Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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New Jersey Used Car Dealer Fraud

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NEW JERSEY USED CAR FRAUD FACTS

WHAT IS NEW JERSEY USED CAR FRAUD?
New Jersey Used Car fraud occurs when a New Jersey Used Car dealer commits certain misconduct when doing one of the following:
• 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

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR NEW JERSEY USED CAR FRAUD?
New Jersey Used Car fraud is committed by New Jersey Used Car dealers and New Jersey used car dealership employees. Under the New Jersey Lemon Law For Used Cars, also known as the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law, "dealer" means any person or business which sells or offers for sale a used motor vehicle after selling or offering for sale three or more used motor vehicles in the previous 12-month period and “consumer" means the purchaser or prospective purchaser, other than for the purpose of resale, of a used motor vehicle normally used for personal, family or household purposes.

WHAT DOES THE TERM “AS IS” MEAN IN NEW JERSEY USED CAR SALES?
Under the New Jersey Lemon Law For Used Cars, also known as the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law, "as is" means a used motor vehicle sold by a dealer to a consumer without any warranty, either express or implied, and with the New Jersey Used Car buyer being solely responsible for the cost of any repairs to that motor vehicle.

DO THE WORDS “AS IS” LET A NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALER GET AWAY WITH NEW JERSEY USED CAR FRAUD?
Simply because a New Jersey used car sale contract has the words “as is” on the contract does not mean that a New Jersey used car dealer can commit New Jersey fraud when selling a New Jersey used car to a New Jersey used car buyer. New Jersey law does not encourage fraud in the sale of New Jersey used cars. Instead, New Jersey law protects New Jersey used car buyers.

EXAMPLES OF NEW JERSEY USED CAR FRAUD CASES
In the following New Jersey Used Car fraud cases, New Jersey Used Car dealers were potentially liable for New Jersey Used Car fraud:
• Advertising agency violated New Jersey Consumer Fraud regulations prohibiting sale of a used auto failing to disclose the bona fide odometer reading.
• New Jersey car dealer failed to disclose to the New Jersey consumer the price of the New Jersey predelivery car services & failed to itemize such services in the final sales agreement.
• New Jersey car buyers bought New Jersey car meant to last up to 20 years but which contained emergency response systems that would allegedly become useless at the end of 2007.
• New Jersey consumer agreed to buy New Jersey car at one price & thereafter, seller increased the price.
• New Jersey consumer purchased New Jersey car represented as new with only 10 miles on its odometer, when in fact it was a New Jersey demonstrator with 9,800 miles.
• New Jersey car dealer overcharged New Jersey plaintiff $350 for “equipment & services plus sales tax”.
• New Jersey car dealer represented New Jersey car, New Jersey truck and New Jersey SUV driven 59,586 miles & gave New Jersey plaintiff certified statement to that effect, when in fact New Jersey car, New Jersey truck and New Jersey SUV was driven over 100,000 miles & its odometer was tampered with.
• New Jersey car dealer: (1) raised New Jersey car price from $20,535 to $24,735 to include the cost of sealant & service contract, while New Jersey consumers approved neither of these additional features nor received any explanation thereof; (2) initiated finance contract which New Jersey consumers deny knowingly executing & notwithstanding that New Jersey consumers wanted to pay cash; (3) lost checks; (4) failed to provide New Jersey consumers a list of all charges; (5) failed to prove that bank acknowledged the New Jersey car loan’s existence or issued payment book.
• New Jersey consumer gave New Jersey car dealer $500 deposit for the privilege of driving a New Jersey car for a few days before deciding whether to purchase. New Jersey consumer returned New Jersey car but New Jersey car dealer failed to return the deposit, despite repeated calls & requests. 13 days after New Jersey consumer filed suit & 24 days after the New Jersey car’s return, New Jersey car dealer returned the deposit.

DOES A NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALER HAVE TO GUARANTEE THAT MY NEW JERSEY USED CAR WILL PASS INSPECTION?
In certain situations, a New Jersey used car dealer has to guarantee that a New Jersey used car will pass inspection. Many New Jersey used car buyers buy a New Jersey used car and then try to get it inspected only to learn that the New Jersey used car can’t pass inspection at a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission inspection station. Repairs to a New Jersey used car to get it in shape to pass a New Jersey Car Inspection may cost thousands of dollars and time lost while the New Jersey used car is undergoing repairs.

NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALER’S OBLIGATION TO SELL NEW JERSEY USED CARS THAT MEET NEW JERSEY INSPECTION STANDARDS
Unless otherwise provided in the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law, no New Jersey used car dealer shall sell at retail any used passenger New Jersey used car to be registered in New Jersey, unless the New Jersey used car meets the standards for the issuance of a certificate of approval as provided in the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Statutes.

NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALER’S OBLIGATION TO ASK NEW JERSEY USED CAR BUYER IF THEY ARE GOING TO REGISTER THE NEW JERSEY USED CAR IN NEW JERSEY IN ITS PRESENT CONDITION AND TO MAKE DISCLOSURES
Prior to entering into any agreement for the retail sale of a New Jersey used car, the New Jersey used car dealer shall inquire as to whether the New Jersey used car to be purchased is intended for registration in this New Jersey in the condition sold and, if so, such fact shall be specified in the written agreement between the New Jersey used car dealer and the New Jersey used car buyer and the New Jersey used car dealer, prior to execution of the New Jersey used car sale agreement, shall inform the New Jersey used car buyer of the New Jersey used car dealer's responsibilities under the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law.

