Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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Cherry Hill Triplex Lawsuit FAQs

INTRODUCTION
Read below to learn more about this topic.  Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send him an email.  Warning – this article does not necessarily include every New Jersey court rule, code or law that may apply to your New Jersey case!  The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other laws.  Before taking any action, read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an experienced Camden County dealer fraud lawyer.  Court addresses, hours of operation and directions may change so check with the court in advance of mailing documents to court or going there!  Some of the webpages on this site don’t apply to all types of New Jersey cases, since there are different rules for different case types!


CHERRY HILL TRIPLEX LAWSUIT FAQS
Cherry Hill Triplex lawsuits occur when the car dealer Cherry Hill Triplex commits certain misconduct when selling cars in New Jersey:
False advertising in New Jersey Used Car services
Misrepresentations in the sale of New Jersey Used Cars
Misrepresentations in the performance of New Jersey Used Car contracts
New Jersey odometer fraud or odometer rollback
Fail to buy back a New Jersey car that fails to pass New Jersey inspection.
Fail to buy back a New Jersey used car lemon.
If you think you may have a Cherry Hill Triplex lawsuit, call an experienced Camden County car fraud lawyer.


WHAT ARE EXAMPLES OF CHERRY HILL TRIPLEX LAWSUITS?
In one Cherry Hill Triplex lawsuit, a customer named Taylor claimed that he went to Cherry Hill Triplex to purchase a Kia because of Cherry Hill Triplex's television advertisement offering to give a $8000 credit against the price of a new Kia for any used car regardless of its condition. The car plaintiff proposed to trade in was a 1999 Ford Explorer. It was owned by Patsy and Lincoln Taylor, plaintiff's parents, and was subject to a financing agreement on which the Taylors owed $12,070. With the $8000 credit advertised by Cherry Hill Triplex, the price of the Kia would be raised by $4070 to account for Cherry Hill Triplex's payment of the loan on the Explorer. Neither plaintiff nor his wife qualified for financing, but Cherry Hill Triplex's representative did not send plaintiff away. Instead, Cherry Hill Triplex's agent told plaintiff that if the Taylors purchased the Kia and plaintiff made the payments on their loan for eight months plaintiff would be permitted to transfer the loan to his name.  The following day plaintiff returned to the dealership with his parents. The Taylors signed the contract of sale, tendered their 1999 Ford and acknowledged in a separate document that their Ford had negative equity, in an amount not specified, that was included and reflected in the purchase price. Cherry Hill Triplex's general manager admitted that the Taylors agreed to pay $31,995 for a Kia that was priced between $16,700 and $16,900. The costs included in the final price were an unspecified amount for the negative equity, a $20 filing fee, $2200 for service contracts, and $89 for the dealer's preparation of the Taylors' new car. Assuming the top end of the Kia's price range, the dealer assigned in excess of $12,070 in negative equity to the Explorer, which does not reflect any value for the trade-in.   After the purchase, plaintiff and his wife took possession of the car, and they made eight monthly payments of $527.05 on the Taylors' loan by check. Thereafter, plaintiff went to Cherry Hill Triplex to have the loan transferred to his name and was told that it could not be done. Consequently, plaintiff continued to make payments on the loan until it was refinanced. He then paid the new loan until his mother paid it in full and transferred title to him.   Taylor alleged that Cherry Hill Triplex committed consumer fraud.   Cherry Hill Triplex claimed that the customer couldn’t  establish an ascertainable loss as the indirect purchaser of the Kia.  The Camden County Superior Court judge incorrectly concluded that the Consumer Fraud Act can not be construed to provide a cause of action to a person who could not have qualified to purchase the car and did not sign the papers effectuating the transaction.   Absence of privity of contract between plaintiff and defendant is not determinative if the plaintiff can establish an ascertainable loss caused by an unlawful practice.   Here, the plaintiff's allegation of unlawful practices were in connection with an indirect sale by Cherry Hill Triplex to plaintiff through parents acting on his behalf.   By plaintiff's account, he went to Cherry Hill Triplex believing that he would receive $8000 on a trade-in and was told that if his parents made the purchase and he made the payments on the loan for eight months he would be permitted to assume their obligations. Although he fulfilled these conditions, he was not permitted to assume the loan, and he continued to perform under the agreement he made with his parents to make the payments. 
