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Adam CrowellSep 12, 20231 min read

Jury Hammers Dealer Nearly $2.6M for Hurting Consumer's Credit

September 12, 2023.  A New Mexico jury hammered a local dealership for nearly $2.6 million for unfairly hurting a consumer's credit.

On September 11, 2023, it was reported that a New Mexico jury hammered a local dealership for nearly $2.6 million for unfairly hurting a consumer's credit.  It was alleged that the consumer had purchased a vehicle from the dealership, and had traded to the dealership another vehicle with an existing loan balance.  However, the dealership failed to pay-off the existing loan balance on the trade-in for 2.5 months.

The failure to pay-off the existing loan balance in a timely manner resulted in the consumer's credit score dropping by 126 points, which caused the consumer to be denied another loan, and caused the consumer's credit card limit to be reduced.

After a civil jury trial, which included the presentation of evidence, the jury reached a verdict in favor of the consumer and against the dealership.  The jury awarded the consumer $87,000 in compensatory damages and $2,500,000 in punitive damages.

"Despite all the good that dealers do for their communities, juries can take significant action against dealerships it is perceived that consumers are unfairly harmed", said Adam Crowell, President & General Counsel of ComlplyNet.  "To minimize the risk of consumer actions, dealerships must adopt a comprehensive compliance program that focuses on advertisings, sales, and finance compliant, and the proper process for managing consumer complaints."

ComplyNet, a 29 year-old compliance provider that is endorsed by state and national dealer associations, offers a complete dealership compliance platform.  To learn more about ComplyNet's compliance solutions for advertising, sales, and finance, please CLICK HERE.


Adam Crowell

Adam is Vice President of Legal and Corporate Development at KPA and ComplyNet and is a licensed practicing attorney with over 21 years of experience primarily representing dealerships. Adam is a frequent speaker on the local, state, and national levels, including presentations to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), the National Independent Auto Dealers Association (NIADA), and the National Association of Dealer Counsel (NADC).