Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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New Jersey Odometer Fraud Facts

Read below to learn more about this topic.

Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation about what the Law Office of Paul DePetris might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris at paul@newjerseylemon.com.

The information in this article is only for New Jersey Law Division, Civil Part cases and not for other New Jersey court cases, such as those in New Jersey Special Civil Court, New Jersey Small Claims Court or New Jersey Chancery Court!!! Do not use this article if you have a New Jersey Special Civil Court, New Jersey Small Claims Court or New Jersey Chancery Court case!!! Also, no website is a substitute for competent advice from a New Jersey lawyer!

Warning – this article does not necessarily include each and every New Jersey court rule 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 of the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not been amended, repealed or superseded by other federal or state law. The New Jersey Statutes, United States Statutes, New Jersey Administrative Code and Federal Code in this database are not annotated. Accordingly, this database may include laws that: (1) never became operable due to unmet conditions; (2) expired; (3) were repealed or amended; (4) were declared void by a court of law; (5) or are otherwise invalid. Further, effective dates of the laws are not necessarily included in the database. Accordingly, you should not rely upon the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website contained in this database for any purpose and before taking any legal measures, you instead should read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney for any changes in the laws. Be certain to cross reference all applicable rules before preparing, filing or serving any papers!!! For example, Special Civil Part Rules often cross reference other rules – rules that apply to Special Civil Part Cases as well as to other types of civil cases not being heard in Special Civil Part.

MOTOR VEHICLE COST INFORMATION ACT, ALSO KNOWN AS THE FEDERAL ODOMETER LAW

WHAT IS THE MOTOR VEHICLE COST INFORMATION ACT, ALSO KNOWN AS THE FEDERAL ODOMETER LAW
The Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act, also known as the Federal Odometer Law, is a law passed by the Federal Government that protects people from odometer fraud.

WHAT ACTIONS ARE ILLEGAL UNDER THE FEDERAL ODOMETER LAW?
Under the Federal Odometer Law, a person may not -
• (1) advertise for sale, sell, use, install, or have installed, a device that makes an odometer of a motor vehicle register a mileage different from the mileage the vehicle was driven, as registered by the odometer within the designed tolerance of the manufacturer of the odometer;
• (2) disconnect, reset, alter, or have disconnected, reset, or altered, an odometer of a motor vehicle intending to change the mileage registered by the odometer;
• (3) with intent to defraud, operate a motor vehicle on a street, road, or highway if the person knows that the odometer of the vehicle is disconnected or not operating; or
• (4) conspire to violate the requirements listed above or conspire to fail to follow the disclosure requirements on the transfer of motor vehicles.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A REPAIR TO A NEW JERESY CAR’S MILEAGE?
A person may service, repair, or replace an odometer of a motor vehicle if the mileage registered by the odometer remains the same as before the service, repair, or replacement. If the mileage cannot remain the same (1) the person shall adjust the odometer to read zero; and (2) the owner of the vehicle or agent of the owner shall attach a written notice to the left door frame of the vehicle specifying the mileage before the service, repair, or replacement and the date of the service, repair, or replacement. A person may not, with intent to defraud, remove or alter a notice attached to a motor vehicle as required by service, repair or replacement of an odometer under the Federal Odometer Law.