A jury believing plaintiff's description of the events could find that agents of Cherry Hill Triplex sold a new car to plaintiff indirectly, through his parents who were acting as his agents, by falsely advertising the value of a trade-in and falsely promising to recast the loan if he paid the loan for eight months. The jurors could also find that as a consequence of Cherry Hill Triplex's false pretense and promise, plaintiff sustained an ascertainable loss equivalent to the difference between the $8000 credit advertised by Cherry Hill Triplex and the value Cherry Hill Triplex gave for the 1999 Ford.  Therefore, the Appellate Division overturned the trial court finding that plaintiff had a case and it was not fatal to his case that plaintiff did not sign the loan agreement and was not legally obligated to pay the amount due. 


In another Cherry Hill Triplex lawsuit, the plaintiff provided the used car dealer with a $500 deposit for the privilege of driving a vehicle for a few days before deciding whether to purchase. Plaintiff returned the vehicle but Cherry Hill Triplex failed to return the $500 deposit, despite repeated calls and requests for eleven days, causing plaintiff to commence this action pursuant to the Consumer Fraud Act. Ultimately, the money was returned thirteen days after suit was filed, a total of twenty-four days after the vehicle was returned. At the conclusion of a nonjury trial, the judge held that plaintiff failed to demonstrate Cherry Hill Triplex engaged in an unlawful act and sustained no ascertainable loss; he also viewed plaintiff's filing of suit as inappropriate because her attorney failed to first make a demand for payment.   The trial court’s decision was incorrect and the Appellate Division Court reversed the trial court decision.  Plaintiff visited Cherry Hill Triplex in Cherry Hill on Saturday, August 29, 2009, and expressed interest in a used BMW. Morris Harland, a salesman, allowed her to take the car home for the weekend if she provided a $500 refundable deposit. Plaintiff agreed to return the following Monday on the understanding that, if she liked it, the parties would negotiate an agreement or, if she was no longer interested, her deposit would be returned. Plaintiff then provided defendant with the $500 deposit by way of a debit card before leaving with the vehicle for the remainder of the weekend.  Plaintiff returned the vehicle to defendant on Monday, August 31, 2009.  Cherry Hill Triplex, however, did not immediately return the deposit. Instead, the used car manager told plaintiff she "would have a check within five business days." On September 4, 2009, in response to plaintiff's inquiries, another employee, Lucy Valcarcel, emailed plaintiff stating: "I relayed the message to Morris [Harland]. He said that he told you it takes 3-5 business days. Please get in contact with Morris if you have any other questions regarding this matter." On September 7, 2009, Harland instructed plaintiff that she should no longer expect a check, and that the charge on her debit card would be reversed within forty-eight hours. When that time passed, plaintiff engaged counsel to pursue her rights.  On September 11, 2009, plaintiff’s attorney filed a complaint alleging defendant's violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.   Cherry Hill Triplex received service of process on September 23, 2009, and, the next day, plaintiff's bank account was credited $500.  A nonjury trial occurred on February 8, 2010. Plaintiff called Harland as a witness and testified on her own behalf.   Cherry Hill Triplex called Pat Warren, defendant's office manager, as a witness.   Harland denied ever having a conversation with Valcarcel instructing her to tell plaintiff she would receive the refund in three to five days, as Valcarcel represented in her email. Regarding refunds, he stated that if a customer provides a deposit by card, it gets refunded to the card, and if the deposit is paid in cash, it is refunded with a check. He testified that in the five years he had worked for Cherry Hill Triplex, deposits had been returned to customers in as little as five days and as long as thirty days.   Plaintiff testified about the promises made to her regarding the deposit as well as the bank fees she incurred because of the slow return of her deposit. Plaintiff testified she lives "paycheck-to-paycheck like most Americans" and that without the deposit she had insufficient funds to meet her obligations. On cross-examination, plaintiff acknowledged she was refunded the $41 in fees charged by her bank less than twenty-four hours after they were imposed.  Warren testified without elaboration that the process of making a refund to a debit card normally takes "20 to 30 days" and that, in the present case, an extra delay occurred because of defendant's "new computer system, so . . . the way we look at the information is a lot different than we had back prior to the new system." Warren denied the refund was hurried by the lawsuit, suggesting -- we suppose -- that it was just a coincidence that the refund was returned the day after Cherry Hill Triplex was served with plaintiff's summons and complaint.   