WAIVER OF NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALER’S OBLIGATION TO SELL NEW JERSEY USED CARS THAT MEET NEW JERSEY INSPECTION STANDARDS
Any New Jersey used car retail sale agreement may contain a provision whereby the New Jersey used car buyer waives the New Jersey used car dealer's obligation under section 2 of the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law; provided, however, any such waiver must be separately stated in the New Jersey used car agreement of retail sale and separately signed by the New Jersey used car buyer. The signing of such a waiver by the New Jersey used car buyer shall also serve to eliminate any criminal responsibility placed upon any New Jersey used car dealer by the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A NEW JERSEY USED CAR FAILS INSPECTION AND I DID NOT SIGN A WAIVER OF MY RIGHT TO HAVE THE NEW JERSEY USED CAR PASS INSPECTION?
In the event that any such New Jersey used car is sold at retail and has any defect, which results in its rejection for failure to meet the standards for issuance of such a certificate of approval, in the absence of a waiver as provided in the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law, the New Jersey used car dealer shall make, or cause to be made, all the necessary repairs, without charge, or return the full purchase price to the New Jersey used car buyer; provided that such defect or defects are not the result of the New Jersey used car buyer’s own act. Also, any New Jersey Used Car dealer who fails to comply with the provisions of the New Jersey Used Car Inspection Law is a disorderly person.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF NEW JERSEY USED CAR FRAUD
Every New Jersey Used Car fraud essentially consists of one party obtaining an unfair advantage by some act or omission that is unconscientious or a violation of good faith. There are different types of New Jersey Used Car fraud: (1) New Jersey odometer fraud; (2) New Jersey common law legal fraud in New Jersey Used Car sales; (2) New Jersey equitable fraud in New Jersey Used Car sales; and (3) New Jersey consumer fraud in New Jersey Used Car sales.

IF I AM A NEW JERSEY VICTIM OF NEW JERSEY CAR SALES FRAUD, CAN I DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?
Whenever there is a fraud in the execution or consideration of a New Jersey Used Car contract, the New Jersey car sales fraud victim defrauded at any time thereafter may institute a New Jersey lawsuit to recover the money owing on such New Jersey contract although, by its terms, the debt contracted or the money secured to be paid thereby is not then due or payable; and the New Jersey fraud victim may, upon discovery of the fraud, either rescind the New Jersey contract entirely and recover the money or property obtained by the fraud, or, sue on the New Jersey contract to recover thereon. In certain situations, a New Jersey plaintiff could assert that, since the New Jersey contract was the product of fraud, a New Jersey plaintiff is entitled to rescind the New Jersey contract and/or to recover the money and/or lien on property obtained under same. New Jersey contract rescission is the equivalent of New Jersey contract cancellation. It is an equitable remedy which is only available in limited circumstances. Aside from situations where parties consent to New Jersey contract rescission, New Jersey contracts may normally only be rescinded where there is either original invalidity, fraud, failure of consideration, a material breach or default. Even where grounds for New Jersey contract rescission exist, the remedy is discretionary in nature. New Jersey contract rescission will not be granted where the party seeking same has not acted within a reasonable time or where substantial performance has already occurred. Indeed, delay in the rescission of a New Jersey Used Car contract is evidence of an election to treat a New Jersey Used Car contract as valid. However, the duty to rescind a New Jersey Used Car contract does not first arise until the party seeking New Jersey contract rescission discovers the grounds for same. To grant New Jersey contract rescission, a New Jersey court must be able to return the parties to their position before they entered into the New Jersey contract. Accordingly, a party cannot usually simply rescind a New Jersey Used Car contract and at the same time keep possession of goods or services received under the New Jersey contract. To complete a New Jersey Used Car contract rescission following partial performance, the party seeking to rescind the New Jersey contract must return or tender the consideration previously received. New Jersey contracts are subject to rescission where they are obtained by fraud. Indeed, the very existence of a fraudulently procured New Jersey contract causes damage, so that where fraud is found, damage may be presumed. In the absence of actual fraud, undue influence or misrepresentation, New Jersey contract rescission will not be permitted. A unilateral mistake of a fact unknown to the other party to a New Jersey Used Car contract is not ordinarily grounds for New Jersey contract rescission. To qualify for such relief, a party must show special circumstances justifying a departure from the generally controlling principle that parties are bound by the New Jersey contracts they make for themselves. Accordingly, the circumstances providing for New Jersey contract rescission due to a unilateral mistake fact are: [1] the mistake is of such a great consequence that to enforce the New Jersey contract as actually made would be unconscionable; [2] the matter as to which the mistake was made must relate to the material feature of the New Jersey contract; the mistake must have occurred notwithstanding the exercise of reasonable care by the party making the mistake; and [4] the requested New Jersey contract rescission cannot cause serious prejudice to the other party, except for loss of bargain.

