FLETCHER JONES Complaint - Fraud
NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- October 2001 - I went to Fletcher Jones to lease NEW Mercedes. Negotiated 3 year lease and requested specific built-in equipment. They could not show me the car1, but gave me "Original" window sticker as proof of car1 and equipment, to induce me to sign the lease and give them deposit. Thereafter the car1 delivered did not have the built-in equipment, but they promised to install it the following day. A 5 yr lease was entered on contract instead of agreed upon 3 yr. The following week dealer gave me the runaround about equipment. Finally they said the manufacturer discontinued making such car. Dealer would not let me return the car1, since the contract states "no cooling off period". I did not change my mind about the car, but dealer did not and could not deliver the car I purchased. In addition, my tele aid system was not working. On 10th day, the salesman called me to say it was working, but on a car sitting on their lot. He explained when he filled-in the tele-aid application, he entered a "wrong" VIN#. All I had to do was sign a Substitution of Collateral to authorize him to change the VIN#. I became suspicious and checked all my paperwork. None matched my car. I just realized I was driving for 10 days without insurance (since I insured the car2 from contract), and no registration. I called MGR to complain. He wanted me to sign a new lease for car1 or take car2(from contract) which I have never seen. The car2 did not have the built-in equipment, either. MGR then threatened me with: "if you get stopped by police, you might get arrested,... driving stolen car with no paperwork." By now I had no equipment, no 3 yr lease and no contract for car1. I was scared to drive the car1 anymore, so I paid to have it flat-bedded back to FJMC. I requested my deposit back from FJMC. Now, I had no car from FJMC and no contract for car1. 10/29/01 FJMC filed with DMV certified paperwork stating they had erroneousely put my name on contract for car2 and I had never taken delivery or posession of car2, then unwound the car2. Instead of trashing the car2 lease contract, FJMC submitted the car2 lease contract to finance company MBCC (Mercedes Benz Credit Corp)who funded the money for car2. Now, FJMC has car1+ my deposit and car2+complete funding. I have no car1+no contract, no car2+invalid contract. No consummated deal for either car. MBCC starts billing me for car2. I called & wrote letters, even hired an attorney for 3 months to explain the error. MBCC and FJMC ignored everything we did or say. I get munerous collection calls and letters. February 2002, I entered escrow purchasing a house, my credit was very good. Late February 2002, I received a demand letter from MBCC for $60,000 for car2. More phone calls and letters are still ignored. I obtained FJMC certified paperwork from DMV Sacramento, I sent it with a letter to MBCC, showing the error & i don't have car2. They still ignore me. March 2002 my lender informs me late car payments showed up on my credit report, which drastically decreased my credit scores. I stall the loan while I try to clear the wrong reporting. Late March 2002 I received a letter from MBCC notifying me of car2 reposession. I sent more letters and made more phone calls. They ignore my plight. April 2002, $60,000 reposession shows up on my credit report for car2. Now lender informs me I can not get a loan and I loose this property (which is now worth about $400,000 more). I can not get any other property or even minor item on credit. My insurance almost doubled. I have never received any billing for car1, but April 2002 I received a notice of reposession. July 2002, I received from MBCC a deficiency demand for $17,200 for car1, stating I had a contract, I defaulted on loan, so they reposessed the car1 and auctioned it. I demanded to see the "Contract" for car1, but they never sent it to me. (if they did have a contract, then my signature was forged). September 2002, a $17,200 reposession for car1 appears on my credit report. Now, I have 2 reposessions on my credit report + late payments.
October 2002 I file a law suit against FJMC and MBCC. August 2003, MBCC states they reposessed & auctioned car2 & then filed a deficiency judgment law suit for $17,200. Now I have 2 deficiency judgments, no cars and no contracts.
During the law suit the following was discovered:
Status on car1: Warranty started 5 months before I went to FJMC on October 2001. As per manufacturer, warranty starts when the car is sold, which means the car was not "New". Manufacturer states the window sticker given to me for car1 was cut and pasted version with false information. The Manufacturer stopped making cars equipped as I had requested, two years prior. The dealer knew this facts, since they received manuals and classes about these changes. Car1 was sold to a consumer on 7/8/02, who was told the car was never sold before, it was only used as "dealer demo". Dealer tried to sell "used" car1 as "new" to me. This is how they do it without getting in trouble with DMV: They fill-in all paperwork and contract by entering vin# of an identical "new" car sitting on their lot. They know most consumers do not verify VIN# on car with paperwork VIN#. Days later, when the consumer notices the discrepancy, the dealer states they made an "honest mistake" they ask the consumer to sign a Substitution of Collateral ( authorization to dealer to change vin# on all paperwork). Since the consumer authorizes the change, no one gets in trouble. Car1 was never reposessed. I was wondering why I never received any billing for car1, but surprisingly got the deficiency notice. I have found out that someone (probably FJMC) made 5 payments in my name. Once they stopped the payments, I received the notice of default. An account was set up for car1. Someone must have forged my signature on that contract, since I never signed anything for car1. If an account was set up for car1, the finance co must have funded car1 also.
Car2: Was never reposessed. I was served with false reposession notice. Car2 sat on FJMC lot 17 months, then was sold on 3/7/03 to a consumer as a "NEW" car, "1st time sold". This consumer questioned the dealer as to the low mileage, while the car was almost two years old. He was told the car had many estra features, so it was hard to sell. This time the financing was obtained from B of A. FJMC never returned the money funded to them by MBCC in "error" on 10/10/01. Now they had surplus money for whole value of car. 5 months later 8/25/03, MBCC sued me for $17,200 deficiency judgment, stating car2 was reposessed, auctioned and demanded the money.
MBCC knew from beginning I had no car or contract, but intentionally harrassed me and damaged my credit report, trying to extort money from me. This way FJMC and MBCC could be left with surplus money. When you deal with huge corporations, there is no justice, everybody around is bought out. I was cornered and pressured into settlement July 2004. My attorney put the settlement money in his acct and has not given my the money according to our agreement. Now I have to go thru litigation again, to get my settlement money. If my attorney (who is supposed to protect me and my interest)is acting this way now, how do you think he handled my case???? FJMC never returned my deposit.