The Camden County Superior Court judge ruled in Cherry Hill Triplex favor, setting the tone of his decision by initially editorializing that:  “only in America does this happen. A $500 item not being returned in a couple of weeks and we call a lawyer.”  The judge discussed how "some lawyers" would have first written to defendant requesting the deposit's return rather than filing suit, and that he was "amazed" by the fact "that a lawsuit was filed for this $500 deposit rather than a phone call being made or a letter being written to the other side."  The judge also described that the transaction was "not even close to a sale," but merely a tactic of a "good salesman" in exchanging a weekend drive of the car for a $500 refundable deposit. The judge found that because plaintiff used a debit card, there was a "procedure" involved to return her money and that if she had used cash, it would have been different. The judge said this was not a "policy case" because Cherry Hill Triplex had no policy on refunds, again iterating that the circumstances just reflect the type of thing that a "good salesman" would do. He declared that the lawsuit was not "absolutely necessary" and "a letter would have sufficed" to end the dispute.  The judge also found that plaintiff had not suffered an ascertainable loss because "[s]he got her money back." Although he recognized that plaintiff "should have gotten it back perhaps a little sooner," he rejected the claim that she had suffered any damage.  The judge also rejected the contention that Cherry Hill Triplex had misrepresented the time within which the deposit would be returned; he found that a response by the salesman that "it will take a few days" was "of course not" a "misrepresentation in the true sense" and that he did not "see this as a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act." The judge then concluded in the way in which he began, with his commentary that "[n]obody talks to one another . . .[;] [e]verybody sues."    The Appellate Division reversed the Camden County Superior Court judge, explaining that the Consumer Fraud Act imposes liability on any person who uses any unconscionable commercial practice, deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, misrepresentation, or the knowing, concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact with intent that others rely upon such concealment, suppression or omission.  The Camden County Superior Court judge mistakenly dismissed plaintiff's action because he found defendant did not engage in unlawful conduct and plaintiff did not sustain an ascertainable loss. In essence, he also mistakenly determined that plaintiff's failure to make an additional demand for the refund prior to suit barred her claim.  That is, there was no dispute that plaintiff was permitted to take the car for a few days in exchange for a $500 deposit, and there was no dispute that the parties agreed the deposit would be returned to plaintiff after the vehicle's return. It was not disputed that the vehicle was returned on August 31, 2009, and the deposit was not returned to plaintiff until September 24, 2009. Neither of Cherry Hill Triplex 's representatives who testified disputed anything plaintiff said in her testimony. Harland testified that some customers in these circumstances are not even asked to leave deposits and that, for those who do, the time for the return of the deposit can range from a few days to a month. He had no explanation for the variations in the time for return. And, when asked why it took so long for defendant to return the $500 deposit to plaintiff, Warren testified that the delay was apparently caused by defendant's new computer system. The matter was decided based on the assumption that all these facts were true and undisputed.   The Appellate Division rejected the judge's conclusion that defendant did not engage in unlawful conduct. The Consumer Fraud Act not only prohibits fraud and misrepresentations but unconscionable commercial practices as well since it is not necessary to show actual deceit or a fraudulent act; any unconscionable commercial practice is prohibited.  The undisputed facts leave no doubt that Cherry Hill Triplex engaged in an unconscionable commercial practice by holding plaintiff’s deposit for so long. It was undisputed that Cherry Hill Triplex held the deposit for twenty-four days, an unreasonable period of time in these circumstances. We doubt Cherry Hill Triplex would have been as understanding as it believes plaintiff should have been, if plaintiff had retained possession of the vehicle for as long as Cherry Hill Triplex held her deposit.  Many people live paycheck-to-paycheck and, for many, $500 is a significant sum.   