WHEN IS A NEW JERSEY USED CAR CONTRACT INVALID BECAUSE IT WAS ENTERED INTO THROUGH FRAUD?
In the absence of a trust or confidential relationship, statements of opinion or matters of judgment, though known to be false when actually made, do not constitute New Jersey fraud. However, false representations as to material elements of the New Jersey contract are grounds for rescission. Fraudulent misconduct is not excused by the credulity or negligence of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud victim or by the fact that the New Jersey Consumer Fraud victim might have discovered the New Jersey Consumer Fraud through prior investigation. Purposeful concealment can be as destructive as an affirmative false statement. There exists a duty upon a New Jersey party to a New Jersey Used Car contract to disclose to the other New Jersey party facts basic to the transaction if the first party knows that the other is about to enter into the transaction under a mistake as to the facts and that the other, because of the relationship between the parties, the customs of the trade or other objective circumstances, would reasonably expect disclosure of the facts. Where such a duty to speak exists, the failure to speak constitutes unfair conduct likely to cause harm. An unconscionable bargain is one such as no person in their senses and not under delusion would make and as no honest and fair person would accept.

WHAT IS NEW JERSEY ODOMETER FRAUD?
New Jersey 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. New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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.

A New Jersey used car dealer can be held responsible for New Jersey odometer fraud.

MANDATORY DISCLOSURES FOR NEW JERSEY CARS UNDER 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 NEW JERSEY CARS 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 NEW JERSEY 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 New Jersey used car fraud case, 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 New Jersey used car fraud case. There are strict time limits within which the victim must file the New Jersey used car fraud case.
New Jersey 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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey Used Car buyer to recover money damages in the amount of 3 times their actual loss plus reasonable attorney’s fees and certain costs.

WHAT IS COMMON LAW NEW JERSEY USED CAR FRAUD?
“Common law New Jersey Used Car fraud” is a term for the type of New Jersey Used Car fraud that New Jersey Courts have recognized over time in the courts’ written decisions called “case law. Common law New Jersey Used Car fraud occurs when a New Jersey Used Car dealer, New Jersey Used Car salesman or New Jersey seller of New Jersey Used Cars:
• represents a past or present fact as true when it is in fact false;
• with the intent to deceive the victim to whom the representation is made;
• the New Jersey Used Car buyer believes the representation to be true and acts or refrains from acting in justifiable reliance upon the representation; and
• the New Jersey Used Car buyer suffers damage as a result of the other person’s misconduct.

WHAT IS EQUITABLE NEW JERSEY USED CAR FRAUD?
“Equitable New Jersey Used Car fraud” is different from legal New Jersey Used Car fraud because the victim of the New Jersey Used Car fraud seeks equitable relief -- relief originating in the doctrine of fairness rather than merely seeking to recover money for misconduct. Equitable New Jersey Used Car fraud occurs when a New Jersey Used Car dealer or New Jersey Used Car dealer or the seller of New Jersey Used Car services:
• represents a past or present fact as true when it is in fact false;
• the New Jersey Used Car buyer believes the representation to be true and acts or refrains from acting in justifiable reliance upon the representation; and
• the New Jersey Used Car buyer suffers damage as a result of the other person’s misconduct.

WHAT IS NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD IN NEW JERSEY USED CAR SALES?
Often, a New Jersey used car buyer has the right to rely on representations made by a New Jersey Used Car dealer and New Jersey used car salesmen. The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act prohibits New Jersey Used Car dealers and New Jersey Used Car salesmen from committing certain types of conduct. There are three possible ways for New Jersey Used Car dealers and New Jersey Used Car salesmen subject to the restrictions of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act may violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. In enacting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the Legislature, presumably reflecting the contemporary morality of our citizens, recognized that fraud in the New Jersey marketplace is particularly pernicious because of the wide disparity between the bargaining power of the New Jersey used car dealer and the New Jersey used car buyer. As a result, it built into its remedy a punitive damages component via treble damages and attorneys' fees. This sense of outrage over New Jersey used car fraud is potentially present in every case in which a New Jersey Consumer Fraud violation is alleged.

NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD USED CAR AFFIRMATIVE ACT VIOLATIONS
The first type of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation involves affirmative acts – something that a person does voluntarily. Affirmative acts do not have to be physical acts, since they can also be any steps taken voluntarily by the person to advance a plan or design or to accomplish a purpose. Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, it is unlawful for certain New Jersey Used Car dealers, New Jersey Used Car dealers and the seller of New Jersey Used Car services to engage in any of the following type of affirmative acts:
• unconscionable commercial practice -- an activity in the public marketplace, which is basically unfair or unjust, which materially departs from standards of good faith, honesty in fact and fair dealing.
• deception – conduct or an advertisement which is misleading to an average consumer to the extent that it is capable of and likely to, mislead an average consumer. It does not matter that, at a later time, it could have been explained to a more knowledgeable and inquisitive consumer, nor need the conduct or advertisement actually have misled the New Jersey Used Car buyer. It is not important that the seller may have acted in good faith. Instead, it is the capacity to mislead that is important.
• fraud -- a perversion of the truth, a misstatement or a falsehood communicated to another person and creating the possibility that that other person will be cheated.
• false pretense -- an untruth knowingly expressed by a wrongdoer.
• false promise -- an untrue commitment or pledge, communicated to another person, to create the possibility that that other person will be misled.
• misrepresentation -- a statement made to deceive or mislead. An untrue statement, made about a fact which is important or significant to a sale or advertisement and which is communicated to another person to create the possibility that the other person will be misled.

NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD USED CAR KNOWING OMISSION VIOLATIONS
The second type of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation involves acts of omission – a New Jersey Used Car dealer, New Jersey Used Car salesman or New Jersey seller of New Jersey Used Cars’ failure to do something that the law requires be done. Omissions that violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act consist of any of the following:
• knowing concealment of any material fact.
• suppression of any material fact.
• omission of any material fact.

NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD PER SE USED CAR VIOLATONS
The third type of New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation is the violation of a law passed by the New Jersey Legislature or the violation of a regulation adopted by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. These laws and regulations prohibit certain from performing certain kinds of conduct. The New Jersey consumer fraud per se Used Car violations can be one of 3 kinds of violations:
• violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Used Car Advertising Regulations
• violations of the New Jersey Used Car Dealer Sales Regulations
• violations of the New Jersey Lemon Law For Used Cars, also known as the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law

WHAT USED CARS ARE COVERED BY THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT AUTOMOTIVE REGULATIONS?
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations apply to the following used cars:
• vehicles driven otherwise than by muscular power, except vehicles running only upon rails or tracks.
• offered for sale or lease and specifically identified by an advertised price.

In this article, for simplicity’s sake, used automobiles to which the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act applies are referred to as “used cars”.

In an New Jersey advertisement which offers a group of new or used vehicles for sale or lease covering a specified price range (for example, "1995 Metros for sale--$10,000 to 12,999," or "Lease a new Olds for $298 a month and up."), the least expensive used car in that advertised range is considered to be an advertised used car.

Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, the term "used car" means any used car with an odometer reading of greater than 1,000 miles, except for a "demo".

Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, the term "demo" means a New Jersey used car used exclusively by a New Jersey used car dealer or dealer's employee that has never been titled and to which the new vehicle warranty still applies.

Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, the term "Advertised price" means the dollar amount required to purchase or lease a New Jersey used car, advertised as:
• The total price; or
• The monthly payment price; or
• The deferred payment price; or
• A specific discount or savings on the manufacturer's
suggested retail price.

WHAT NEW JERSEY ADVERTISEMENTS ARE COVERED BY THE NEW JERSEY CAR ADVERTISING REGULATIONS?
The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations apply to any of the following types of conduct involving any used car:
• the attempt directly or indirectly by publication, dissemination, solicitation, indorsement or circulation or in any other way;
• to induce directly or indirectly
• any person to enter or not enter into any obligation or acquire any title or interest in any merchandise or to increase the consumption thereof or to make any loan.

For the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations to apply, the New Jersey advertisement must offer a New Jersey used car for sale or lease at retail in any of the following:
• Newspaper.
• Periodical.
• Pamphlet.
• Circular
• Other publication.
• Paper.
• Sign.
• Radio or television broadcast.

For the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations to apply, the New Jersey advertisements must be:
• uttered, issued, printed, disseminated, published, circulated or distributed within New Jersey concerning used cars offered for sale or lease at locations exclusively within New Jersey; or
• uttered, issued, printed, disseminated, published, circulated or distributed to any substantial extent within New Jersey concerning used cars offered for sale or lease at locations within New Jersey and outside New Jersey, or at locations exclusively outside New Jersey.

An example of a violation of the New Jersey car advertising regulations would be a New Jersey used car dealer's New Jersey advertisement of used cars "priced well below dealer invoice".

WHICH ADVERTISERS MUST FOLLOW THE NEW JERSEY CAR ADVERTISING REGULATIONS?
The following people selling used cars in New Jersey for a living must comply with the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations:
• Any natural person or his legal representative, partnership, corporation, company, trust, business entity or association and any agent, employee, salesman, partner, officer, director, member, stockholder, associate, trustee or cestuis que trustent thereof;
• who, in the ordinary course of business, is engaged in the sale, leasing or financing of used cars at retail; or
• who in the course of any 12 month period offers more than three used cars for sale or lease; or
• who is engaged in the brokerage of used cars whether for sale or lease and who causes an New Jersey advertisement to be made for the retail sale or lease of used cars. "Broker" means a person who in the course of any 12 month period arranges or offers to arrange the retail sale or lease of more than three used cars from the inventory of other business entities.

Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, a "Dealer" means any person who, in the ordinary course of business, is engaged in the sale or leasing of used cars at retail or who in the course of any 12-month period offers more than three used cars for sale or lease at retail.
An advertising agency and the owner or publisher of a newspaper, magazine, periodical, circular, billboard or radio or television station acting on behalf of an advertiser shall be deemed an advertiser within the meaning of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, when the agency or owner's or publisher's staff prepares and places an New Jersey advertisement for publication. The agency, owner, or publisher shall not be liable for a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations when reasonably relying upon data, information or material supplied by the person for whom the New Jersey advertisement is prepared or placed or when the violation is caused by an act, error or omission beyond the preparer's control, including but not limited to, the post-publication performance of the person on whose behalf such New Jersey advertisement was placed.

WHAT TYPE OF DISCLOSURES MUST A NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALERSHIP MAKE AT ITS DEALERSHIP?
The following information relating to an advertised used car must be provided at the main entrance(s) to the business premises where the used car is displayed or in proximity to the vehicle or on the vehicle itself:
• A copy of any printed New Jersey advertisement that quotes a price for the sale or lease of that vehicle; alternatively, a tag may be attached to the used car(s) stating the advertised price as well as the other information required mandatory disclosure requirements in all New Jersey advertisements for the sale or lease of used cars.
• A fuel economy label, if required by the Federal law known as the Used car Information and Cost Savings Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2006; and
• The Used Car Buyers Guide, if required by the Federal Trade Commission's Used Car Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 455.2.

A New Jersey used car dealer shall not advertise a new used car which does not have the Monroney label, if required by the Federal law known as the Used car Information Disclosure Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1231-1233.