WHAT ODOMETER DISCLOSURES MUST A NEW JERSEY CAR SELLER MAKE WHEN THEY SELL, LEASE OR OTHERWISE TRANSFER OWNERSHIP OF A NEW JERSEY CAR?
§ 32705. Disclosure requirements on transfer of motor vehicles
A person transferring ownership of a motor vehicle shall give the transferee a written disclosure: (A) of the cumulative mileage registered by the odometer; or (B) that the mileage is unknown if the transferor knows that the mileage registered by the odometer is incorrect. A person making a written disclosure required by a federal odometer regulation may not make a false statement in the disclosure. A person acquiring a motor vehicle for resale may accept a disclosure under this section only if it is complete. (4) The regulations prescribed by the United States Secretary of Transportation shall provide the way in which information is disclosed and retained under the Federal Odometer Law disclosure requirements. A motor vehicle the ownership of which is transferred may not be licensed for use in New Jersey or in another State unless the transferee, in submitting an application to New Jersey or another State for the title on which the license will be issued, includes with the application the transferor's title and, if that title contains the space referred to under these disclosure requirements, a statement, signed and dated by the transferor, of the mileage disclosure required under subsection (a) of this section. This paragraph does not apply to a transfer of ownership of a motor vehicle that has not been licensed before the transfer. Under regulations prescribed by the United States Secretary of Transportation, if the title to a motor vehicle issued to a transferor by a State is in the possession of a lienholder when the transferor transfers ownership of the vehicle, the transferor may use a written power of attorney (if allowed by New Jersey or other State law) in making the mileage disclosure required under these disclosure requirements. Regulations prescribed under this paragraph -
o (i) shall prescribe the form of the power of attorney;
o (ii) shall provide that the form be printed by means of a secure printing process (or other secure process);
o (iii) shall provide that the State issue the form to the transferee;
o (iv) shall provide that the person exercising the power of attorney retain a copy and submit the original to the State with a copy of the title showing the restatement of the mileage;
o (v) may require that the State retain the power of attorney and the copy of the title for an appropriate period or that the State adopt alternative measures consistent with section 32701(b) of this title, after considering the costs to the State;
o (vi) shall ensure that the mileage at the time of transfer be disclosed on the power of attorney document;
o (vii) shall ensure that the mileage be restated exactly by the person exercising the power of attorney in the space referred to in paragraph (3)(A)(iii) of this subsection;
o (viii) may not require that a motor vehicle be titled in the State in which the power of attorney was issued;
o (ix) shall consider the need to facilitate normal commercial transactions in the sale or exchange of motor vehicles; and
o (x) shall provide other conditions the United States Secretary of Transportation considers appropriate. (B) Section 32709(a) and (b) applies to a person granting or granted a power of attorney under this paragraph. (3)(A) A motor vehicle the ownership of which is transferred may be licensed for use in a State only if the title issued by the State to the transferee -

 (i) is produced by means of a secure printing process (or other secure process);
 (ii) indicates the mileage disclosure required to be made under subsection (a) of this section; and
 (iii) contains a space for the transferee to disclose the mileage at the time of a future transfer and to sign and date the disclosure. (B) Subparagraph (A) of this paragraph does not require a State to verify, or preclude a State from verifying, the mileage information contained in the title.
• (c) Leased Motor Vehicles. - (1) For a leased motor vehicle, the regulations prescribed under subsection (a) of this section shall require written disclosure about mileage to be made by the lessee to the lessor when the lessor transfers ownership of that vehicle. (2) Under those regulations, the lessor shall provide written notice to the lessee of -
o (A) the lessee's mileage disclosure requirements under paragraph (1) of this subsection; and
o (B) the penalties for failure to comply with those requirements. (3) The lessor shall retain the disclosures made by a lessee under paragraph (1) of this subsection for at least 4 years following the date the lessor transfers the leased motor vehicle. (4) If the lessor transfers ownership of a leased motor vehicle without obtaining possession of the vehicle, the lessor, in making the disclosure required by subsection (a) of this section, may indicate on the title the mileage disclosed by the lessee under paragraph (1) of this subsection unless the lessor has reason to believe that the disclosure by the lessee does not reflect the actual mileage of the vehicle.
• (d) State Alternate Vehicle Mileage Disclosure Requirements. - The requirements of subsections (b) and (c)(1) of this section on the disclosure of motor vehicle mileage when motor vehicles are transferred or leased apply in a State unless the State has in effect alternate motor vehicle mileage disclosure requirements approved by the United States Secretary of Transportation. The United States Secretary of Transportation shall approve alternate motor vehicle mileage disclosure requirements submitted by a State unless the United States Secretary of Transportation decides that the requirements are not consistent with the purpose of the disclosure required by subsection (b) or (c), as the case may be.
• (e) Auction Sales. - If a motor vehicle is sold at an auction, the auction company conducting the auction shall maintain the following records for at least 4 years after the date of the sale:
o (1) the name of the most recent owner of the motor vehicle (except the auction company) and the name of the buyer of the motor vehicle.
o (2) the vehicle identification number required under chapter 301 or 331 of this title.
o (3) the odometer reading on the date the auction company took possession of the motor vehicle.
• (f) Application and Revision of State Law. - (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, subsections (b)-(e) of this section apply to the transfer of a motor vehicle after April 28, 1989. (2) If a State requests, the United States Secretary of Transportation shall assist the State in revising its laws to comply with subsection (b) of this section. If a State requires time beyond April 28, 1989, to revise its laws to achieve compliance, the United States Secretary of Transportation, on request of the State, may grant additional time that the United States Secretary of Transportation considers reasonable by publishing a notice in the Federal Register. The notice shall include the reasons for granting the additional time. In granting additional time, the United States Secretary of Transportation shall ensure that the State is making reasonable efforts to achieve compliance.