Cherry Hill Triplex had immediate access to plaintiff's $500; she did not pay by check but provided that sum by way of a debit card, providing Cherry Hill Triplex with immediate access to the funds. Even though the parties had no express agreement on the time within which the money would be returned, concepts of good faith and fair dealing imposed on Cherry Hill Triplex a duty to return the deposit commensurate with the time within which it was originally received. In short, good faith and fair dealing required that plaintiff's bank account be reimbursed as quickly as it was depleted to fund the deposit. If Cherry Hill Triplex truly had computer issues, as testified by Warren, then defendant should have given plaintiff a check or taken steps to provide her with cash when she returned the car. Any delay beyond a few days was unreasonable and a delay greater than a week or two in these circumstances is indefensible.  The conclusion that plaintiff suffered no ascertainable loss is also erroneous because it flies in the face of the undisputed fact that, when plaintiff filed suit, Cherry Hill Triplex possessed her $500 deposit.  The Consumer Fraud Act requires only that the plaintiff have suffered an ascertainable loss at the time suit is filed.   If the plaintiff was suffering an ascertainable loss at the time of the filing of suit, as here, the Consumer Fraud Act does not insist the loss continue thereafter or until the time of trial as Cherry Hill Triplex seems to argue. In short, defendant's reimbursement of the $500 approximately two weeks after suit was filed did not destroy or moot plaintiff's cause of action.  To hold otherwise would defeat the central protective purpose of the Consumer Fraud Act by permitting a violator to compensate the consumer any time up to the entry of judgment in order to avoid liability for treble damages or any of the other remedies provided by the law.  We refuse the invitation to water down the Consumer Fraud Act by endorsing this approach, which was championed by Cherry Hill Triplex and adopted by the judge.  At the time the complaint was filed, Cherry Hill Triplex remained in possession of plaintiff's $500 deposit. That amount was "definite, certain and measurable" and thus, "ascertainable" within the meaning of the CFA. The Camden County Superior Court judge's contrary conclusion was erroneous.    The Appellate Division Court also found troubling those aspects of the judge's decision that revealed a preoccupation with what he believed was plaintiff's precipitous commencement of suit. At the outset of his opinion, the judge warned that he was "going to make some comments which some of you may not like to hear," and then immediately followed with these statements:  “This . . . case involves a $500 deposit. The plaintiff, after not getting her $500 deposit back in a couple of weeks, called a lawyer. And as I said, some of these comments are not going to be appreciated by either side. But I say, only in America does this happen. A $500 item not being returned in a couple of weeks and we call a lawyer. It's hard for me to grasp, quite honestly, that this rises to that significance that you would say, geez, I better get a lawyer to get my $500…..Now, what would lawyers -- some lawyers do? They would write a letter to the other side and say, hey, my client didn't get her $500 back, kindly send it to me. And it would be done, the $500 would be sent back and that would be the end of the Cherry Hill Triplex fraud case. The lawyer wouldn't have to spend all this time filing a lawsuit. The other side's lawyer wouldn't have to spend all this time defending, filing a brief, a memorandum et cetera.  That's what amazes me today about some of these lawsuits that I see so frequently in this court. This is the special civil part court. It's easy to file lawsuits here. The lawsuits generally don't involve lots of money. And so even though I am amazed at the fact that a lawsuit was filed for this $500 deposit rather than a phone call being made or a letter being written to the other side, in this case the plaintiff's lawyer decided that he was going to file a lawsuit, maybe because he could argue it's a consumer fraud action and seek treble damages and seek the assessment of attorney's fees. Maybe that had something to do with the filing of this lawsuit for $500.”   Contrary to the Camden County Superior Court judge's holding, the plain language of the Consumer Fraud Act does not impose upon any putative plaintiff the requirement that he or she first seek a remedy directly from the offending merchant and makes no demand upon plaintiff to try to obtain a refund first as a pre-condition of instituting suit.  Otherwise, a merchant could rely on the pre-suit demand requirement by "boldly imposing inflated charges at no risk, and planning to refund the overcharges only when asked."   