Auto Fraud Dealership in Pennsylvania
It is an unfortunate reality that the marketplace is flooded with unethical Merchants. These sellers actively engage in schemes to defraud or deceive honest consumers. Typically, their victims are left both financially and practically frustrated. However, this need not be the case. You are protected. The Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) is an attorney’s weapon of choice with which to strike back at a dishonest merchant. A consumer fraud lawyer can help you to seek restitution and penalize the seller who wronged you.
In most instances, a buyer is not on a level playing field with a seller. The seller specializes in dealing with the item, and is trusted by the buyer to afford them a certain respect and honesty in order to ensure a mutually beneficial transaction. Simply put, if you buy a car, odds are that you know less about the car and the car business than the seller at the car Dealership. When you deal with them, you’re trusting them to be fair and honest. But the problem is that many sellers view this imbalance as an opportunity to exploit the buyer’s lack of expertise.
The Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) is designed to protect consumers from such inappropriate merchant action – namely deceptive trade practices. The nuts and bolts of the law focus on conduct deemed to be unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The law is extremely thorough, but, in essence, the main areas of emphasis include provisions designed to prevent:
• Advertising and representations that confuse or mislead consumers,
• Misrepresentation of goods or services,
• “Bait and switch,”
• Insurance bad faith,
• Auto Fraud,
• And numerous other deceptive or unfair trade practices
If you believe you have fallen victim to any of these practices, an attorney can use the UTPCPL to file suit against a bad seller.
Auto Fraud Schemes
Among the most common examples of consumer fraud is Auto Fraud. The nature of the automobile business enables these abuses. Due to the value of certain vehicles and certain aspects of vehicles, there is an incentive to misrepresent and deceive the consumer. Common Auto Fraud schemes deceptions include:
• Undisclosed damages with vehicles
• Bait and switch; meaning making some misrepresentation at the time of sale
• Bad faith warranty deals; either the seller or warranty company not following through with their responsibilities under the warranty agreement
• Misrepresentation of warranty coverage
• Misrepresentation of condition of vehicle; including miles roll back and component problems
• Hiding known defects through an “as is” sale
What If I am Not a Consumer?
If you are not a consumer, and are in fact another merchant yourself, you are not protected by the UTPCPL. However, this certainly does not mean you are left without recourse! There are other bases under which you can sue a dishonest merchant. These include:
• Claim of Fraud,
• Negligent misrepresentation,
• Fraudulent misrepresentation,
• Unjust enrichment,
• Breach of contract,
• And many more…
An attorney can help a Business to recover from another business just as they would help a consumer. It’s simply on the basis of different legal theory, but the effects – specifically your financial recovery – are the same.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
An attorney can determine the appropriate legal theory under which to file suit, and can do the appropriate investigation, research, and preparation to win. It is not terribly difficult to look at an unfair situation and determine that the seller did something wrong. However, it takes the skill and training of a lawyer to resolve the matter as favorably for you as possible. Treble damages – that is, three times damages – may be available to you in recovery, as well as attorney’s fees, and, potentially, punitive damages. You deserve to be fully compensated if you were the victim of a deceptive seller.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.