A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

WAT TYPE OF RECORDS MUST A NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALER KEEP REGARDING ITS NEW JERSEY ADVERTISEMENTS?
An advertiser shall have a New Jersey used car advertised for sale on premises and available for sale at the advertised price during the period of publication or a record of the sale of that vehicle at the advertised price or less during that period.

An advertiser shall have a New Jersey used car advertised for lease available for lease at the advertised price during the period of publication, or a record of the lease of that vehicle at the advertised price or less during that period. Such record shall consist of all applicable New Jersey advertisements and a copy of the executed contract with the purchaser or lessee of the vehicle; this documentation shall be maintained for 180 days after the transaction and shall be made available for inspection by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

If the used car is sold or leased during the period of publication, the advertiser must so notify consumers who inquire by telephone or in person.
A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

WHAT TYPE OF NEW JERSEY USED CAR SALES PRACTICES ARE ILLEGAL UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
Certain types of New Jersey used car sales practices are illegal under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act for New Jersey used car dealers – which includes professional New Jersey used car sellers or their legal representative, partnership, corporation, company, trust, business entity or association and any agent, employee, salesman, partner, officer, director, member, stockholder, associate, trustee or cestuis que trustent thereof who, in the ordinary course of business, is engaged in the sale of used cars at retail or who in the course of any 12 month period offers more than 3 used cars for sale, lease, or rental or who is engaged in the brokerage of used cars whether for sale, lease or rental.

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations contain the following definitions:
• “Documentary service fee" -- any monies or other thing of value which a New Jersey used car dealer accepts from a New Jersey used car buyer in exchange for the performance of certain documentary services which include, but are not limited to, the preparation and processing of documents in connection with the transfer of license plates, registration, or title, and the preparation and processing of other documents relating to the sale of a New Jersey used car to said consumer;
• "Pre-delivery service fee" -- any monies or other thing of value which a New Jersey used car dealer accepts from a New Jersey used car buyer in exchange for the performance of pre-delivery services upon a New Jersey used car, and includes, but is not limited to, items which are often described or labeled as dealer preparation, vehicle preparation, predelivery service, handling and delivery, or any other term of similar import;
• "Sales document" -- the first document a New Jersey used car dealer utilizes to evidence an order for, deposit towards, or contract for the purchase of a New Jersey used car by a New Jersey used car buyer, and includes but is not limited to, retail orders, sales invoices, sales contracts, retail installment contracts, and other documents of similar import.

The following practices involving pre-delivery service fees in the sale of used cars by automotive dealers are violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a New Jersey used car buyer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any pre-delivery service for which the automotive dealer receives payment, credit, or other value from any person or entity other than a retail purchaser of the used car;
• Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a New Jersey used car buyer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any pre-delivery service without first itemizing the actual pre-delivery service which is being performed and setting forth in writing on the sales document the price for each specific pre-delivery service;
• Except in connection with the sale of used cars, failing to conspicuously place upon the front of the sales document which contains a pre-delivery service fee, in ten-point bold face type, the following statement: "You have a right to a written itemized price for each specific pre-delivery service which is to be performed. The automotive dealer may not charge for pre-delivery services for which the automotive dealer is reimbursed by the manufacturer."

The following practices involving documentary service fees in the sale of used cars by automotive dealers are violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a New Jersey used car buyer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any documentary service without first itemizing the actual documentary service which is being performed and setting forth in writing on the sale document the price for each specific documentary service; or
• Representing to a New Jersey used car buyer that a governmental entity requires the automotive dealer to perform any documentary service;
• Failing to conspicuously place upon the front of the sales document which contains a documentary service fee, in ten-point bold face type, the following: "You have a right to a written itemized price for each specific documentary service which is to be performed."

WHAT IS BAIT AND SWITCH USED CAR ADVERTISING IN NEW JERSEY?
The following used car advertising practices are unlawful "bait and switch" advertising under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• The New Jersey advertisement of a New Jersey used car as part of a plan or scheme not to sell or lease it or not to sell or lease it at the advertised price.
• Without limiting other means of proof, the following shall be prima facie evidence of a plan or scheme not to sell or lease a New Jersey used car as advertised or not to sell or lease it at the advertised price:

o Refusal to show, display, sell, or lease the advertised used car in accordance with the terms of the New Jersey advertisement, unless the vehicle has been actually sold or leased during the period of publication; in that case, the advertiser shall retain records of that sale or lease for 180 days following the date of the transaction, and shall make them available for inspection by the Division of Consumer Affairs.
o Accepting a deposit for an advertised used car, then switching the purchaser to a higher-priced used car, except when the purchaser has initiated the switch as evidenced by a writing to that effect signed by the purchaser.
o The failure to make delivery of an advertised used car, then switching the purchaser to a higher-priced used car; except when the purchaser has initiated the switch as evidenced by a writing to that effect signed by the purchaser.

