What can you do if you find out a repair shop is a fraud, and you can’t get your vehicle back?

UPDATED: Feb 5, 2012

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What can you do if you find out a repair shop is a fraud, and you can’t get your vehicle back?

We found out after turning our car over to a man that his business was a fraud and he had been ripping people off for years. The place he took it when he picked up isn’t a repair shop only a wear house. He says he does work he doesn’t do, then holds your vehicle hostage until you can pay him the completely ridiculous amount that he demands.

Asked on February 5, 2012 under General Practice, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you believe you have sufficiently strong evidence of actual criminal activity--i.e. that, as you say, it's a complete fraud and he doesn't even have a repair shop--you can and should go to the police.

The other alternative (including if the police, for one reason or another, decline to help you) is to sue him for the return of your car and for monetary compensation for the time he has had it. Many states (e.g. NJ) have consummer fraud laws which may let you recover additional money and/or attorney's fees.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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