WHAT IS ODOMETER FRAUD?
Odometer fraud (which is often a type of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation) generally involves someone tampering with or altering the mileage that is stated on a vehicle’s odometer – the gauge that measures how many miles that the vehicle travels whenever it is moving. Odometer fraud is usually committed to deceive a New Jersey vehicle buyer of a vehicle into believing that a vehicle has traveled fewer miles than is actually the case. To prohibit odometer fraud and to protect motor vehicle purchasers, under the Federal Odometer Law, the following conduct if committed intentionally may be fraud:
 Advertising, selling, using, installing or having installed in a motor vehicle a device that causes its odometer to register the wrong mileage.
 Disconnecting, resetting, altering or having disconnected, reset or altered a motor vehicle’s odometer in order to change the actual mileage stated on the odometer.
 Operating a motor vehicle if the operator knows that its odometer is disconnected or not operating if the action is taken with the intent to defraud.
 Removing or altering a notice attached to a motor vehicle as required by the Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act, if the action is taken with the intent to defraud.
 Engaging in a conspiracy to violate the odometer repair and odometer disclosure sections of the Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act.

WHAT VEHICLES ARE EXEMPT FROM THE FEDERAL ODOMETER LAW?
 Anyone who repairs or replaces an odometer and it no longer registers the same mileage as before its repair or replacement, the person must adjust the odometer to the “0” mark and then place a disclosure sticker on the vehicle’s left door frame.
 Anyone transferring ownership of a motor vehicle must give the new person taking ownership written disclosure: (1) of the vehicle’s mileage and attest to the accuracy of the mileage figure; or (2) that the mileage is unknown; or (3) the mileage stated on the vehicle’s odometer is incorrect. Unless the vehicle’s certificate of title is in possession of a lienholder, this disclosure must be made on the vehicle’s certificate of title. If a lienholder has the certificate of title in its possession, the person transferring title to the motor vehicle may use a written power of attorney (if allowed by State law) to make the appropriate disclosure. In addition, the new person taking ownership of the vehicle must be given a copy of the disclosure statement.
 Anyone leasing a motor vehicle must provide an odometer disclosure statement to the lessor when the lessor transfers ownership of the vehicle.
 Motor vehicle dealers and lessors must keep odometer disclosure statements for a period of 5 years.
 Motor vehicle auction companies must keep records of buyers, sellers, odometer readings and vehicle identification numbers for vehicles that are sold through the auction companies for a period of 4 years.

WHEN ARE VEHICLES EXEMPT FROM THE FEDERAL ODOMETER LAW?
 Vehicles with a gross weight of over 16,000 pounds or that or 10 years or older are exempt from the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act.
 Certain requirements of the Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act (those of subsections (b) and (c)(1)) do not apply if the State where the transfer of the vehicle occurs has in effect alternate motor vehicle mileage disclosure requirements approved by the Secretary of Transportation.