WHAT INFORMATION MUST A NEW JERSEY USED CAR SALE NEW JERSEY ADVERTISEMENT INCUDE?
In any New Jersey advertisement offering for sale a New Jersey used car at an advertised price, the following information must be included:
• The advertiser's business name and business address;
• A statement that "price(s) include(s) all costs to be paid by a New Jersey used car buyer, except for licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes". If the statement appears as a footnote, it must be set forth in at least 10 point type. Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, "all costs to be paid by a New Jersey used car buyer" means manufacturer-installed options, freight, transportation, shipping, dealer preparation, and any other costs to be borne by a New Jersey used car buyer except licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes;
• The year, make, model, and number of engine cylinders of the advertised used car;
• Whether the transmission is automatic or manual; whether the brakes and steering mechanism are power or manual; and whether the vehicle has air conditioning, unless those items are standard equipment on the advertised used car. This provision shall not apply to New Jersey advertisements for motorcycles;
• The last eight digits of the vehicle identification number, preceded by the letters "VIN". This provision shall not apply to radio and television broadcasts, or to New Jersey advertisements for motorcycles; and
• A list of any dealer installed options on the advertised used car and the retail price of each, as determined by the New Jersey dealer.
• The actual odometer reading as of the date the New Jersey advertisement is placed for publication; and
• The nature of prior use unless previously and exclusively owned or leased by individuals for their personal use, when such prior use is known or should have been known by the advertiser.

A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

In any type of used car advertising, the following practices by a New Jersey used car dealer results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• The use of any type size, location, lighting, illustration, graphic depiction or color so as to obscure or make misleading any material fact;
• The setting forth of an advertised price which has been calculated by deducting a down payment, trade-in allowance or any deductions other than a manufacturer's rebate and dealer's discount;
• The setting forth of an advertised price which fails to disclose, adjacent to the advertised price, that it has been calculated by deducting a manufacturer's rebate or dealer's discount;
• The failure to state all disclaimers, qualifiers, or limitations that in fact limit, condition, or negate a purported unconditional offer (such as a low APR or high trade-in amount), clearly and conspicuously, next to the offer and not in a footnote identified by an asterisk. Such disclosure shall be made verbally in a radio or television New Jersey advertisement. Identical information pertaining to all used cars in a group of advertised New Jersey used cars, however, may appear in a footnote, provided the type is no smaller than 10 point;
• The failure to state the applicable time period of any special offer, in at least 10-point type immediately adjacent to the special offer, unless the special offer is a manufacturer's program;
• The use of the word "free" when describing equipment or other item(s) to be given to the purchaser or lessee of a New Jersey used car, if the "free" item has a value which has increased the advertised price. In using the word "free" in advertising, the advertiser shall comply with the Federal Trade Commission Rule, 16 CFR § 251, and any amendments thereto;
• The failure to disclose that the used car had been previously damaged and that substantial repair or body work has been performed on it when such prior repair or body work is known or should have been known by the advertiser; for the purposes of this subsection, "substantial repair or body work" shall mean repair or body work having a retail value of $1,000 or more;
• The use of the terms "Public Notice", "Public Sale", "Liquidation", "Liquidation Sale", or terms of similar import, where such sale is not required by court order or by operation of law or by impending cessation of the advertiser's business;
• The use of terms such as "Authorized Sale", "Authorized Distribution Center", "Factory Outlet", "Factory Authorized Sale", or other term(s) which imply that the advertiser has an exclusive or unique relationship with the manufacturer;
• The use, directly or indirectly, of a comparison to the New Jersey dealer's cost, inventory price, factory invoice, floor plan balance, tissue, or terms of similar import; or the claim that the advertised price is "wholesale" or "at no profit";
• The use of the terms "guaranteed discount", "guaranteed lowest prices" or other term of similar import unless the advertiser clearly and conspicuously discloses the manner in which the guarantee will be performed and any conditions or limitations controlling such performance; this information shall be disclosed adjacent to the claim and not in a footnote;
• The use of the statement "We will beat your best deal", or similar term or phrase if a New Jersey used car buyer must produce a contract that the New Jersey used car buyer has signed with another dealer or lessor in order to receive the "better" deal;
• The use of such terms or phrases as "lowest prices", "lower prices than anyone else" or "our lowest prices of the year", or similar terms or phrases if such claim cannot be substantiated by the advertiser.

WHAT INFORMATION MUST A DEMONSTATOR CAR SALE NEW JERSEY ADVERTISEMENT INCLUDE?
In any New Jersey advertisement offering a "demo" for sale, the following information must be provided:
• The advertiser's business name and business address;
• A statement that "price(s) include(s) all costs to be paid by a New Jersey used car buyer, except for licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes". If the statement appears as a footnote, it must be set forth in at least 10 point type. Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, "all costs to be paid by a New Jersey used car buyer" means manufacturer-installed options, freight, transportation, shipping, dealer preparation, and any other costs to be borne by a New Jersey used car buyer except licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes;
• The manufacturer's suggested retail price as it appears on the Monroney label, clearly denominated by using the abbreviation "MSRP";
• The year, make, model, and number of engine cylinders of the advertised used car;
• Whether the transmission is automatic or manual; whether the brakes and steering mechanism are power or manual; and whether the vehicle has air conditioning, unless those items are standard equipment on the advertised used car. This provision shall not apply to New Jersey advertisements for motorcycles;
• The last eight digits of the vehicle identification number, preceded by the letters "VIN". This provision shall not apply to radio and television broadcasts, or to New Jersey advertisements for motorcycles; and
• A list of any dealer installed options on the advertised used car and the retail price of each, as determined by the New Jersey dealer.
• Identification as a "demo"; and
• The actual odometer reading as of the date the New Jersey advertisement is placed for publication.

