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Deborah Gwen Roher
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Deborah Roher’s Answers

1,086 total


  • Auto protection

    Problem with vehicle and dealer refuses to fix

    Deborah’s Answer

    This is a very common problem with used car dealers. To find a lawyer near you who is experienced in auto warranty and fraud problems, you can check the National Association of Consumer Advocates site, http://consumeradvocates.org.

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  • Do I have any legal standing with a used car dealer?

    At a used car dealer, I found a car I liked and agreed to purchase it. It was a Saturday and the banks were closed. The dealer ran my credit and told me I would need a 2k$ down payment. They took my down payment that day. I asked 3 times if everyt...

    Deborah’s Answer

    This depends very much on what papers you signed. Dealers often have customers sign installment sales agreements and then claim that they can dishonor the agreement because "the bank" would not agree to the financing terms. In that scenario, you have a binding agreement, although you will probably need a lawyer to enforce your rights. On the other hand, if you did not sign a contract encompassing all the finance terms, you may have just put down a deposit to hold the car until a deal is finalized.
    These kinds of shenanigans are a red flag that perhaps you don't want to do business with this dealership anyway. But either there is a deal or there isn't. If you decide to walk away and the dealer balks at refunding your deposit, then you have a serious case of consumer fraud.

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  • Can I be sued for refusing to pay the last $1000 of a car payment due to emissions and no air bags?

    I was sold a car for 8000$, I was told after I bought it and made my first payment that the car has no airbags. I still have a rejection sticker due to a emissions problem, which private dealership was supposed to fix. I live in Mass and am refusi...

    Deborah’s Answer

    Can you be sued?? You are being sued.
    In general, in a sale by a dealer (and I don't know what you mean by "private dealership") for consumer (i.e., non-commercial) purposes, any defense that you might have based on the dealer's noncompliance with safety laws would also operate against a bank or finance company to which the bank or credit contract was assigned. Whether you do have a such a defense depends on facts you haven't provided. You will have a better chance at a successful defense if you are represented by a lawyer.

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  • Do i still pay the finance company first payment on vehicle even tho it has been returned to dealer?

    financed 08' vehicle that did NOT pass inspection for safety reasons, after weeks of attempts to get items fixed, owner/dealership ignores me, and nothing was ever fixed when i finally did get it into his shop! I have returned the vehicle and serv...

    Deborah’s Answer

    If you had financing arranged by the dealer, look at your retail installment sales agreement. You should find a box that warns the holder of the contract that it is subject to all claims and defenses that the consumer could make against the seller of the goods. It means that yes, your rights against the seller related to the defective car do translate into a right to withhold payment. This is an important protection, but it is not self-enforcing. At the very least, you will need to have an attorney communicate with the finance comp;any to put it on notice that you are exercising your rights under the so-called FTC Holder Rule. After consulting with an attorney, you may decide it is not worth it to do so, because of the probable short-term effect on your credit. Generally, it is best to have an attorney involved in any attempt to cancel a sale because of problems affecting the merchandise.

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  • Creditor status in Chapter 7

    We recently navigated a Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a creditor. Our status was that of a consumer with the entity filing for bankruptcy being contractually obligated to complete work for us. The majority of other creditors were investors in the entity...

    Deborah’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    In addition to secured debts, certain debts are classified as "priority" claims. The seventh priority is for
    "claims of individuals, ...arising from the deposit, before the commencement of the case, of money in connection with the purchase, lease, or rental of property, or the purchase of services, for the personal, family, or household use of such individuals, that were not delivered or provided." As of April 1, 2016, the amount entitled to priority is $2,850 per person. Thus, if the debtor has assets, and if the assets are not all consumed by higher priority claims e.g., taxes and employee wages and benefit plan contributions), you are in a position to recover $2,850 plus whatever pro rata distribution is available to all creditors.

    At the time the debtor corporation filed bankruptcy, your lawyer would not necessarily have been in a position to know the likelihood of your being able to recover anything by reason of this priority, but should have known that the dollar amount of a consumer claim entitled to priority is quite limited.

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  • What to do about a used car I purchased that turned out to be a lemon.

    I purchased a car for 4700 March 5 2016 and was told there was nothing wrong with the car. On March 19 I brought it back because the check engine light came on with a transmission code. I have a receipt with what they fixed which was a transmissio...

    Deborah’s Answer

    Assuming you bought the car from a dealer, it is covered by a doctrine called the implied warranty of merchantability, which means basically a promise that it was fit for ordinary use when you bought it. If there is a breach of this warranty, you may be entitled to damages, measured perhaps by the cost of repairs. But when you discover this defect beyond the express warranty period, in order to be entitled to damages you have to prove that the defect existed when you bought the car, rather than having arisen later. What you know may not be the same as what you can prove. This is why it is always a good idea, in buying an old car, to have an independent mechanic inspect it BEFORE you agree to buy it.

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  • What should I do in other to get my money as soon as possible

    I bought a 2008 Mercedez Benz from a car dealer, the car died on me on the highway whiles driving home. I managed to fix it and drove it to the dealer to complete the work. He has kept the car for a month, I have no interest of getting the car bac...

    Deborah’s Answer

    There are a variety of legal theories that may apply to this case; but the bottom line is, if the dealer were interested in honoring your warranty and fixing the car, you would have heard from him by now. You will need a lawyer to fix this problem. Consult the National Association of Consumer Advocates, www.consumeradvocates.org, to find a qualified lawyer near you.

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  • Do I have any rights to recover my money from Car dealer who sold me broken car transmission, after warranty period ended?

    I bought a 2005 chrysler pacifica 2 months ago from a dealer and dealer gave me 30 day warranty. Everything was OK with the car till 60th day but on 60th day I started having issues with Transmission/gear shifting. I called dealer and told him abo...

    Deborah’s Answer

    You are not likely to win if you sue the dealer. It's a 10-year-old car, things go wrong, and how do you think you can prove the dealer knew that the transmission was faulty at time of sale?

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  • Can I sue a small private company for its failed car delivery and them refusing to refund?

    My dad needed to send a car to me, so we looked into companies that could help us bring the car from Mexico City to Massachusetts, and found a small private company through Uship, an online marketplace for shipping services. I booked the shipment...

    Deborah’s Answer

    This depends on a lot of factors. Where are Uship and the shipper located? Are they registered to do business in Mass.? Did they invite business in Massachusetts? If not, you may not be able to sue them here but only in some faraway state. What does your contract say about where you can sue, or whether you even can sue? You may have agreed to use arbitration. Does this company have any assets? Bottom line, you invite problems using an unvetted third party to conduct interstate or even international business.

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  • Does cashing the check imply a settlement agreement and prevent me from pursuing the rest in court?

    On 11/19 I put down $1300 for a vehicle at a small car dealership. The car failed inspection and we brought it back and were ensured it was only an emissions issue and to keep driving the vehicle. the owner ensured me the shaking was due to the wr...

    Deborah’s Answer

    I'm not sure I understand what the other $400 is for, but in any case, if you cash the check and then sue the dealer, he will claim that the money he offered you was in settlement, because what else would it have been for? It's not worth inviting a side-fight about this issue if you intend to sue the dealership for a refund and/or enhanced damages under the Consumer Protection Act. On the other hand, how much time and money do you want to spend fighting over a $1300 car?

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