Credit Acceptance Judgment Vacated for Fraud upon the Court – Alabama Consumer Finance Attorney Judson E. Crump 41


Default Judgment Vacated for Fraud & Misrepresentation

 

 

This case was a particularly important one, in my opinion.  I’ve written before about cases where I was able to reverse a default judgment after it had been entered because the Defendant was never served with the complaint.  That is by far the most common way to reverse a default.  But not the only way.

My client bought a car in 2007.  It had a 24% APR and she reliably made her payments for about four years.  Then the car broke down and since it was sold to her “AS IS – No Warranty,” she had to pay for the repairs out of pocket.  The repairs would have cost $4,000.  The car wasn’t even worth that much.  So she gave it back to the finance company – Credit Acceptance Corp.

Three years go by.  She gets sued by Credit Acceptance – they say the balance on the loan is $11,071.61.  She calls the collection lawyer to try and make payment arrangements, but they wouldn’t accept any offer she could afford.

So she didn’t answer within the 30 days allowed by Alabama law.  Credit Acceptance moves for a default judgment.  They knew that they were in the superior position – my client hadn’t defended herself, so they were going to get a judgment without having to really prove their case.  That’s how default judgments work.

But when the judgment was entered, it was not for the $11,071 she’d been sued for, but for over $19,000!  How?  They had asked for interest at 24% APR beginning January 1, 2012.

But the car hadn’t even been sold at a post-repo auction until July 2013!  You can’t calculate a deficiency balance until you have sold the car.  It just isn’t possible.

So how did a judgment get entered that was so obviously wrong?  Because Credit Acceptance had one of their employees file a false affidavit with the court.  Their affidavit stated that the amount owed on New Year’s Day 2012 was $11,071.61, when in fact that was the highest amount the debt could have been in July of 2013!  So that is 19 months of interest (at 24% interest!) that they had no right to claim, yet in a sworn affidavit, they were seeking.  In other words, Credit Acceptance blatantly lied to the court to try to steal over $4,200 from my client.

I filed a motion to set this judgment aside, and it was granted.  Even the collection lawyer, to his credit, realized that something was way off with the affidavit.


About Attorney Judson E Crump

I am an Alabama consumer credit attorney. I specialize in defending people from their creditors. I fight (and usually win) credit card and collection lawsuits. I fight unjust predatory lenders, foreclosures, and I help people recover from credit reporting errors and identity theft. I live in Mobile, Alabama, and I have a wife and 3 children. I love reading and growing things.


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41 thoughts on “Credit Acceptance Judgment Vacated for Fraud upon the Court – Alabama Consumer Finance Attorney Judson E. Crump

  • stephen

    OMG. thank God, someone is tring to shut down this credit company. i what you as my attorney. callme stephen 516-xxx-xxxx.

  • Cindy

    Credit acceptance has caused me so much harm. Last month my vehicle was repoed and I wasn’t one month late. I called them to report I needed a couple extra days to pay at whichtime they would take into.consideration that I did call, however again my car was again repoed. I called the to state that because they repoed my vehicle from my place where I work that I would not be able to work there. Basically I lost 3 jobs after it was repoed this last time, which was last night, I am completely up to par on my pymt. Infact I paid more than I had to just in case I needed a little more next month. I called them to find out why they took my vehicle again, although im up to date Plus extra pymt. Their reasoning was so ridiculous I was.beside myself. I want to sue these people please advise. Respectively; Cindy. Mylifeoncemore@yahoo.com

    • Celesia Cockrell

      Please tell me who is helping you out because my sister needs advice. She lives in Birmingham Alabama. Credit Acceptance financed her car. She is not even late with her payments and she is being harrassed. Her payments is due on the 10th but she pays on the 4th and they said she needs to pay another payment or they are going to repossess her car. Mu sister is also very sick.. Any advice..please share

      • Toni g

        I have a judgement over 4 grand over what they said I owe and the car didn’t work at all burned through the fire harness I live in upstate ny

        • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author

          Toni,

          I cannot give you legal advice because I am not licensed to practice in New York. But I can tell you that generally, a judgment shouldn’t be entered against you unless you first had notice of the lawsuit and had a chance to defend yourself. If you were not notified, then maybe you can get the judgment reversed and have your day in court. Contact a local attorney to help you with this. Or go to http://www.consumeradvocates.org to find an attorney who specializes in fighting cases like this.

          Best of Luck.