Here, the judge determined that plaintiff was required to have her attorney demand a refund before commencing suit. If that conclusion was correct, the Consumer Fraud Act would limit relief by making it available only to those consumers who are alert enough to ask for a refund, while allowing the offending merchant to reap a windfall.   To the contrary, the Legislature intended to "empower consumers who seek to secure relief for themselves and for others who may not be aware that they have been victimized. Because reading a pre-suit demand for refund requirement into the Consumer Fraud Act would thwart those salutary purposes, the Appellate Division Court would not endorse it.   The judge's admonitions regarding the timing of plaintiff’s suit and the size of the amount in controversy have no place in this matter. Imposing the obligation on a consumer fraud claimant of making a pre-suit demand or weighing the sufficiency of the proofs in light of the relatively minimal amount of damages would deprive the Consumer Fraud Act of its deterrent effect.  Plaintiff was entitled to a judgment that Cherry Hill Triplex violated the Act by retaining her $500 deposit for an unreasonable period of time. At the time she filed suit, plaintiff had incurred a $500 loss and, therefore, had an actionable claim for three times that amount, i.e., $1500. Because Cherry Hill Triplex reimbursed her $500 after suit was commenced, plaintiff's damages were reduced to $1000 and she is, therefore, entitled to judgment in that amount. In addition, the Consumer Fraud Act permits the imposition of an award of counsel fees to a prevailing party.    The Camden County Superior Court judge was mistakenly critical about the manner in which plaintiff's counsel proceeded with this suit.
In another Cherry Hill Triplex lawsuit, Foulke Management Corporation ("Foulke") doing business as "Cherry Hill Triplex" and operating one or more car dealerships such as Cherry Hill Dodge, Cherry Hill Jeep Eagle, Cherry Hill Kia, Cherry Hill Mitsubishi and Mt. Ephraim Chrysler/Dodge was sued by the State of New Jersey on March 13, 2006 in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Consumer Fraud Act, Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations, Used Law Lemon Law and Used Car Lemon Law Regulations as well as a prior Assurance of Voluntary Compliance entered into with New Jersey.   New Jersey alleged that the company advertised "$8,000 GUARANTEED FOR YOUR TRADE," "no credit check" and "you instantly qualify, regardless of your credit" but failed to provide the trade-in allowance or credit.   In addition New Jersey alleged that the company failed to properly display prices on new and used motor vehicles.   Foulke Management Corporation agreed to a $750,000 settlement with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and the Division of Consumer Affairs.   Foulke agreed to pay $450,000 to New Jersey for consumer restitution and reimbursement of New Jersey’s attorneys' fees and investigative costs. The settlement included $300,000 in civil penalties, which were suspended. New Jersey can seek payment of the civil penalties if Foulke fails to adhere to the settlement terms during the next year. In entering into the settlement, Foulke didn’t make admissions of liability or wrongdoing.  The New Jersey Attorney General said that "Dealers who do not deal honestly with the public will be held accountable.”  The settlement required Foulke Management Corporation to promise the following:  (1) Not represent an unconditional or guaranteed promotion (i.e. trade-in allowance) and then fail to honor the terms of such promotion; (2) not represent that consumers are automatically approved for or otherwise guaranteed financing, and then fail to arrange for financing; (3) not represent that a motor vehicle is available for sale or lease, when the motor vehicle has been sold or leased; (4) per a prior court ruling, not offer for sale any motor vehicle unless the total selling price is plainly marked on the vehicle or where the vehicle is offered for sale; (5) search to find out the prior use (i.e. rental) of vehicles and/or whether a vehicle has been involved in an accident or otherwise sustained damage and disclose such information to consumers, prior to their purchase or lease; (6)  not represent that certain products (i.e. GAP coverage) are mandatory, when in fact they are not; (7) not misrepresent the final down payment or monthly payment that a consumer will be required to make for the sale or lease of a motor vehicle in the sales document; (8) provide consumers with an opportunity to review all sales documents before signing and provide them with copies of all signed sales documents; (9) in all advertisements, clearly and conspicuously state all disclaimers, qualifiers or limitations that in fact limit, condition or negate a purported unconditional offer; and (10) for all advertised vehicles, maintain a copy of all applicable advertisements and a copy of the executed sales documents for at least 180 days after the transaction. 
