College Park, Maryland, is a booming city that has experienced a nearly 50% population growth over the past two decades and is the home of the flagship campus of the University of Maryland. College students and people from all over Prince George’s County come into the city to go car shopping at dealerships that sell Nissans, Fords, Hondas, and other makes.
Of course, these buyers should not have to worry about whether or not a dealer is being honest. They should be able to find a vehicle they want, negotiate the price and terms of the purchase, and leave satisfied. Sadly, though, unscrupulous, some dishonest dealers are in operation in College Park and surrounding communities like Berwin Heights, Adelphi, Langley Park and Riverdale Park.
Indeed, common schemes include dealers keeping down payments after financing is not approved and the car is returned, lying about the price in online advertising and running credit checks without permission. Some other types of auto fraud include forgery, odometer fraud, spot delivery violations, hiding damage, accident history, and salvage titles, and failing to disclose to customers that a used car used to be a rental car.
Thankfully, there are laws designed to protect consumers from misrepresentation and other fraudulent activities by car dealers in Maryland. The auto fraud lawyers at Whitney, LLP, have experience suing car dealerships to get relief for their clients. If you believe you have been victimized by a car dealership, do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Here are reviews from what some of our past clients have said about us, and here are some of our past settlement results in claims and lawsuits against car dealerships. We offer Legal Consultations. Call us at (410) 583-8000 or use our online form to request your free initial consultation today.
The College Park Car Dealership Forged My Signature
One sign of fraud on the part of a car dealership in College Park, Berwin Heights, Adelphi, Langley Park or Riverdale Park is the forgery of a customer signature on sale or financing documents. This can be as simple as forged initials or signatures on financing documents or the dealer forging the signature at the end of the purchase contract.
Red flags for car dealership forgery, which is often committed by a finance manager, includes monthly payments being higher or lower than expected, the interest rate being different, or the loan being a larger or smaller amount than the customer agreed to borrow. Looking at your credit report will tell you what the balance of the auto loan you took is.
Forging documents, initials and signatures is more common in the car sales industry than most people believe, and it is a serious offense. You may have a civil case for monetary recovery against a dealership for forgery, and it is a crime under Maryland law.
Car buyers generally believe they can rely on the honesty of dealerships. Unfortunately, too many buyers end up saying, “I was defrauded by a dealership near me. I think they were forging my signature on documents.” Suing a car dealership often seems complicated, but Whitney, LLP’s car dealership forgery lawyers can help you through the process.
Other Car Dealer Schemes in College Park, MD
It is no secret that car dealerships have a reputation for saying whatever it takes to get a deal done. Salespeople are incentivized to move cars off the lot more than they are to be honest.
They might engage in odometer fraud, tampering with the odometer to display a false mileage that is much lower than the true mileage.
In Maryland, if a used car used to be a rental car, the dealer must clearly disclose that to customers.
Spot delivery violations are also a possibility, where the dealer sends you home with a car before the loan is approved only to change the terms later. Spot delivery laws in Maryland require a dealer to return the down payment, in full, and not charge any fees, if financing is not approved. Dealers also have to provide written notice within 4 days of the customer taking the car if financing is not approved.
They may engage in false online advertising only to bait and switch you when you show up at the dealership. Low online prices can become thousands higher once a customer arrives at a dealership. Excessive fees, fraudulent inspection fees, and other extra charges are illegal.
Dealers have also been known to run credit checks on customers without their permission. After the sale, the most dishonest dealerships keep the GAP Insurance or vehicle service contract/extended warranty money instead of actually purchasing the policy for the customer. When these policies are not paid for, the customer is deprived of valuable coverage and faces large risks.
Any of these actions by a car dealer might be enough to support a fraud claim or other violation of law. When that happens, the auto fraud attorneys at Whitney, LLP, are here to help guide you on suing a car dealership to recover compensation. Compensation against car dealerships for fraud can include returning the car, recovering a stolen down payment, and emotional distress.
We are dedicated to helping car buyers who have been treated unfairly by the car dealership industry. Whether the seller involved engaged in lying, misrepresenting, forging, overcharging, withholding information or otherwise fraudulently sold you a car, Whitney, LLP can help with suing a car dealership.
There are state and federal consumer protection laws designed to protect car buyers by requiring dealerships to disclose certain facts honestly. Making misrepresentations about the condition of a vehicle or the options it has is prohibited. Sellers are required to make specific disclosures regarding financing terms. If you purchased a car from a dealership that lied to you, Whitney, LLP, may be able to provide you with a lawyer to sue a car dealership for relief.
Car Dealership Fraud Lawyer Near Me in College Park
If you believe your College Park, Md area dealer committed auto fraud with a new or used vehicle, misrepresented the terms of a deal or the state of the vehicle, forged initials or engaged in overcharging, you could have a case for damages, and you may want to retain a lawyer to sue a car dealership. Any of these specific actions can constitute auto fraud and give you the right to monetary damages.
At Whitney, LLP, our consumer auto fraud lawyers have the experience and desire necessary to fight against unscrupulous car dealers on your behalf. Contact Whitney, LLP online or call us right away at (410) 583-8000 for your Legal Consultation.