WHAT ARE THE DAMAGES ODOMETER FRAUD VICTIMS MIGHT RECOVER?
If a person is the victim of another’s intentional violation of the Motor Vehicle Cost Information Act, the wronged person may bring a case against the wrongdoer in the Superior Court of New Jersey. If the victim wins the lawsuit, the victim can recover money damages in the amount of 3 times their actual damages or $1,500.00 plus reasonable attorney's fees and court costs, including the fees for filing the lawsuit. There are strict time limits within which the victim must file the lawsuit.
Odometer fraud may also be a violation of other consumer protection statutes, such as the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. In proper cases, such as where a person proves that as a direct result of the commission of odometer fraud, they lost property or a sum of money capable of being calculated with reasonable certainty, the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act permits the consumer to recover money damages in the amount of 3 times their actual loss plus reasonable attorney’s fees and certain costs.

NEED HELP WITH YOUR NEW JERSEY CASE?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case. Not all New Jersey cases require you to pay expensive legal fees to get legal help.

WHY SHOULD NEW JERSEY PRO SE PLAINTIFFS AND NEW JERSEY PRO SE DEFENDANTS SEEK HELP FROM A NEW JERSEY LAWYER?
Handling your New Jersey case wrong from the beginning may only cost you more money and time in the end!! Do it right the first time by seeking legal advice from a competent New Jersey lawyer!
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants make the mistake of not consulting a New Jersey lawyer before filing New Jersey Court papers only to later learn that the New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants made serious mistakes that could cause them to lose their New Jersey case. Let the Law Office of Paul DePetris help you with your New Jersey case.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT PERSONNEL FOR LEGAL ADVICE?
New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees. Most New Jersey Court employees are not trained New Jersey attorneys and therefore, they may not know what advice to give you. Working at the New Jersey Court as a non-judge is not the same as practicing law.

CAN I RELY ON NEW JERSEY COURT FORMS PROVIDED BY THE NEW JERSEY COURT?
The New Jersey Court usually provides certain types of New Jersey Court legal forms to the public and those forms are often very helpful. However, beware relying on New Jersey Court forms provided by the New Jersey Court – the New Jersey Court forms are often deceptively simple, while New Jersey cases often are much more complex than they first appear to be. There is simply no substitute for a competent New Jersey attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey who has experience handling New Jersey cases. New Jersey Court forms don’t talk and New Jersey Court forms and their directions rarely, if ever, cover every possible situation, set of facts or legal issue that may arise in a New Jersey case. Each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges. If you can afford a competent New Jersey attorney, it is best to have the New Jersey attorney prepare your New Jersey Court paperwork for you.

