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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. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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