A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

WHAT TYPE OF INFORMATION MUST BE DISCLOSED IN NEW JERSEY USED CAR CREDIT AND INSTALLMENT SALE VEHICLE ADVERTIESEMENTS?
The following information must be stated in any New Jersey used car credit and installment sale advertising and appear adjacent to the description of the advertised used car and not in a footnote or headline, unless the information is the same for all used cars advertised. If in a footnote, it must be in at least 10-point type.
• The total cost of the installment sale, which shall include the down payment or trade-in or rebate, if any, plus the total of the scheduled periodic payments;
• The annual percentage rate;
• The monthly payment figure and the number of required payments; and
• The amount of any down payment or trade-in required or a statement that none is required.

The following used car advertising practices concerning credit and installment sale New Jersey advertisements are unlawful:
• The advertising of credit, including but not limited to such terms as "easy credit" or "one-day credit", other than that actually provided by the advertiser on a regular basis in the ordinary course of business;
• The use or statement of an installment payment on any basis other than a monthly basis.

A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

WHAT TYPE OF SALES PRACTICES ARE ILLEGAL UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
Certain sales practices are illegal under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act for New Jersey car dealers -- any natural person or his legal representative, partnership, corporation, company, trust, business entity or association and any agent, employee, salesman, partner, officer, director, member, stockholder, associate, trustee or cestuis que trustent thereof who, in the ordinary course of business, is engaged in New Jersey car sales at retail or who in the course of any 12 month period offers more than 3 New Jersey cars for sale, lease, or rental or who is engaged in the brokerage of New Jersey cars whether for sale, lease or rental.

The New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act New Jersey car regulations contain the following definitions:
• “Documentary service fee" -- any monies or other thing of value which a New Jersey car dealer accepts from a consumer in exchange for the performance of certain documentary services which include, but are not limited to, the preparation and processing of documents in connection with the transfer of license plates, registration, or title, and the preparation and processing of other documents relating to the New Jersey car sale of a New Jersey car to said consumer;
• "Pre-delivery service fee" -- any monies or other thing of value which a New Jersey car dealer accepts from a consumer in exchange for the performance of pre-delivery services upon a New Jersey car, and includes, but is not limited to, items which are often described or labeled as dealer preparation, vehicle preparation, predelivery service, handling and delivery, or any other term of similar import;
• "Sales document" -- the first document a New Jersey car dealer utilizes to evidence an order for, deposit towards, or contract for the purchase of a New Jersey car by a consumer, and includes but is not limited to, retail orders, sales invoices, sales contracts, retail installment contracts, and other documents of similar import.

The following practices involving pre-delivery service fees in New Jersey car sales by New Jersey car dealers are violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a consumer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any pre-delivery service for which the New Jersey car dealer receives payment, credit, or other value from any person or entity other than a retail purchaser of the New Jersey car;
• Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a consumer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any pre-delivery service without first itemizing the actual pre-delivery service which is being performed and setting forth in writing on the New Jersey car sales document the price for each specific pre-delivery service;
• Except in connection with the New Jersey car sale of used New Jersey cars, failing to conspicuously place upon the front of the New Jersey car sales document which contains a pre-delivery service fee, in ten-point bold face type, the following statement: "You have a right to a written itemized price for each specific pre-delivery service which is to be performed. The New Jersey car dealer may not charge for pre-delivery services for which the New Jersey car dealer is reimbursed by the manufacturer."

The following practices involving documentary service fees in New Jersey car sales by New Jersey car dealers are violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a consumer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any documentary service without first itemizing the actual documentary service which is being performed and setting forth in writing on the New Jersey car sale document the price for each specific documentary service; or
• Representing to a consumer that a governmental entity requires the New Jersey car dealer to perform any documentary service;
• Failing to conspicuously place upon the front of the New Jersey car sales document which contains a documentary service fee, in ten-point bold face type, the following: "You have a right to a written itemized price for each specific documentary service which is to be performed."

WHAT TYPES OF THINGS ARE ILLEGAL FOR NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALERS TO DO WHEN SELLING USED CARS IN NEW JERSEY?
• Misrepresent the mechanical condition of a New Jersey used car;
• Fail to disclose, prior to sale, any material defect in the mechanical condition of the New Jersey used car which is known to the New Jersey used car dealer;
• Represent that a New Jersey used car, or any component thereof, is free from material defects in mechanical condition at the time of sale, unless the New Jersey used car dealer has a reasonable basis for representation when made;
• 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 New Jersey used car dealer, in effect & provided by a third party.
• Misrepresent the terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance currently in effect on a New Jersey used car provided by a person other than the New Jersey used car dealer and subject to transfer.
• Fail to disclose, prior to sale, the existence & terms of any written warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered by the New Jersey used car dealer in connection with the sale of a New Jersey used car;
• Misrepresent the terms of any warranty, service contract or repair insurance offered with the sale of a New Jersey used car;
• Represent, prior to sale, that a New Jersey used car is sold with a warranty, service contract or repair insurance when the New Jersey car is sold without any warranty, service contract or repair insurance;
• Fail to disclose, prior to sale, that a New Jersey used car is sold without any warranty, service contract, or repair insurance; and
• Fail to provide a clear written explanation, prior to sale, of what is meant by the term “as is,” if the New Jersey used car is sold “as is.”