          JEC

  • Nikita Frisby

    I’m having a problem with them same company in 2008 I got a car for a little over 9,000 dollars the payment was 300 even a month. I paid 2,000 down on the car which brought my total to 7,000 dollars I also got a warranty on the car. I had to wait to buy it from younger, because they said someone just traded it in for a newer car and they had to look it over and test drive it before I could buy it and so I waited. From the beginning the car needed fixed 4 different times within the 30 day period to return the car for an oil leak. I thought how hard could it be to fix the oil leak. I felt like they knew about the leak before I purchased the car and went ahead and sold it to me anyways. By this point I told younger on my 30 day mark I didn’t want to take the car back form them to put me in a different one this one is causing to many problems. They said they didn’t have another car in the price range I was approved for. I said I just want out of the loan then and younger went on to say I had to take it up with the loan company which I did and then I came back and told them credit acceptance said they will let me out of the loan just take the car back and they said we are not willing to do that. I felt trapped with a lemon of a car I didn’t want. I remember telling the guy at younger I’m just leaving it here and he said we will have it removed and you will still owe the money for the debt. About a week later the horn fell out of the bottom of the car still having a warranty I took the car in again to be repaired. the warranty states it cover wear and tear items, but they wanted me to pay the full amount. Also I found out at this time the oil leak was never fixed correctly they said they just plugged it and it keeps coming undone. I said just replace the oil pan it falls under the warranty and they said only if its rusted and it wasn’t. I made on time payments for almost a year and then the transmission chip goes bad. I’m a single mother so I actually let the car set for weeks just to make my payments on time. until one month I was tired of it and I didn’t make my payment on time so I could pay 300 to replace the chip. I called credit acceptance and told them the situation. I was told don’t worry about it that they understand and I’m never late and thanks for the call. I thought wow what a great company willing to work with me that lasted a day. They were calling my house, my personal references and my job getting me yield at every day a few times a day demanding payment for about two weeks and then I woke up to go to work one morning and the car was just gone. I was never giving a notice that they were coming for the car or that I could make my payment and take the car back. I had no clue that was even an option at that time. When they took the car I had 5,600 invested in it so I had around 3,400 left to paid on the car. A few months later I got a paper stating the car was sold for 2,000 at an auction I though great I only owe them around 1,400 and what ever the interest would have been. I didn’t hear from credit acceptance until 2011 with a paper that I was being taken to court for the debt of 6,000 so I pulled my credit report and it states I owe them 4,000 even something just seems dirty about it to me. I didn’t go to court I didn’t have a job at the time and it’s their word against mine. I also didn’t know what a big mistake not going to court would be. I called Credit acceptance in 2014 to settle the debt my credit says I owe 4,000 so I offered the 1,500 to settle and I got a letter saying I owe them 9,000 dollars for the original debt, interest fees, and court costs and they would settle for 3,500. I couldn’t pay that amount at the time. About to months ago I reached out to them again wondering if the same offer still stood and I never heard back from them. I don’t know what to do at this time I worked hard to pull myself out of debt after I lost my job at the end of 2010. I’m actually pre approved to buy a house just as soon as the judgment is entered as satisfied. I forgot to mention that I filed a complaint with the credit report agencies for the amount owed and it now says resolved, but the judgment still holds and Credit acceptance won’t get back with me to settle.

  • Gary Warren

    I’m wondering if you can assist me with someone in south Carolina to see if I may have Case against credit acceptance for harassment phone calls at work while on my job and for taking money from my account after I asked them not to because the funds want in the account and yet they did causing me to have over draft on my account several different times and it caused me to lose that bank account and a debit owed back to my bank because of credit acceptance.if you can help please meet me know our someone that I may babble to contact in south Carolina.thanks Gary Warren.they also tried to repo my truck and I want even a month behind and still being harassed for payments and I want it to stop please help?

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author

      Gary,

      It sounds like a lot of stuff is going on in your case that may be improper. Withdrawals from your bank account are protected by various state and federal laws (Uniform Commercial Code Article 3 and the Electronic Fund Transfers Act). I’m not licensed to practice law in South Carolina, so I can’t represent you or give you specific legal advice. However, I recommend that you look up an attorney in your area on http://www.consumeradvocates.org. Or you may try Penny Cauley at Hays Cauley. 843-773-2782. Best of luck, friend.

