressed previously in other portions of the website.

Jonathan Rudnick Consumer Fraud Lawyer in New Jersey and Tinton Falls