Auto sales fraud in the U.S. is a big problem. Today, an increasingly high number of car shoppers and lessees are becoming victims of dirty sales tactics. Fraud comes in many forms and may happen at any stage of the vehicle purchase process. To protect yourself against auto dealers’ deceptive, unfair, and unlawful practices, you need to educate yourself. That way, you will know the correct steps to take and when to hire a Mississippi auto sales fraud attorney if you feel scammed.
Here’s some important information to help you.
WHAT LAWS ARE IN PLACE TO PROTECT CONSUMERS FROM AUTO SALES FRAUD?
Several federal and state laws are designed to protect consumers against auto sales fraud. As much as you may work with a lawyer for car dealership fraud, it is important to be aware of these laws. This will help you know if a dealer has violated them.
Deceptive trade practices laws: These laws prohibit fraudulent activities such as false advertising, privacy violations, and bait-and-switch tactics.
Mississippi lemon laws: These laws require dealers to provide a refund or replace a vehicle if it has significant defects within a certain period of time.
Fair credit reporting act: A federal law meant to ensure the information in consumer reporting agencies’ files is accurate, fair, and secure.
Identity theft laws: These statutes outlaw the practice of using another person’s identity to commit fraud.
Auto financing regulations: Auto dealers that provide in-house financing are required by law to protect consumers’ personal information.
STEPS TO TAKE IF YOU SUSPECT FRAUD
Without the right knowledge, it is not easy to determine if you have been a victim of car dealer fraud. Similarly, most people will not know what to do when faced with a situation. However, taking the following steps will help you hold an unscrupulous dealer accountable.
CONTACT YOUR DEALER
If you have been a victim of a car dealer fraud, contact your dealer in writing. Explain the problem clearly and take time to find out if the dealer was aware of the issue. You should also consider giving them a chance to resolve the problem.
FILE A STATE AGENCY COMPLAINT
If you get a negative response, contact the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Commission and file a complaint. The regulatory agency will investigate the dealer’s practices and take the necessary action based on their findings.
GET AN ATTORNEY’S HELP
If you have exhausted all your legal options, you can consider filing a lawsuit against the dealership. Before pursuing a private legal action, you may want to speak with a Mississippi auto sales fraud attorney. The legal expert will evaluate your case, explain your options and represent you throughout the entire process.
When there are several victims of fraud, consider filing a class-action lawsuit. With the strength in numbers that class action lawsuits provide, you will stand a good chance of succeeding even if you are going up against a large dealership.