      JEC

  • Nancy

    In 2005 I purchase a vehicle for which I was approved for a loan through Credit Acceptance. I paid on time every month even though the interest rate on the loan was ridiculous! So after a few months the vehicle would run but not drive. I called Credit Acceptance and the dealership. The rep that I spoke with at that time told me to take it to the dealership somehow and have them fix it because I had purchased the extended warranty. Well of course that part that needled to be fix was not covered. I called Credit Acceptance back and told them the situation and to come get the car or I could leave it at the dealership. The rep with CA said that they did not want the car back. I told them I didn’t think it was right for me to have to pay for a car that didn’t work. So I called s few more different times and no progress. Then they called me when I hadn’t made the next payment. I told that rep the situation and this guy told me to part the car out and just send them whatever money I got out of it. I was told 3 different times to do that. So one day while I was at work my ex-husband decided that he was going to sell it to a salvage yard and got $40 bucks out of it! Ridiculous! But now that I am having my wages garnished it is very trying. The original loan was for $10000 after interest. Now they are asking for $29,000 roughly to be recovered. I am working myself to death to make more money which is pointless. I can’t afford to file for bankruptcy. Idk what to do. I’m in Oklahoma btw. Thanks for your time.

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author

      Nancy,

      I don’t practice law in Oklahoma, so I cannot give you legal advice. It sounds at first glance like you may be in trouble. Selling your car for $40 was a horrible idea. In most places, you can’t scrap a car without title to it, but maybe Oklahoma allows for all sorts of chop shopping.

      You may, however, be able to use the condition of the vehicle as a defense to the lawsuit. You definitely need a local consumer rights attorney. Call Victor Wandres at 918.200.9272. I know that he’s in OK City and fights these sorts of lawsuits.

      Best of Luck.

      JEC

  • Renee Harris

    My husband bought a use car from Sun Rise in Memphis in 1998 and Credit Acceptance finance it. He had the car for about a year the car and the car stared braking down he had a choice to keep the car which would have put us in debt because fixing and paying the note on the car was to much so he surrender the car back to them. Last Monday his employer receive paper work from Mangrum and Mangrum to garnish his wages this was a reinstate judgement from 2005. Here the problem they place a lawsuit against my husband but they did not issue a summons to appear in court. They file lawsuit in Sept. of 2005 we move from the address that they had on file March 2005 but they had he employer during that time. The lawsuit was approved in 2006 without us having any knowledge of it. I called Mangrum last week and this week and asked them for all of the original paper including the original summons and the letter stating the re-installment of the judgment. They sent me a letter that they thought I would take as a real letter but it wasn’t it was actually something that they through together but they still did not send the original summons. We went to the Shelby County Court House Downtown Memphis to get all of docket for this case ans the original summons I was inform that the suing attorney should have the original summons and they no longer had anything pertaining to the case because the case was old. Every Attorney we spoke with only wants the file bankruptcy and do not want to fight the case. WHAT CAN WE DO!!

  • Matt

    I financed a used truck with 120k miles in December 2011 for an amount financed of 7200, I paid on it for 4 years At 242.00 and then lost my job. Credit acceptance wasn’t willing to work with me and I just got a notice in the mail they had a court date and entered a judgment of 9,840$. What I don’t understand is how can they sue me without me even knowing of a date? And two, if I paid 4 years at 240 dollars a month is roughly 2600 a year or almost 10k I paid CA, they won’t tell me my total amount I paid them but how can they sue me for 9k when my loan was for 7k and I paid them at least 9k back? I could see interest adding but not that much. Please help my email is added below. My only hope is it shows a court date to enter judgment for out this year so do I show up to that or go to the courthouse before that date and what do I request? I want to know how I can get in front of the judge and make my case since I wasn’t notified of the first one? Southern california

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author

      Matt,

      Man, that really sucks how that went down. Especially after you paid them for 4 years. They got more than they paid the dealer for that paper. My guess is that you had a super high interest rate.

      I am not licensed to practice law in California, but I do know a few lawyers down that way, and I know you should be able to get help fighting this. Your state rules of civil procedure require them to serve you with notice of the lawsuit in some manner. If they didn’t do that, you may be able to get the judgment vacated.

      You’ll definitely need a lawyer, though, because this can be pretty detailed and a lot of courts don’t like un-doing their own judgments, even if they shouldn’t have been entered.

      You may want to call Matt Loker, of Kazerouni Law Group. His office number is (800) 400-6808. I’ve worked with him before and he deals with these cases like I do.

      Best of Luck!

