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Dealership did not abide by contract terms, COA rules

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Citing the terms spelled out in the contract, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a car dealer that entrusted a buyer with mailing a title to the lender will have to pay the balance of the auto loan.

Cruisin’ Auto Sales contracted with Springleaf Financial Services of Indiana Inc. to finance a car purchased by Cruisin’s customer, Jennifer George. Springleaf specified in the contract that Cruisin’ was to list the financial company as the first and only lienholder on the title, then mail the document to Springleaf.

The car dealer listed Springleaf as the lienholder but gave the title to George under the assumption she would mail it to the lender after registering the vehicle with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

On appeal, Cruisin’ argued it fulfilled its contractual duty by endorsing the check and naming Springleaf on the title as the lien holder. George failed to perfect Springleaf’s lien because she did not register the title with the BMV.

Moreover, Cruisin’ maintained Springleaf should have included language in the contract if it wanted the car dealer to register the title with the BMV.

The Court of Appeals disagreed and affirmed the trial court’s judgment in Cruisin’, Inc., d/b/a Cruisin’ Auto Sales v. Springleaf Financial Services of Indiana, Inc., f/k/a American General Financial Services, 39A01-1309-CC-423.

It held that when Cruisin’ endorsed and negotiated the check, it accepted the terms of the simple contract which included the auto dealer must mail the title to the “payor.”

“Here, Springleaf is the payor and both George and Cruisin’ are payees on the Check,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote for the court. “Thus Cruisin’ agreed when it endorsed and negotiated the Check that it would mail the title to Srpingleaf, and, pursuant to the Letter accompanying the Check, list Springleaf as the lienholder on the title. Cruisin’ did not mail the title to Springleaf – it handed the title to George, who did not file the title with the BMV and subsequently stopped paying on the Loan Agreement. This conduct by Cruisin’ was a breach of its contract under the Endorsement.”

The Court of Appeals did remand for the trial court to correct a scrivener’s error and enter a judgment for $2,659.02 or explain why $2,779.02 is the right amount. Also, the court remanded for the trial court to enter the judgment damage award against both Cruisin’ and George jointly and severally.


 
 

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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