CAN I HANDLE A NEW JERSEY CASE MYSELF?
Many New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants can and do successfully handle New Jersey cases, from filing the first paperwork to the collection of a New Jersey Court judgment. However, many other New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants also make mistakes that lead to the dismissal of their New Jersey cases or that result in the entry of a New Jersey Court money judgment against them. The greater the money at stake, the greater the reason to consider using the services of a competent attorney licensed to practice law in New Jersey to handle part or all of the New Jersey case. The following are reasons to use an attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case:
• New Jersey Court fees often change
• New Jersey Court rules often change
• New Jersey Court employees cannot give you “free” legal advice and a New Jersey Court judge may refuse to let you claim that you were right in taking an action (or in deciding not to take action) because you relied on advice from such employees
• New Jersey Court forms available on websites may not cover every situation you may face in Court
• each New Jersey case has its own particular legal issues and therefore, its own challenges
• it is very common for New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants to file inadequate or incorrect New Jersey Court complaints that result in the New Jersey Court complaints or answers to New Jersey Court complaints being rejected by the New Jersey Court or being dismissed by the New Jersey Court after filing and before or after trial because of procedural deficiencies.
• it is not uncommon for judges to get very frustrated by an unrepresented party’s lack of preparation or ignorance of the facts or law of the New Jersey case.
• a Court has the power to punish unprepared New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants, such as by throwing their New Jersey case out of Court or limiting what they can present at the New Jersey Court trial.
• New Jersey has many published cases, laws, regulations, Court rules and rules of evidence that can be very tricky to understand and that can be used to prevent you from doing much of what you want to do at the New Jersey Court trial.
• it is very common for Courts to refuse to allow a party to use or refer to documents or items at the New Jersey Court trial that the person themselves never prepared. Often New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants stumble into New Jersey Court with a video, photograph, bill or affidavit or other form of written statement, thinking they are going to use it as proof that they lost money or that they are not responsible for someone else’s damages, only to have a New Jersey Court judge tell the New Jersey plaintiffs and New Jersey defendants that it is not going to even consider such items or documents.
• without the proper preparation, items and documents may never be considered by the New Jersey Court. Also, if there are any legal issues to be dealt with at the New Jersey Court trial, you must be prepared to argue them, which may require you to refer to Court rules, evidence rules, laws, regulations or published cases.
• you cannot show up at the New Jersey Court expecting the judge hearing your New Jersey case to explain Court rules, evidence rules, Court procedure or the details of the law that applies to your New Jersey case. The judge hearing your New Jersey case is not permitted to give you legal advice.

It is important to remember that even if you have an attorney, you could lose your New Jersey case. Hiring an attorney to handle part or all of your New Jersey case does not guarantee your success. However, it may provide what is needed to win your New Jersey case or to avoid certain mistakes.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE HANDLING NEW JERSEY CASES?
Yes. Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• handled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey, from Bergen County New Jersey to Cumberland County New Jersey, including representations of individuals, small businesses and large corporations.
• settled New Jersey cases for plaintiffs and defendants across New Jersey.
• reviewed many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• enforced many New Jersey Court settlement agreements.
• provided New Jersey pro se plaintiffs and New Jersey pro se defendants with New Jersey Court legal advice and prepared New Jersey Court legal forms
• prepared and filed many New Jersey Court complaints
• tried New Jersey Court jury trials
• mediated many New Jersey cases
• argued New Jersey Court motions
• handled New Jersey Court proof hearings
• handled New Jersey Court post judgment collection proceedings

Mr. DePetris has appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey in the following counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

IN WHAT NEW JERSEY COUNTIES WILL THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HANDLE NEW JERSEY CASES?
The Law Office of Paul DePetris offers to handle and help individuals and businesses with New Jersey Court Claims cases in North, Central and Southern New Jersey, including cases in the following New Jersey counties:
• Atlantic County New Jersey Court
• Bergen County New Jersey Court
• Burlington County New Jersey Court
• Camden County New Jersey Court
• Cape May County New Jersey Court
• Cumberland County New Jersey Court
• Essex County New Jersey Court
• Gloucester County New Jersey Court
• Hudson County New Jersey Court
• Mercer County New Jersey Court
• Middlesex County New Jersey Court
• Monmouth County New Jersey Court
• Morris County New Jersey Court
• Ocean County New Jersey Court
• Passaic County New Jersey Court
• Salem County New Jersey Court
• Somerset County New Jersey Court
• Sussex County New Jersey Court
• Union County New Jersey Court
• Warren County New Jersey Court

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO HANDLE MY NEW JERSEY CASE FROM BEGINNING TO END?
In many situations, the Law Office of Paul DePetris offers alternatives to handling New Jersey cases for an hourly fee, such as by offering to handle your New Jersey case up to trial for a fixed fee or to help you handle your New Jersey case by yourself. Such flexible methods may allow you to keep the amount legal fees you spend on your New Jersey case to a fixed sum, while providing you the help you need to handle your New Jersey case. For a no obligation phone consultation about what the Firm might be able to do for you, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send an email to Mr. DePetris. 

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