      • Andrew Jay Havens

        I am currently being sued and need Legal advice/help for I did not respond in the state of New York within 30 days. I had a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta. The engine light was on when I drove it off the lot. The dealer only gave me 1 key and there were many more problems with it that I discovered later on. I did most of my payment on time and had no major issues with the bank. Then my car broke down and I could not figure out what was wrong with it even after having a mechanic coming to my house to try to figure it out. So I stopped doing payments on the car and willingly told them to come pick the car up and take it back which they did. Now here it is 2 years later they decide to sue me for $6,000 which I find rather rediculous. Please contact me if you know someone that could help me in this situation. Jhavens811@optonline.net

  • Jennifer Jamerson

    Hi, my fiance is being being garnished by credit acceptance. He cosigned on a car back in 2011 for his son’s mother, and she stopped making the payments. So the car was repossessed. They first garnished his bank account without any notice of a little over $400, Sidenote: It’s crazy they never went after her. He contacted them to make payment arrangements that he could afford, because we were in the process of moving so didn’t have much at the time. They wouldn’t work with him. Now a few months ago, we noticed he check was short about $200. He then seen that it was a garnishment from credit acceptance. He was never sent anything in the mail, no notice of a case against him or anything. These garnishments vary pay check to pay check. They’re getting over 20% each time, and it’s causing a financial strain on our household. Because no matter how many hours he work they’re taking more money. It is based out of Ohio, or Kentucky, I can’t remember where exactly. But I’m not sure what to do. I keep telling him to call them or sue, but he doesn’t think that he can do that.

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author

      Jennifer,

      I can’t give you legal advice if you’re not a client, but I can tell you that generally, they aren’t required to go after the primary buyer. In fact, many creditors don’t bother with one co-signor if they think the other has more assets or more money to collect from. Usually, the more worthless co-buyer gets off the hook, while the more responsible one pays. That’s just the danger of co-signing any sort of loan.

  • Cindy Akers

    Dear Sir, I’m writing this letter because I typed my email in on a seach bar and it popped up the court decision of fraud against a Finance company called Credit Acceptance. This was great and you must be an exceptional Attorney. That same company repo’d my vehicle too. It’s my opinion illegally. I had tried to pay my payment on a due date on Friday but the banks were closed by the time I got off work, so I called them and told them I’d have to make the payment on Monday when the bank opens. I kept my promise and on Monday I made the payment and included an extra $80 or $100 to help me out next time. Without warning,Tuesday night my vehicle was repo’d As of today I still don’t have a vehicle because of how they did me, I wasn’t going to get my truck back, in fear that this would always happen. Call me if there is something we can do. Respectfully; Cindy Akers

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author

      Cindy,

      Did they accept your payment? Did they ever tell you over the phone that they would accept the payment and not repossess the vehicle if you made it the following day?

      Usually, the contract doesn’t oblige them to accept a payment even if it’s only one day late. But if they promised they wouldn’t repo the car if you paid by a certain date, then some courts will consider that a waiver of the right to repo. Or possibly fraud. I can’t advise or represent you unless you’re in Alabama. If so, call me and we’ll discuss this. Otherwise, I recommend you contact an attorney in your area.

      JEC

  • George

    I live in upstate NY and had this company for me and my wife’s car loan my wife had to leave work for a medical reason for short time and this company would not work with one month bein a little late they shut my car off and repoed my car sold it within the month because they wanted to charge me alot of money to get car back they sold the car for 2000 n now I owe them 7000 on it the car ended up being a piece of crap to begin with first month of having it all oil was gone out the car I Hurd ticking so I checked oil there was none car dealer said it burns oil nothing they can do with it tires lost air all the time they tell me it’s a 1000 dollars to fix this was by the second month I want to get this out of my credit this was completely unfair but I don’t know what to do my credit was over 700 before I bought this car n now it’s 498 because of these people

  • karen

    I was reading your story and i have a situation where i got a 2002 or 2004 honda odyssey van for $10,500 through credit acceptance and they sold me a lemon it had a bad transmission something felt very crooked with them after having it for a month there had problems were i did not want to drive it so it sat in my driveway i told them to come get i don’t want it so they claimed they sold it for $1500 and put on my credit report for no payment sent it to a lawyer for lack of payment of $7500 he asked judge to put a judgement on me for $10,094.38 so know i am trying to get this situation resolved and don’t even know where to start do you have any suggestions?

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author

      Karen,

      If they’ve sued you, then you need to get a local lawyer ASAP. There can be lots of defenses to repo-deficiency cases, but you need to be sure to answer the lawsuit in time to avoid a default judgment.

      If you live in Alabama, give me a call. If not, find a local lawyer as soon as you can. Best of luck.