WHAT TYPE OF MINIMUM WARRANTIES APPLY TO USED CARS COVERED BY THE NEW JERSEY LEMON LAW FOR USED CARS, ALSO KNOWN AS THE NEW JERSEY USED CAR LEMON LAW?
• For all New Jersey used cars sold for more than $3,000, less than seven or more model years old, that were not been declared a total loss by an insurance company and with respect to which the New Jersey lemon buyer was so advised at time of sale in writing of same and that have 100,000 miles or less, the selling New Jersey used car dealer commits a per se New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation unless they give the New Jersey lemon buyer a written powertrain type of warranty with certain minimum durations subject to the New Jersey used car’s mileage.
• The New Jersey consumer may waive the warranty in writing via a specific type of waiver.
• If the New Jersey used car dealer fails to give a written warranty required by the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law and the New Jersey consumer does not sign a waiver as provided by the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law, the New Jersey used car dealer nevertheless shall be deemed to have given the warranty.

HOW DOES A NEW JERSEY USED CAR BUYER GET HIS MONEY BACK FOR A LEMON UNDER THE NEW JERSEY USED CAR LEMON LAW?
If, during the warranty issued by the New Jersey used car dealer pursuant to the New Jersey Used Car Lemon Law, the New Jersey used car dealer or the New Jersey used car dealer’s agent fails to correct a material defect after a reasonable opportunity to repair the New Jersey used car, the New Jersey used car dealer shall repurchase the New Jersey used car and provide a refund less a use allowance.

WHAT PENALTIES DO NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALERS FACE IF THEY VIOLATE THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
It is an unlawful practice and a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation to violate any provision of the New Jersey Used Car Regulations. The following are some of the remedies that New Jersey Used Car buyers may be entitled to under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
• Cancellation of fraudulent debts.
• Treble damages for ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
• Attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by dealers to collect a fraudulent debt.
• Refund of money lost due to the New Jersey Used Car dealer’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.

HOW DO I RECOVER DAMAGES UNDER THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT FOR NEW JERSEY USED CAR FRAUD?
A New Jersey homeowner or customer who is able to prove that a New Jersey Used Car dealer, New Jersey Used Car dealer or the seller of New Jersey Used Car services committed a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act which directly cause of the victim to suffer an ascertainable loss of money or property is entitled to receive an award of triple damages, attorney’s fees and litigation costs. In certain situations, a New Jersey consumer fraud victim may also be entitled to a refund or to cancel a New Jersey fraudulent debt. However, under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, a New Jersey fraud victim is not entitled to recover pain and suffering damages.

WHAT HAPPENS IF A NEW JEREY USED CAR DEALER TRIES TO COLLECT A USED CAR CONTRACT BILL THAT IS THE PRODUCT OF CONSUMER FRAUD?
In the typical New Jersey Used Car breach of contract case that does not involve New Jersey consumer fraud, where a New Jersey car buyer prevents a New Jersey Used Car dealer from completing the contract, the New Jersey Used Car dealer may be entitled to recover legal damages. But if a New Jersey Used Car contract violates the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act so as to make the New Jersey Used Car contract unenforceable, the New Jersey Used Car dealer may be prevented from collecting some or even all of the unpaid New Jersey Used Car contract. Consult with a New Jersey lawyer to find out if you qualify for that type of relief against a New Jersey Used Car dealer.

DOES THE LAW OFFICE OF PAUL DEPETRIS HAVE EXPERIENCE REPRESENTING CONSUMERS IN NEW JERSEY LAWSUITS?
Yes. In addition to representing consumers in a variety of New Jersey consumer lawsuits and defending businesses in a variety of New Jersey consumer lawsuits, Paul DePetris provides consulting services to law firms handing New Jersey consumer lawsuits and defending New Jersey consumer lawsuits. Paul DePetris has represented the following persons and businesses in New Jersey consumer lawsuits:

• New Jersey Automotive Dealers
• New Jersey Automotive Parts Dealers
• New Jersey Automobile Purchasers
• New Jersey Banks
• New Jersey Car Dealers
• New Jersey Car Purchasers
• New Jersey Consumers
• New Jersey Dealers
• New Jersey Corporations
• New Jersey Home Buyers
• New Jersey Used Car Dealers
• New Jersey Used Car Customers
• New Jersey Home Inspectors
• New Jersey Home Inspector Customers
• New Jersey Used Car Dealers
• New Jersey Used Car Services Customers
• New Jersey Home Sellers
• New Jersey Marinas
• New Jersey Real Estate Agents
• New Jersey Real Estate Brokers
• New Jersey Real Estate Salespeople
• New Jersey Junk Yard Dealers
• New Jersey Used Car Dealers
• New Jersey Warranty Purchasers
• New Jersey Watercraft Purchasers

Paul DePetris has performed the following tasks:
• represented consumers, home buyers, home sellers, Used Car customers, Used Car dealers, home inspectors, real estate brokers, real estate agents, junk yard dealers, automobile purchasers and owners, new and used car dealers, banks and automotive lenders, boat purchasers and owners, watercraft purchasers and owners and marinas in New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act lawsuits and other New Jersey consumer lawsuits and New Jersey consumer disputes.
• appeared in court in cases involving New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act lawsuits and New Jersey consumer lawsuits.
• mediated, arbitrated and tried New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act lawsuits and New Jersey consumer lawsuits.

Mr. DePetris is also the author of the following publications:
• New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act & Forms (New Jersey Law Journal Books)
• Learned Professionals, Licensed Semiprofessionals and the New Jersey Used Car buyer Fraud Act: The Origins of the Licensed Professionals’ Doctrine (New Jersey Lawyer, Oct. 2008)
• Liability For Consumer Fraud In Real Estate Transactions (New Jersey Law Journal, March 18, 2009). Mr. DePetris also gives seminars on the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

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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