If you were a victim of Cherry Hill Triplex fraud, don’t take chances with your Cherry Hill Triplex lawsuit.   Consult with an experienced Camden County car fraud lawyer.


LET AN EXPERIENCED CAMDEN COUNTY CAR FRAUD LAWYER HELP YOU WITH YOUR CHERRY HILL TRIPLEX LAWSUIT
Let an experienced Camden County car fraud lawyer help you find out if you have a valid case against a car dealer.  Car dealer lawsuit may involve the dealer trying to hide behind the words “as is” printed on a car purchase contract.  Simply because a car sale contract has the words “as is” on the contract does not mean that a car dealer can commit fraud when selling a car to a car buyer.  The law does not encourage fraud in the sale of cars.  Instead, the law protects car buyers.  Don’t be a victim of a Camden County car dealer scam involving “as is” language!  Find out what your rights are by consulting with an experienced Camden County car fraud lawyer.   Mr. DePetris has represented many car buyers against new and used car dealerships.   Don’t take a chance waiting on your claim – why not get a no obligation phone consultation about your rights from an experienced Camden County car fraud lawyer?  Did the dealer misrepresent the mechanical condition of a used car?   Did the dealer fail to disclose, prior to sale, any material defect in the mechanical condition of a used car which is known to the used car dealer?   Did the dealer represent that a used car, or any component thereof, is free from material defects in mechanical condition at the time of sale, without having a reasonable basis for representation when made?    Did a car dealer fail to disclose, prior to sale, the existence and terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance subject to transfer, known to the used car dealer, in effect and provided by a third party.   Did the dealer misrepresent the terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance currently in effect on a used car provided by a person other than the used car dealer and subject to transfer.  Did the dealer fail to disclose, prior to sale, the existence & terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered by the used car dealer in connection with the sale of a used car.   Did a car dealer misrepresent the terms of any warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered with the sale of a used car?   As an experienced Camden County car fraud lawyer, Mr. DePetris can advise you about your legal rights in these and other situations.  What if the dealer represents, prior to sale, that a used car is sold with a warranty, service contract or repair insurance when the Camden County car is sold without any warranty, service contract or repair insurance?   Or, what if a car dealer fails to disclose, prior to sale, that a used car is sold without any warranty, service contract, or repair insurance or fails to provide a clear written explanation, prior to sale, of what is meant by the term “as is,” if the used car is sold “as is.”   The law has strong remedies for car fraud victims.   If any of the following describe your situation, consider hiring an experienced Camden County car fraud lawyer to help you with your legal problems.   Let an experienced Camden County car fraud lawyer help you with your Cherry Hill Triplex lawsuit.   Paul DePetris has worked on Cherry Hill Triplex lawsuits. 


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