A few interesting cases we are working on
Wellemeyer vs. Experian, et al. Inaccurate Credit Reporting
Client was issued a Wells Fargo Platinum credit card in 2000 and for 12 years thereafter never had a problem. However, in 2012 he discovered a number of fraudulent charges on his account and immediately alerted Wells Fargo who promised to remove those charges if he followed its procedure which included filling out a fraud affidavit. In addition to that Wells Fargo was required by law to remove fraudulent accounts promptly reported to it as well as pursuant to his credit card agreement. The client did as he was required and closed the account and was issued new credit cards and assigned a new account. Sure enough, the identical charges showed-up on his new account. To make matters worse, Wells Fargo began and has continued to date to report this account in a derogatory status. It has been promising to remove this for the past 6 years but somehow it never has. It claims this is a “computer issue” the result of a “migration to a new computer system.” Client has twice formally disputed this information through Experian Information Solutions and requested an investigation but each time Experian investigates it reaffirms the misinformation as accurate. Client has finally had enough and has sued.
Kilburn-Winnie, et al. vs. Town of Fortville Continued Access to Water Service
A class action. Clients are residents of Fortville, Indiana which is a town that owns and operates its owns water utility which supplies water to all its residents. In 2014 this Town had a policy where it chose to suspend thewater service of any customer without notice and withoutnotice of a right to dispute or request a hearing prior to disconnection for all unpaid balances.Only after the payment of a $50 re-connnection fee could any account be reinstated. Some individuals with legitimate reasons for non-payment but without the opportunity to explain or be hearshad to go without water for several weeks until they paid this fee. We initiated a lawsuit against the Townalleging violation under the 5th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing Due Process of Law. Ultimately this resulted in a class action settlement requiring the Town to disgorge all unlawful re-connection fees it assessed and collected, the payment into a fund maintainedby the Township for Emergency for residents who could not afford to pay their water or other bills,the payment of attorney fees as well as additional damages to the 3 named plaintiffs who took it upon themselves to bring the suit. As a result of this suit and settlement, the Town decided to formulate a new policy. Unfortunately, this new policy was so convoluted, complicated and unreasonablethat, as a practical matter, it was like having no procedure at all. We sued again. Unfortunately, the Court wrongfully decided to dismiss our suit because it incorrectly believed that the Plaintiffs in our case had somehow agreed to dismiss their new claims in the earlier suit. This was clearly a wrong ruling and the case is now on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Appeal has been briefed and we are waiting on oral argument whereafter we confidently expect the lower court’s ruling to be reversed and the case reinstated. We can then actually have a ruling on the merits of Plaintiffs’ claims. We will keep you informed.
NEED HELP: If this is being read by any Fortville, Indiana resident who has suffered a termination of their water service and has had to pay a reconnection charge or fee in order to restore service, please contact this office.
Vinter vs. Rightway Automotive Credit- AutofraudWith a Twist
This case has all the traditional elements of any autofraud case involving a cheating used car dealership; except for one interesting added feature. It involved the sale and and financing of a vehicle to a buyer where the dealer knew and planned in advance for that buyer to be unable to afford the vehicle and where it expected and planned for the consumer to default and the vehicle to be repossessed. Then, according to the plan, the vehicle would be re-sold to another unsuspecting consumer. Many people look upon such a transaction as simply “tough luck” for the buyer if he or she defaults. We don’t. Ms. Vinter, a Russian immigrant, went to this seller expressly informing it that all she had was the money on her person which was $3000. She was unemployed and expressly informed the dealer of this. She, therefore, didn’t expect to get anything fancy for that amount. Instead, the dealer trotted out a late model vehicle which retailed for far more than $3000. But, according to the dealer, only $4000 more for a total of $7000 which she could easily afford by using her $3000 as a downpayment where she would only have to finance $4000. However, when it came time for transferring verbal numbers to paper, the crooked dealer wrote the cash price on the buyers order at $10,300 instead of $7000. When she questioned that figure, the salesman lied and told her that the amount included the finance charge. Then the “honest dealer’ convinced Ms. Vinter that she had to purchase a $3500 service contract in order to obtain credit. A $4000 amount financed suddenly turned into $12,000 and with a 16% APR soon resulted in an obligation of almost $18,000. No surprise that Ms. Vinter soon defaulted. The Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, fortunately, expressly provides that such a scenario, if proven, may be considered an unconscionable sales practice.
Rosselli vs. Burns Auto Mart, LLC.Autofraud Deceit
Client observed a 2006 Hummer online and called about it. He was invited to come and take a look which he did. He took a test drive. During the test drive the check engine light came on. When he returned he asked he mentioned it to the salesman who acted surprised. He was invited to drive the vehicle to the local Autozone for a diagnosis. It revealed a defective oxygen sensor; a minor part which was not costly to replace. Consequently, client purchased the vehicle. When the client returned home he immediately took it to his mechanic with instructions to replace the defective oxygen sensor. Shortly thereafter, he received a call from his mechanic who informed him that the oxygen sensor was not defective but disconnected. Upon reconnection the check engine light went off. However, it wasn’t very long until it came back on and Plaintiff returned to his mechanic for further diagnostic. When connected the oxygen sensor revealed a number of serious engine issues. It suddenly became clear to everyone why the oxygen sensor was disconnected rather than simply reported as defective.
Johnson vs. BAIC-Disabled Military VetsWith Pensions Beware
Mr. Johnson was seriously injured while on active military duty in Iraq. He was ultimately discharged and when he returned to the states he was awarded a monthly VA disability pension. Upon discharge Mr. Johnson had marital issues which resulted in a divorce which further complicated his financial problems and placed him in debt and in need of funds to borrow. BAIC is a company which specializes in putting veterans with disability pensions in touch with folks who are willing to loan money; only BAIC does not refer to these as loans and the people who advance these funds are not referred to as lenders. Instead, BAIC refers to them as “investors.” This is how the program worked. BAIC found someone willing to loan Mr. Johnson approximately $35,000 which, at the time, came in handy. However, he was required to sign a contract requiring him to repay the indebtedness in 120 monthly payments of $900 totaling $108,000.00. Payment was guaranteed by requiring Mr. Johnson to assign his monthly VA pension benefits. Ithappens to be against the law for anyone to take an assignment of Veterans pension benefits but very little is said about this. Also, those rates and numbers clearly violate the usury laws of just about every state. The people involved in this program insist, however, that the usury laws do not apply because these are not loans but investments or securities which are sold over the open market to various bidders. In every state where this has been challenged (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana) these transactions have been declared unlawful, for no other reason, than these so-called investments have not been registered with the state Securities Agency. As they move from state to state the principals in these companies appear to have the same names; only the names of the entities seem to change. Read more about this at:
If you live in Ohio or Kentucky, and have a problem relating to a pension assignment or pension advance, please contact us.For Indiana Vets we recommend you contact: