Due to its proximity to College Park and the University of Maryland, Hyattsville is booming. The area promises to grow even further when the Purple Line light rail opens. This will bring riders from New Carrollton to Bethesda. However, there will always be plenty of local drivers patronizing auto dealers in the area.
In Hyattsville and nearby Adelphi, you can find new and used Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Honda and Nissan dealers. Some Maryland car dealers use illegal business practices as a way of overcharging.
Some of these dishonest practices can include:
- charging for LoJack and other products when they are not installed,
- spot delivery violations,
- keeping down payments and selling trade-ins when financing is not approved,
- false online price advertising,
- selling used cars as new cars, and
- running credit checks without permission.
Whitney, LLP’s auto fraud lawyers have experience unwinding bad deals and recovering compensation for unfair practices. Our attorneys sue car dealerships to help car buyers.
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.
Hyattsville, MD, Car Dealer Forgery
Some car dealers will resort to misrepresentation and lying when trying to sell a vehicle. At the top of the pyramid of auto fraud, there is forgery, which is a special category of dealer corruption.
We represent customers who tell us that they think that the dealer signed their name without permission and forged their signature and initials.
Red flags for forgery include the monthly payment, interest rate and loan amount being different, either higher or lower, than what was agreed to on the buyer’s order, lease or finance contract you originally signed.
Some of our clients have sued the dealership for the dealer using forged initials to fake a required disclosure, such as a used car’s rental history or a spot delivery notice. Forged initials are every bit as bad as forging a signature and can result in serious consequences for a dishonest dealership.
Our car dealership fraud lawyers have sued many dealerships for forgery in Maryland. Read about a $50,000 settlement with Sheehy Hyundai in Waldorf in a case involving forgery and fraud allegations.
Keeping Down Payments and Selling Trades Without Financing Approval
A spot delivery occurs when the dealer has you drive off the lot with the car without financing being approved or finalized. Then, if financing falls through, it may request a higher monthly payment or larger down payment, or higher interest rate.
Maryland law requires dealers provide written notice within 4 days when financing is not approved. Read more about Maryland Spot Delivery in our blog.
Suing a car dealership could be your only option when the dealer has pocketed your down payment and is avoiding you or simply refusing to return it. Dealers also often sell trade-ins before financing is approved, which causes a car buyer to feel as if paying an increased price for the new car is their only option. Whitney, LLP has experience helping car buyers when financing is not approved and the dealer acts illegally.
Dealership Fraud Schemes in Hyattsville, MD
Misrepresentation is a broad way to describe many of the schemes that dealers use with the goal of overcharging. In many instances, the Hyattsville, College Park or Adelphi dealer is doing something wrong to either bring you in the door or take your money once it has you as a customer.
One type of auto fraud that is grounds for both suing a car dealership and possible criminal charges is when a dealer resets, tampers with or disconnects the odometer to supposedly cut miles off the car’s age.
Dealers could also be lying in their online advertisements, telling you that the car costs less than what they are really charging. Customers often arrive at the dealership and find higher prices from bogus “inspection” or “reconditioning” fees. Both of these are illegal and reason enough to hire a lawyer to sue a car dealership.
Sometimes, an overeager car dealer can try performing a hard credit pull on you without asking you first. The Fair Credit Reporting Act says that this is illegal, and you could be entitled to damages when a dealer checks your credit without your permission.
There are other schemes that unscrupulous dealers will sometimes use that can potentially make them liable to you in a civil lawsuit. For example, they could tell you that the car is new when someone else briefly owned it, or fail to disclose a prior commercial use, including a used car being a rental, before selling it. Maryland law required disclosure of past commercial use of a used car.
Every bit as important are the things that dealers do not do, such as telling you about certain damage to the vehicle. Sometimes, not making a disclosure is every bit as bad as lying. You are entitled to the car that was advertised online in the exact condition that the dealer represented.
Car Dealership Fraud Attorney Near Me in Hyattsville, MD
To take action against a car dealer who has misled or defrauded you, it is highly advisable to have the help of an experienced attorney. Whitney, LLP can help unwind bad deals and recover compensation for unfair practices.
Call the experienced attorneys at Whitney LLP today at (410) 583-8000, or contact us online to request your free initial consultation.