  • Yate Washington

    Hi. My vehicle was taken by a relative that I co-signed on a loan with. The person then told police that they were repossessing the vehicle for non-payment which is not true & I have proof of payment on a money order. The vehicle was taken because of a grudge and the officer can verify a statement that was made of nonpayment. What can I do? Or can I sue for the money that I have put into the vehicle or can I press charges for theft because it was picked up on his business wrecker? The vehicle is also in a bankruptcy that he filed and I was forced to make payment before the bankruptcy was completed.

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author

      Yate,

      I assume because you’re writing me that you’re in Alabama. If the vehicle was taken and you were not in any breach (including failure to provide insurance), then you can pursue legal action for a wrongful repossession. This usually involves a lawsuit for breach of contract, conversion, and possibly statutory damages under the UCC. If you are in Alabama, call me and we can discuss this.

  • Larry a Smith jr

    I have been paying $500 a month on my car loan with my payment set at $325.21 a month at 18%. Interest. I tried calling for final payoff and they will not give it to me. My 2005 Jeep liberty should be paid off on September 2017. As of right now I believe we only owe somewhere around $1400. No attempt has been made of them sending me a letter or calling us to let us k ow that’s it’s almost paid off. Please help us. Thank you

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author

      Larry,

      Have you written them any letters? Telephone calls have no legal effect whatsoever, and are usually a complete waste of everyone’s time. I assume you’re in Alabama since you’re posting on my website. If you haven’t already done so, consider sending them a UCC 9-214 request for accounting.

      JEC

  • Miranda

    My Fiance is dealing with them right now. He purchased a truck in 2014 but within a year and a half the truck had a hole in the frame and it would not be inspect able by Dec of 2015 so he stopped payments for the truck he would not be able to drive. They consistently harassed him even though he told them what had happened and it took them maybe three or more months to finally come get the truck. Over a year later they start sending him letters that they are suing him and he sent them a letter again stating why he stopped paying on the truck and now they are taking him to court. He is not sure what to do he’s never been to court.

  • Gennel

    Can you come to Maryland Judson or do you know someone like yourself FIGHTING FOR THE PEOPLE here on the Eastern shore: copesgennel211@gmail.com. I Need help for my brother and myself and I am a veteran as well. O consigned for my brother because he literally pays his bills each month, first before anything else. I purchased my 2016 brand new Hyundai Accent from Preston Ford last August 2016 and was so happy for myself my little brother encouraged me to help my older brother to go there too. My bank is Santander, totally the opposite of Credit Acceptance no comparison infact. My brother paid his whole disability check to catch up what they CLAIMED THEY HAD NOT RECEIVED! I told him I wish you hadnt. Soon there after they came and got the car. Channel 47 and wboc is our local news stations but all of what they have done to low income, disabled and elderly people NEEDS TO BE STOPPED AND NEEDS TO BE NOTIFIED NATIONALLY.

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author

      Gennel,

      I hate hearing stories like that. That sounds completely unfair. I can’t advise on Maryland law, but you should check and see if your version of the Uniform Commercial Code authorizes a “Request for Accounting” under Article 9, Section 210. Or something similar.

      You’ll probably need to call a local lawyer about this. Best of luck.

      JEC

  • Christine l HELINSKI

    They just did this exact same thing to me! They sold the vehicle for 200 bucks after I put 1000 into out trying to fix it.. now say I owe over 7k… I’ve paid 5k it’s a 2004 Durango that’s broken… and I paid religious until it broke down and I lost my job. We had another through them and they had it in my husband’s name but the plates in mine registered to an old car I had? They sold it and are trying to get 10k… we never even got it!

  • Tondelia Knox

    My name is Tondelia knox, I live in little Rock Ar. And Credit Acceptance I believe is doing the same thing to me. My car was repossed by them in 2011. They said after the sale of the vehicle they said I owed a balance of $6000 somehow now its 12,000 I had to make repaires on the car it wasnt even worth the 6,000. I need help with a lawyer thats familar with there scams . Please call me 501-7772028.

    • Attorney Judson E Crump Post author

      Tondelia,

      The extremely high balance could be due to interest. If you had a high interest loan and it’s been racking up since 2011, then it very well could be over $12,000. That said, if you haven’t made a payment since 2011 and have not been in a Chapter 13 that was dimissed before completion, the debt may be too old to enforce. At least it would in Alabama and most states. But as you live in Arkansas, I can’t help you. I would recommend getting a local lawyer. Best of luck.

      JEC