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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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